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Not so reckless or relentless, and not forever. - 45%

Empyreal, May 9th, 2011

Taken from the metal-archives page: "Pre-orders come with an exclusive Children of Bodom wall clock." Uh, alright, seriously; who needs a Children of Bodom wall clock? Are there really people out there who wanted that? Next you're gonna tell me Amon Amarth is putting out an album with an action figure included. Pfft.

So, onto the review. Children of Bodom want to be this wild, uncouth band of raging maniacs, but really with this album it's the opposite: they've pretty much become a bunch of tools of the mainstream, or as close to mainstream as metal gets. Processed and manufactured anger that holds no specks of any genuine feeling at all is what you will find on their latest full length Relentless Reckless Forever. I mean, OK, this is better than their last one, but that's not very hard. Dried elephant turds were more entertaining and gratifying than their last album Blooddrunk. This one at least sounds like a real Children of Bodom album, with a near-identical production to Follow the Reaper. But really that only serves to point out how deficient the songwriting has become.

Alexi's voice is a raspy, sore-throated squawk that doesn't distract, but doesn't really do much to help the music either. The riffs are distorted, groovy lumps in the background for the keyboard and guitar solos to wank all over, like a blank canvass for the world's sloppiest art student. The songs themselves are solidly constructed but boring. Most of them amount to little more than yapping over generic, over-produced modern EXTREEEEEEME DUDE metal dumb-chunk riffing for the kids who have nose piercings and think Between the Buried and Me is cool. Sure, the keyboards and leads bring the score up a bit by providing some serviceable cheesy ear candy here and there, but all these songs sound alike and the product as a whole is disposable as hell. Short musical description? Yes, but then, there simply is nothing more to say about it.

I have nothing against Laiho and his band for selling out; makes sense enough to do when you have a hot formula as they did a few years ago, but that doesn't make this any better. It's pretty much just a bland distillation of everything that kids who dye their hair 5 different colors and wear jeans that probably make them infertile want to hear. And I guess infertility is a decent enough price to pay for liking this kind of shash, after all.