Children of Bodom Are You Dead Yet?

I can’t help but admire the over-the-top cheesiness that is Children of Bodom, even in the midst of my cringing. And Are You Dead Yet? effectively conveys the band’s inescapable flamboyance — masturbatory guitar and keyboard soloing, melodramatic transitions, whiny growls, guitar riffs that range from juiced up hard rock to nu-metal to thrash. It all gets a little exhausting at times, like being in a room with a bunch of four-year-olds on chocolate (but far less messy). Still, the record’s over in no time, and it gives off more energy than it demands. Are You Dead Yet? doesn’t offer any real surprises, just more of the same, but Children of Bodom aren’t the kind of band you expect to evolve and experiment. They’ve found what works for them (as their growing success proves), so why mess with it? (Spinefarm)