You'd think it'd be hard for a band to toil at the same sound for 10 years without getting stale and redundant, but Children Of Bodom avoid those pitfalls. And make no mistake about it: Blooddrunk is good metal, that's for sure — fast, punchy and deathly catchy. But it's also just a cleverly disguised rehash of the same sound Bodom has used on every album they've ever done.

But who cares? Again, it's good — so why fuck with a working formula? Blooddrunk is a platter of thrash-y speed metal spread out over nine short flashes with typical metal romps full of flittering guitar fills and a thudding low end. Despite modern metal's overbearing need to tout its devotion to itself, Children Of Bodom are devoid of bombast. The band is home to some very skilled players but, thankfully, they don't fall privy to yanking their dicks in your face with histrionic musical show-offs and unneeded skill mongering either. The guitars run marathons, yes, but the sound is balanced by a keen sense of composition. And as fast as Blooddrunk is, it's also amazingly melodic and hummable.

A major drawback is the horrendous growled vocal abortions of guitarist Alexi Laiho, who would probably sound better if someone ripped his throat out and recorded that. Overall, however, Blooddrunk is good, if redundant, and if the band's fans can take another 40 minutes of the same ol' same ol', then Bodom has undoubtedly scored another hit.

Kent Alexander writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].

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