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I don't mean to crash the party, but... - 67%

PorcupineOfDoom, October 2nd, 2014

To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I qualify to review this album as I'm not really into CoB's style of melodeath as much as many other bands. I mean, 'Blooddrunk' was my favourite album by them. I don't know about you reading this, but that makes me slightly nervous to review this album which was widely received as a return to form. But anyway, I bought this album and I am going to give my opinion on it.

So to start off with, we'll take the good things. One such thing is that Alexi's vocals are still pretty much the same as they were in 'Blooddrunk' (and I know that I bang on about his vocals not being great - which, let's face it, is true - but I'd rather they were like that than how they were on 'Hatebreeder'). Janne's keyboard skills are solid as per usual as well as Alexi's shredding skills. As a result of this there are some good songs, but there's something missing from the mix. What is it? Jaska's drumming. What do I mean by that? There are some good moments, but for the most part it feels pretty average, which isn't what I expect from someone as consistent as him.

You can quite clearly see the guitar skills coming through right from the riff on the opening track 'Waste of Skin' and they just continue on for pretty much the entire album. Roope's work is solid even if he doesn't get much of the limelight. Don't ask about Henkka's playing, because I can't make anything out besides the odd couple of seconds where nothing else is going on.

So is Jaska's drumming really so bad that I need to rate this album so lowly? No. The thing that's stopping me is that the style of music isn't for me. Yeah, I hear you booing. 'Your Days Are Numbered' is an excellent example of this, showcasing the type of music that I just can't get into. Something about the guitars isn't right about it. 'All Twisted' is another one of these songs that sound alright to begin with but quickly descend into something that I don't like. Almost sounds like pirate metal, which is a little bit unexpected to say the least.

However, the positives do outweigh the negatives. There are a lot of decent songs, but there are only three songs I would say are really great on this album. 'Scream for Silence' is one, with the awesome hooks on the guitars that blend well with the keyboard. The drums are pretty sub-par on this track, but the rest of the band make up for it. Then there is 'Bodom Blue Moon', the only song I've heard that can rival 'Kissing the Shadows' in terms of technical expertise on the guitar. The final one is 'Transference', a slightly unusual song and not an area that I think I've heard Children of Bodom cover before. It's not as good as the other two, but it does give better impressions than most of the other songs do.

Overall, it's not horrible. It beats 'Are You Dead Yet?' any day of the week. Having said that though, it's far from their best work and obviously even the better songs from this album aren't a match for the real classics ('Everytime I Die', 'Needled 24/7', etc). As previously stated, this isn't my taste in music and maybe the fans are picking up on something that I'm not.