Location: Espoo, Finland
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Released: January 7, 2003
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Library Randomizer
By: Kris Kotlarik
I have always pictured Children Of Bodom as a band that would be more fun to watch live than their studio albums would indicate, and Hate Crew Deathroll is no exception.
The best song here is the opener, “Needled 24/7.” There’s a brief but majestic synth solo which can also be heard in “Chokehold” and “You’re Better Off Dead.” The last two tracks, “Lil’ Bloodred Ridin’ Hood” and the title track, are among the album’s fastest and are above average. The rest are merely okay or worse, with “Angels Don’t Kill” sounding like new-era Sabaton (read: slow and cheesy) in melodeath form. There are some decent moments; “Bodom Beach Terror” has a cool bridge riff following the first verse. The ending to “You’re Better Off Dead” sounds like a stripped-down version of Painkiller’s intro and continues into “Lil’ Bloodred.” Otherwise there isn’t a lot of unique parts to draw me in.
Unfortunately, Children Of Bodom wound up on a similar career path with their Swedish counterparts, In Flames. If you’re looking for some Bodom to sink your teeth into, start with their debut, Something Wild, work your way through Follow The Reaper, and ignore everything else that came after that (including this) until their most recent release, Halo Of Blood, which is a modest return to form. I can see how other fans would enjoy Hate Crew Deathroll and the album that follows, Are You Dead Yet?, but both albums don’t pack the consistent punch that their stronger works contain.
Overall: Needs more synth solos. And perhaps a U.S. tour.