Children of Bodom - Hatebreeder (1999)Release ID: 5080

Children of Bodom - Hatebreeder (1999) Cover
Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / April 15, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

It's no mistake that Hatebreeder (not to be confused with metal/hardcore band Hatebreed) is considered a shining breakthrough for Children of Bodom. Their mighty blend of melodeath and power metal has been put together in place after the incoherent building blocks of their debut Something Wild. That's the kind of sound I enjoyed when I was younger and up to revisiting. The intensity and variation are arranged together for the classic sound of Bodom!

Some might say that the melody doesn't reach its full height until Follow the Reaper, and while that's true, Hatebreeder greatly displays the well-structured interplay of guitars and synths. The devastating drumming and distorted guitars are in almost perfect form for the album's uniqueness.

Sparks fly in rapid fire with "Warheart", a chaotic blast of an opening track that already solidifies where the band stand in the Finnish metal throne alongside Nightwish. "Silent Night, Bodom Night" has a riff that sounds almost like something from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, and the rest of the song is so distinctly unique. The title track is actually a bit restrained in the vocals and keyboards. Nonetheless, the keyboard ambience and soloing are what makes this sound so unique.

The guitars and keyboards perfectly duel with each other in "Bed of Razors". It's the most melodic song here to get you hooked from the keyboard intro to the catchy chorus, and even some cool surprises in the verses. The melodic instruments really take the spotlight, especially when the keyboard has orchestra-like ambience and killer soloing. Perhaps one of the most memorable songs here, and one I still remember for so long! "Towards Dead End" has an Eastern vibe in the guitars and keyboards, and towards the end, a stroll through an oriental garden turns into a magical battle during the soloing duel. I would've considered "Black Widow" perfect if not for the out-of-nowhere F-bomb.

Then we have the thrashy "Wrath Within", hinting at the band's later direction. The band's own theme "Children of Bodom", re-recorded from an earlier single, has some of the most exciting soloing from this album and band. The harpsichord leading the guitar melody might remind some of King Diamond before unleashing some more complex hooks. Anyone new to this kind of sound needs to concentrate well to hear all the different elements, so you can enjoy it all at its fullest. The melodic "Downfall" shall be appreciated as kick-starting the band's atmospheric side that they had displayed ever since. The deluxe edition comes with two covers, the first being "No Commands" by Stone, a band featuring later Bodom guitarist Roope Latvala. The cover of Iron Maiden's "Aces High" is quite fun, despite the vocals sounding unfitting.

Hatebreeder is a fun album to revisit in an attempt to bring back a bit of melodeath/power metal back into my taste. I can probably also do the same with Follow the Reaper sometime in the future. For now, let's appreciate this innovative addition to the melodeath realm from this band led by the late great Alexi Laiho! RIP

Favorites: "Warheart", "Silent Night, Bodom Night", "Bed of Razors", "Children of Bodom", "Downfall", "Aces High" (Iron Maiden cover)


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Power Metal (conventional)

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Melodic Death Metal

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