Children of Bodom Halo of Blood

Children of BodomHalo of Blood
With their eighth full-length record, Halo of Blood, Finland's Children of Bodom remain one of the highest-profile acts associated with the melodic death metal subgenre, incorporating elements of symphonic black metal and thrash into their grandiose sound. Children of Bodom are now in the 20th year of their career, and their overt theatricality and high profile (they've contributed songs to the Guitar Hero franchise and covered a track by Britney Spears) always threatens to push them over the edge into becoming parodies of themselves. Halo of Blood, despite being an unquestionably bombastic record, is actually an exercise in restraint for Children of Bodom, exhibiting limited use of synths and symphonic elements, focusing on compelling songwriting, with a strong power metal core to the structures. The production is precise and elegant, preserving the immense sound without feeling too slick or over-processed; the drums, in particular, sound great. The more brooding moments, such as "Dead Man's Hand On You," don't feel forced, while Alexi Laiho's use of more clean singing is a welcome evolution. This is a deeply enjoyable, satisfying and fun slab of melodic heaviness. (Nuclear Blast)