If the artwork alone is not enough to tell you that Children of Bodom have once again gone for a different slant to their sound, opting for a blackened folk metal approach to the song writing style this time, then the tracks on “Halo of Blood” will reinforce the fact that they haven’t been able to settle under a safe “sub-genre” of metal since their 2005 album “Are You Dead Yet”. As their live shows have reportedly gone downhill, unravelling into an hour and a half of drunken falling about the stage, it seems so have there have albums with “Halo of Blood” being a prime example of why the band need to return to their former sound.
“Halo of Blood” is an album mediocre at best, containing the odd moment in tracks such as ‘Bodom Blue Moon’ and ‘The Days Are Numbered’ that will have you banging your heard along to the razor sharp guitar lines present, but other than that, the dingy and dark Children of Bodom have adopted on this record is incredibly dull to say the least. At one time Children of Bodom were praised as being one of the most exciting melodic-death metal bands going, but now that excitement has been killed dead in the water thanks to release of 2007’s shambles “Blooddrunk” and now the rather boring “Halo of Blood”.
Sure, Halo of Blood’s predecessor “Relentless, Reckless Forever” showed a small sign that Children of Bodom were returning to their old school roots, but Alexi Laiho and co thought it would be a smart idea to expand their sound and delve into something they have never really tried before… Bad idea guys! There is a lack of musical interest and uniqueness in the tracks ‘Halo of Blood’, ‘Damaged Beyond Repair’ and ‘One Bottle and a Knee Deep’ and this is what is losing Children of Bodom the credibility they once had. All these tracks sound like re-jigs of older “filler” tracks the band have performed or new tracks that have been written without any thought or care in the space of 5 minutes.
The only track that is of any real interest on “Halo of Blood” is the opening track ‘Waste of Skin’. The only track worth listening to – ‘Waste of Skin’ is the embodiment of the sound that Children of Bodom SHOULD have gone for when writing this album. God only knows why Children of Bodom did not stick to their guns and write more songs like this for “Halo of Blood”. Let’s only hope that they learn from their mistakes and ditch the crap on the bands next album.
Children of Bodom! Please get your act together! Fast! Although not as poor as “Blooddrunk”, “Halo of Blood” is very close to being Children of Bodom’s worst album to date, containing the odd good track and a metric fucktonne of filler. Sort it out guys, another album like this and it may be time to call it a day…