One year with Rock’n’Reel Reviews

Whilst reviewing Lost Society’s new album, it occurred to me that my review of their début was the first thing I wrote for Rock’n’Reel Reviews exactly a year ago.

Time really does move quickly. Especially when assessing so much awesome music!

Here are my metal review highlights from the past year:

Children Of Bodom – Halo Of Blood 4/5

They’re my favourite band, so of course this was excellent. The Finnish heavyweights’ most exciting work in ten years. I’m massively biased and would have loved to award it five stars. It is an excellent album though.

Havok – Unnatural Selection 3.5/5

Along with a select few, Colorado thrash pack Havok are dominating the scene and are one of my personal modern favs. Unnatural Selection may not be as frantic as its predecessor, but is packed with great tunes nonetheless.

Morgue Orgy – The Last Man On Earth 4/5

This album was an amusing surprise. Not only did it break up the colossal amount of thrash I listen to, but this groovy death metal and its spooky vibe was an entertaining and impressive début album from an unsigned, homegrown band!

Behemoth – The Satanist 4.5/5

The Satanist is an evil masterpiece and already a firm contender for album of the year. Basically everybody needs to hear it.

Savage Messiah – The Fateful Dark 4/5

Definitely another thrash recommendation, this time from London. The Fateful Dark is the most recent album that was an absolute pleasure to review. I officially label Savage Messiah under Excellent!

Hate Crew ’til I Die!

Children of Bodom have announced that their seventh album is due to arrive sometime in early 2011 and I for one am very excited. However, I can’t help but feel as though I stand completely alone in eagerly anticipating its release. I can imagine my friends now, rolling their eyes as they do so often when I begin to express my love of the band, my favourite band. They look at me as if to say “Sarah, alright the earlier albums were OK, but they’ve had their time now and they aren’t actually as amazing as you seem to think they are. So why are you in such denial?”

I get the impression that many people (if they didn’t dislike the band already) currently hold the opinion that Bodom are old news, that Are You Dead Yet? was the beginning of the end and now they simply have nothing exciting left to offer. But I disagree! The fact is, is that I do realise that their last two efforts have been slightly below par. Yes, Blooddrunk was especially disappointing. And YES I am aware that there are numerous guitarists out there who are more talented than Alexi Laiho. But these factors do not prevent me in the slightest from remaining as optimistic as ever in regards to what they have in store for us next year. Does that make me slightly delusional?

Call it wishful thinking from a slightly obsessive fan, but I hold a strong conviction that Bodom’s new album will be a leap back to good form. It will echo the sounds of earlier beauties such as Hatebreeder, Hate Crew Deathroll and maybe even Follow The Reaper; reminding many of how, once upon a time, they openly admitted to loving Children Of Bodom.

Or perhaps it is just plain denial… I do hate the idea that this album will signal the end of the road for Bodom. I wonder if every avid metal fan experiences a similar phase of refutation at the possibility of their favourite band’s gradual downfall? For years now, while my overall tastes have varied and developed I have continued to love Children of Bodom throughout. I can remember the first time I ever heard one of their songs – how I fell in love with their sound immediately. I was hooked. If I wasn’t listening to Bodom, I was either talking about them or thinking about them and this was before I had seen Alexi! I think it’s safe to say the Finnish five-piece have had a great impact on my life, musically at least.

It is difficult to pin-point the defining ingredient which put me under their spell and indeed it is unclear whether this album will be a success (on my terms at least)…or a failure. But for now my duty as one of their biggest fans is to remain hopeful and continue to defend them, even if I’m mocked for doing so!

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