Children of Bodom - _Follow the Reaper_
(Nuclear Blast, 2001)
by: Alvin Wee (7 out of 10)
Yet another melodic assault from the Finnish superstars, _Follow the Reaper_ is everything we've come to expect from the new wave of Finnish talent sweeping the commercial metal world. CoB belt out track after track of virtuosic ear-candy with an unashamed rock 'n' roll ethic to put even their country mates Sentenced to shame. If I thought the opening title track was proof of the band's ability, the second track proves me wrong almost instantly. Blazing with incendiary solos, crunchy riffing and semi-melodic group chorus chants, it's the raw energy and pure fun-ness of the music that makes it so appealing. Setting the band apart from the hordes of Gothenburg clones is their absolute lack of pretensions to being the slightest bit "death metal"; conversely, the music also rises above the lacklustre "gothic"-ness of Sentenced's latter works. The only problem is the lack of depth so characteristic of the genre: after three or four spins it becomes apparent that the initial jaw-dropping impact of the music loses its edge after some time. Still, the album is one huge celebration of heavy metal for heavy metal's sake, and the bonus cover of Blackie Lawless' "Hellion" is a firm hint to where the band's roots lie. Certainly not every metaller's cup of tea, but if a purist like me can enjoy it, it's worth giving it a try! (Look out for the one of three different bonus tracks offered depending on country of release.)

(article published 13/5/2001)

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