One of the most brutal creations of the past twelve months

The murderous intent that the Bodom name was founded upon has etched itself once again on new release, Halo of Blood.

The melodic death the band built on originally has returned in all its haunting fashion, full of cutting riffs. Whilst maintaining the technical majesty from previous albums, Halo has been stripped back somewhat and in doing so the band have formed one of the most brutal creations of the past twelve months of death metal.

Beginning with ‘Waste of Skin’ laying down the law with intensity and emotion, galloping on with unrelenting pace, the track contains all the classic Bodom interwoven guitars with Alexi Laiho’s scathing vocals again the centrepiece amongst the cacophony of sound.

The title track follows on, set against the atmospheric score of Janne Wirman’s keyboards. Again it marches, searching for another unsuspecting victim, like the Grim Reaper who adorns the album covers of all Bodom releases. This is Scandinavian metal at its finest. Raatikainen’s pulsating drumming is double kicked into the groove. It’s black, its power metal… the genre matters little as each track serves as an extension of the Reaper’s scythe itself.

‘Transference’ with its duelling guitar maintains the rage whilst ‘Bodom Blue Moon’ shares in the feast of metal exploding forth from the speakers with more old school Bodom sound. It’s only with the eerie ‘Dead Man’s Hands on You’ with its ambient sonority is there any sort of respite from the sheer velocity contained on the album. Alternating between guitar and keyboard solo, the track serves as intermission but undeniably maintains the ghostly anger that seems boundless within the band. ‘All Twisted’ highlights a more thrashier metal side with entwined gang vocals across the chorus and that classic metal sound.

Children of Bodom may be regarded as veterans of the European metal scene these days but stellar releases such as Halo of Blood should stand them in good stead for the future. This album can stand side by side with Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper from the turn of the century. If melodic death is your thing do not hesitate in returning the band to your playlist.

1. Waste of Skin
2. Halo of Blood
3. Scream for Silence
4. Transference
5. Bodom Blue Moon
6. The Days are Numbered
7. Dead Man’s Hand on You
8. Damaged Beyond Repair
9. All Twisted
10. One Bottle and a Knee Deep