Ranking CHILDREN OF BODOM: The Studio Albums – Worst to First

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5. Halo of Blood (2013)

Bands, fans, and critics often talk about a artist’s return to vintage form, and often it’s simply wishful thinking. In the case of Halo of Blood, Bodom did actually manage to tap back into the group’s earlier style with some effectiveness. The aforementioned brilliance of Wirman and Laiho is once again laid out in technical dexterity and memorable form. A good half if this album is among the band’s strongest work in years. While it does not live up to the mighty standards set by the top three albums on this list, it’s certainly refreshing that the band still has the heart and creative prowess to keep us interested.  Alexi’s Rank: #8

4. Hexed (2019)

 After a decade of albums which failed to various degrees to recapture the magic of the band’s early successes, Hexed is the album that finally fulfills that promise. The record manages to reinvigorate Bodom’s vintage sound with the modern aspects the band has added to its weaponry over the years. From the punchy  and energetic opener, “This Road,” the band is in its element. The production is effectively polished yet equally vital. The album is packed with solid tunes fueled with melody and adrenaline; “Under Grass and Clover,” “Glass Houses,” “Kick in a Spleen,” and the title track all fit this mold, while songs like “Hecate’s Nightmare” strike a darker note. The aggression is dialed up, and each individual performance is on point. While it cannot quite unseat the Top 3 albums on our list, it gets damn close, and that’s refreshing after all this time.  Alexi’s Rank: #2

3. Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)

Following the undeniably dark mastery of Follow the Reaper, CoB returned with Hate Crew Deathroll. High expectations awaited and hopes were not dashed. Straight from the buzzsaw riffage and break-neck propulsion of “Needled 24/7,” the band is on fire. They follow with the crushing intro and bruising onslaught of “Sixpounder” which they drop right on the listener’s skull. Despite the chaos and brutality that resonates throughout the record, there is a playfulness to it all as well, which is what makes the record so infectious. Children of Bodom provide a perfect bridge between traditional metal and extreme metal, serving as a gateway between those worlds for those that enjoy the balance of extreme and melodic. Hate Crew Deathroll is arguably the best example of that.    Alexi’s Rank: #1

2. Hatebreeder (1999)

The band’s sophomore album would prove to be significantly stronger and more coherent as a whole than the debut effort, Something Wild. In fact, many fans still hail it as the band’s finest work. From the opening bass rumble to the cacophony of keyboards and guitars of “Warheart”, Hatebreeder sets off on a manic and intense journey that culminates in the darkly atmospheric mid-tempo closer, “Downfall”. In betwixt is a series of infectious melodeath with neo-classic inspirations and power metal attitude. Packed with crisp riffs, big melodies, and Laiho’s gritty rasp, the album is a surefire winner from beginning to end.   Alexi’s Rank: #4

1. Follow the Reaper (2000)

One could make a fair argument that either Hatebreeder or Hate Crew Deathroll are deserving of the #1 spot. I won’t take that belief away from anyone that espouses such notions. However, when all the pros and cons are laid bare, Follow the Reaper manages to edge them both out (though not by a whole lot). At the turn of the century, née  millennium, Children of Bodom was at its creative peak. The band unleashed three albums in sequence that remain the seminal triptych of Bodom’s arsenal of power-infused melodeath. If one were to ask me which CoB album they should pick up as their first taste, this has to be it. The band managed to take everything it had been building to through it’s debut and sophomore efforts, and serve up its most cohesive and melodic record.  Laiho delivered some of his finest fretwork and most diverse vocal assaults, and Wirman added endless moments of cinematic flair. The band’s energy level is unrivaled on any of their other other works. Everything just fell into place for Follow the Reaper and it rightfully deserves the #1 spot in the band’s canon of albums. Alexi’s Rank: #5

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