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#TBT: CHILDREN OF BODOM's Hate Crew Deathroll is Ruthlessly Fast, Endlessly Melodic, and a Classic Melodeth Offering

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. If you're in the mood for key-changes and in-your-face energy, stick around for TBT number 42 while we remember…

CHILDREN OF BODOM'S HATE CREW DEATHROLL

Released: Recorded in 2002 by Anssi Kippo and released 2003

Record Label: Spinefarm, Century Media

Children of Bodom bring the party with their 4th studio release Hate Crew Deathroll. "Underappreciated" is a word I like to use here around TBT, and it once again relates to this week's entry. Hate Crew Deathroll has aged ridiculously well. Almost every song is supremely enjoyable, if not at least entertaining. These guys are just so talented that it's hard to ignore even the one-off solos or song structure change-ups. Even the unexpected string pinches and calculated down picking make the songs more interesting (even if it is showing off).  Check out track "Sixpounder" (WITH OFFICIAL VIDEO):

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Released on the heels of their ambitious heavy-hitter Follow The Reaper, fans braced for another tight and melodic recording. And, that's exactly what they got. Only, something about Hate Crew Deathroll didn't have devotees raving about the album. Perhaps it was due to the differences in recording. Hate Crew Deathroll is thrashy – moreso than any of their other albums. Marrying a notable difference in guitar tone with an emphasis on bass – and with their signature unrelenting momentum – you have yourself a subtle but distinct change in atmosphere. Despite the speed and precision reflected in the guitars and drums, the album cultivated a looser, laid-back feel. If you think about it, it's impressive that such a tight collection of melodic ideas can be so deliberate, yet come off so free-form and effortless. In that light, the over-all composition of Hate Crew Deathroll feels like it isn't trying too hard. Hate Crew Deathroll lets Children of Bodom do what they do best – write fast, catchy riffs and melodious, borderline zany, interludes. Check out another track from this album "Chokehold (Cocked 'n' Loaded)":

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In short, this record wails. It's easy to listen to, even if it is a little 'one-note' throughout. But it's a really good note if you're in to talented Finish folks playing fast non-cookie-cutter melodeath. Alexi Laiho rips on guitars with interesting solos that breach the arpeggio scales-only trap, and Janne Wirman's over-the-top speedy keyboard solos and layers are lightening fast and add an almost whimsical power-metal feel to the album. True to form, Hate Crew Deathroll includes sound effects akin to those found in old-school video games. Additionally, Jaska Raatikainen is insane on the drums and makes really smart emphasizing change-ups. Check out my favorite song off the the album and fan favorite "Needled 24/7":

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Dang if Children of Bodom don't write catchy albums – and Hate Crew Deathroll is no exception. It is over-the-top in so many ways and I love every second of it. "Needled 24/7" is such a spectacular song. In light of that, and with some reflection, I feel very comfortable calling Hate Crew Deathroll a modern classic. It's not as 'heavy hitting' as their newer stuff, and frankly that's what I love about it. White there is no lack of brutality, there's almost a humor in the lyrics and in the execution of the entire album that's hard to put your finger on. Hate Crew Deathroll gives me a feeling akin to making a sinister grin and despite moments of cheese, this album is a solid melodic death exploration.

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