On May 4, 1999, the album "Hatebreeder", the second studio album by "Children of Bodom", was released.
This is what Elad Winberg has to tell you about it.
This is Children of Bodom's second album and it continues the band's momentum which is well built on their fine debut album "Something Wild", and expands the classical music influences and emphasis on the keyboards as well as the amazing melodies, so identified with this great band.
Is there any difference from the previous album?
In almost every sense. The production is much tighter and any instrument can be heard perfectly, Alexi Laiho's writing has been made better and more accurate and there is a very clear and interesting message in quite a few of the songs here. The playing is tight and cohesive and there is more emphasis on the structure of the song than on the high technical ability of the band members (and believe me, every player here is a virtuoso at a simply amazing level).
You could say that with "Hatebreeder", "Children of Bodom" surpassed themselves, putting out a masterpiece in their genre, and thus they also finally proved to anyone who doubted - they are an influential and prominent metal band, and they are going to be a significant force in the industry, as could be seen in Their next two subsequent albums, which beyond the musical quality also brought with them very respectable commercial success, making "Children of Bodom" one of the greatest bands of their time in Europe and in general.
The album opens up with the excellent song "Warheart" which puts the listeners in the mood with the fast and technical riffs of Alexi Laiho and Alexander Kuoppala, and with great keyboard work by the mighty Janne Wirman, here is a very successful song and a great way to start an album that shows the band as a leading force in the metal world and especially in the melodic death metal.
In the second song we already get proof that this is not just another album, and so, the band's hit "Silent Night Bodom Night" continues the preoccupation with the shocking murder on Lake Bodom with very aggressive riffs and gloomy keyboards that always send chills through my body. And this song actually solidifies the familiar style of "children" with aggressive and powerful playing, but melodic keyboards and beautiful electric guitar solos that are generally reminiscent of bands like "Stratovarius" or "Helloween", and here is a very interesting approach to the melodic death metal that continued the rise of the genre in the - 2000.
If that's not enough for you, in the third song "Hatebreeder" which is also the album's theme song, comes a brutal and violent purposeful show of death metal melodic with black metal influences and a sound that is a bit reminiscent of early "Opeth", but "Iron Maiden's" guitar style shows it is still "Children of Bodom". Janne Wirman's keyboard work intensifies the experience of horror and perspiration that the band is trying to convey on this album, just amazing!
The next song is one of the biggest of this band, and it is of course "Bed of Razors" which with its disturbing but moving lyrics, as well as the excellent playing of everyone and especially Alexi who also sings well here, manages to make a strong impression on the listeners, and became very fast one of the most beloved and famous hits of "Children of Bodom", that is always mentioned as one of the best metal songs.
After the great song "Towards Dead End" which features some of the best riffs the band has ever created, comes the interesting track "Black Widow" which sounds very atmospheric, but still without sacrificing the amazing guitars of Alexi and Alexander Kuoppala, and with another great solo, the album continues to rock forward with great might, and we only have left to enjoy the pure magnificent "madness" that is presented to us here.
After a lovable song called "Wrath Within", comes the masterful track "Children of Bodom" which was recorded during the band's first album sessions. A great piece with amazing riffs of the guitar and keyboards, a mesmerizing solo that is a bit reminiscent of Adrian Smith's playing, with dark lyrics this is one of the best songs I have ever heard from "children" and the genre, and to this day I really enjoy going back And fascinated by it every time again.
Finally, the album ends with a bomb - "Downfall" being the most famous and beloved piece of the band's entire career, and there is no room for mistakes here with the gothic opening of the guitar and keyboards, and with the fast and bombastic rhythm that follows. And so, with another genius solo by Alexi and very interesting lyrics, this song becomes a very significant milestone in the band's career, closing the album with a huge statement of intent and in such a satisfying and delightful way that presents the band at its peak.
By the way, the extended version of the album has two covers. The first, is a cover of the Finnish thrash metal band "No Commands", and the second is a cover of "Iron Maiden's" huge hit, "Aces High".
while the cover for Stone is not bad at all, the cover for Iron Maiden is already really good and unique, and it's interesting to see how on one hand "Children" maintain the tight and melodic sound that so characterized Iron Maiden, but on the other hand, they add their style with playing Faster and with a lot of keyboards ... well, what can I say? Most fun to listen to albums where the artists I love find their way and are at the peak of their careers. In the case of "Children of Bodom", it was definitely one of their biggest albums if not the biggest, but in the two albums that came after it, I believe this huge band has reached new heights, and unfortunately the highs they will never be able to recreate. But at the same time, it's fun to know that "Children of Bodom's" first great four albums are always available to listen to, and you can always remember their initial and wondrous charm!
Score: 9.6 / 10 (Classic)
Wrote: Elad Winberg