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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional music
Here is a run-down of Bodom's new album:

Track 1) Not My Funeral: whether intentionally or not, the album kicks off with a riff almost identical to that which kicked off 1999's Follow The Reaper (the band's masterpiece, in my opinion.) It's a very strong opening track, with an excellent chorus (tasteful use of solo guitar to complement the words) and a solo...
Published on 8 Mar 2011 by Dave Hall

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do it for me
This album doesn't do it for me. It lacks the nice melodies and cool riffs that Hate Cew and Follow the Reaper had. I'm especially disappointed that the combination of keyboard/guitar melodies isn't there. Also, Alexi's leads might be technically great, but totally lack musical character; they remind me a bit of Slayer:...
Published 23 months ago by abb1812


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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional music, 8 Mar 2011
By 
Dave Hall (Ekaterinburg, Russia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
Here is a run-down of Bodom's new album:

Track 1) Not My Funeral: whether intentionally or not, the album kicks off with a riff almost identical to that which kicked off 1999's Follow The Reaper (the band's masterpiece, in my opinion.) It's a very strong opening track, with an excellent chorus (tasteful use of solo guitar to complement the words) and a solo quite reminiscent of the brilliant solo towards the end of Hate Me. This opening track is tuneful, brilliantly played, with a lot of variety. Interesting from first note to last, never dull, nothing repeated. It also, in my opinion, summarises what sets this band apart from many others: their albums may be short, and always contain only 9 songs, but at their best they manage to pack more musical ideas into a single track than most groups manage in an entire album.

Track 2) Shovel Knockout. A lot going on in this song, which begins with a rumbling bass line. Again, many musical ideas, a lot of creative energy. The first half is not as effective as the 2nd. The first part of the song (the first minute or so) is fast and shouty, not especially catchy. But then the kyboards and the chorus kick in, and it becomes an album highlight, Bodom at their best. An excellent solo, and good unison lines at the end. Very technical musicianship.

Track 3) Roundtrip To Hell and Back. The best song on the album, a masterpiece from first note to last. Not only one of their best ever songs, but one of the best metal songs of all time. If it is comparable to anything, it would probably be Every Time I Die, from Follow The Reaper. Similar pace and structure. What elevates this track to the pantheon of exceptional Bodom tracks is the keyboards. The solo is the end is sublime and fits perfectly with what has gone before. Alexi deservedly gets so many plaudits, but Janne is a vastly under-rated component of this group.

Track 4) Pussyfoot Miss Suicide. Sad to say, quite a forgettable track, one of the weakest on the album. Excellent musicianship of course, but it's just a straight-forward thrash-fest. Impressive soloing from Alexi and Janne, but it lacks melody and never really holds the interest. Fans of Slayer will like this song, but I didn't, because what I value in Bodom (what makes them unique) is their meshing of classical structures and textures with speed and energy. This song has plenty of speed, but little invention. It sounds like something which was left off Blooddrunk. 4 minutes of very well-played noise.

Track 5) Relentless Reckless Forever: 2nd best song on the album, opening with 3 simple ear-shattering blasts of pure metal but ten getting very complex very soon. Great melodies, good keyboards, and very original music. This, again, is the kind of song which Bodom produce every once in a while which sounds like it was written in a moment of white-hot inspiration (as almost all of their first 3 albums sounded), rather than because they had made a decision to sit down and make another album. It sounds like a bunch of guys with almost supernatural skill, who adore the kind of music they play, letting the creative instinct flow. A wonderful track, with a spine-chilling chorus.

Track 6) Ugly. Special mention in this song goes to Alexi's solo, which is brilliantly-written, tasteful, suits the song perfectly, and needless to say is artfully played. A very strong track, following the trsusted Bodom structure of riff - chorus - solo - riff - chorus - guitar solo - keyboard solo - unison - coda. One of the fastest tracks on the album. Riff reminded me a little of the song Are You Dead Yet. Lovely chorus.

Track 7) Cry of the Nihilist. A pleasing nod to the classically inspired solos which defined their first 3 or 4 albums. The music here (as opposed to Pussyfoot Miss Suicide) is thoughtful and melodic, not just aimless, lightning-fast shredding. A good, complex riff, good use of keyboards. Some odd vocal effects, it seems to me, but this isn't too distracting, because I don't really listen to Bodom for the singing or the lyrics.

Track 8) Was It Worth It? Never before has a Bodom track divided opinion as much as this one. I guess everyone reading this has already heard it, since is has been available on Youtube for a month or so. Personally I like this song very much, I think it has a great riff and a wonderful chorus. The guitar solo is perhaps unusual, but overall listening to this is a very pleasant way to spend 4 minutes.

Track 9) Northpole Throwdown. The fastest and shortest song on the album. I'm not too keen on it to be honest, I'm not sure what they were doing here other than seeing how fast they could play. It reminds me of the end of Slayer's Reign in Blood album. Flat-out, break-neck speed, not very melodic and not many interesting musical ideas. Sure, it has mind-blowing musicianship, but so do a lot of bands. It lacks the Bodom touch, that unique blend of gorgeous harmonies, textures, skill, and original composition. Bodom have usually finished albums brilliantly (Downfall, Kissing The Shadows, We're Not Gonna Fall...), but this doesn't really do it for me. Too thrashy.

And there you have it, my take on Bodom's latest album. Where does it stand in the context of the rest of their catalogue? Well, to give an idea of how fanatic I am of this group I actually stepped across the border from my native country to Poland to pick up a copy, where it was released early. I have spent all weekend listening to it over and over again, so this isn't a knee-jerk reaction. I'd say this is my 2nd favourite album after Follow The Reaper.

It contains 2 tracks which are up there with the best music ever written in the metal genre (I can't be bothered to get involved in the tedious debate over which sub-genre they belong to; it's all metal to me):

Roundtrip To Hell and Back
Relentless Reckless Forever

It contains a collection of songs which are excellent examples of intelligent, tasteful, energetic, soulful, technical and passionate musicianship:

Not My funeral
Ugly
Cry of the Nihilist
Was It Worth It?
Shovel Knockout

And 2 not-so-strong songs, but still outstanding by any other band's standards:

Pussyfoot Miss Suicide
Northpole Throwdown

My unequivocal recommendation is to buy this album because when these 5 guys are on form there is really nobody else that I know of who can match them for natural talent and musical ability. As a parting note, and on the off-chance any of the Bodom guys are reading this, thank you to you all for producing music which makes my life better. See you on tour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Metal's best, 9 April 2013
By 
J Coles (Kettering, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
I purchased this album through cdspot and it arrived much quicker than expected (only a few days). Included was a hand written thank you note from cdspot (now that's unheard of) which was a pleasent surprise. I will be buying from cdspot in the future.

As for the album, if you like Children of Bodom then you will love this album. It's one of their best and easily one of the best in the metal genre.

The only regret I have is that I didn't buy this sooner!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Children Of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever, 13 Aug 2013
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
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2011's Relentless Reckless Forever is the seventh full-length studio album by the Finnish Melodic Death Metal band Children Of Bodom. There are nine tracks and the album clocks in at a succinct 36 minutes.

It was seen at the time of its release as something of a return to form for the band as it brought back touches of the speed and neoclassical elements that had been toned down on the Are You Dead Yet? and Blooddrunk records. It's a remarkably slick, professional sounding, expertly produced affair, blending the sounds of records like Are You Dead Yet? and the savagery of earlier stuff like Hatebreeder.

The sound is a mixture of the modern Bodom style of Groove Metal bounce, Slight industrial tinged mechanical sounding riffs, and the occasional slow sections with the early Bodom recipe of Thrash riffs, Death riffs, mostly Melodic lead guitar, frequent guitar solos, a lot of double-kicks, interesting drum fills, and a sort of Power Metal style larger-than-life bombast. That's all topped off with Alexi's instantly recognizable voice.

Some fans aren't so keen on this record, or the two which preceded it, and only enjoy the early stuff, so maybe its not the best place to start. Pick up the classics first, and if you still want some more Bodom this is a good place to go next. I wouldn't necessarily pick this particular record to win over a non-fan with, but I wouldn't neglect it when choosing a best-of playlist. For what its worth, I personally enjoy this album a hell of a lot and listen to it pretty often.

Highlights include the opener `Not My Funeral,' the closer `Northpole Throwdown' and the lyrically offensive but incredibly catchy `Pussfoot Miss Suicide.'

In Summary; If you like Heavy Metal, virtuosic guitar and keyboard playing, technicality and don't dislike harsh vocal styles, then Children Of Bodom are definitely a band you should consider trying out. Relentless Reckless Forever is very solid Bodom record and all but the most jaded and groove-hating fans should find something to like about it. There are enough interesting songs and enjoyable lead guitar moments that fans should find an enjoyable addition to their collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Not My Favorite", 9 Jun 2013
Children Of Bodom have never made a bad album (though Are We Dead Yet was the closest they got). This is no exception. Excellent keyboard work, terrific guitar melodies by Laiho and Latvala, and a stellar vocal performance by Laiho should make the album worthy of 5 stars. But it isn't. Not by a long shot. While songs such as "Shovel Knockout" and "Roundtrip To Hell And Back" are arguably some of the band's finest to date, for every great song, there is a song that, by Bodom standards at least, is merely average. You could say they sound "Ugly" in comparison (sorry, had to!). With this and the previous 2 albums, COB have added elements of thrash metal into thier song structures, most noticeable in "Northpole Throwdown". While thrash is perfectly fine, (indeed, thrash got me into metal) it doesn't do Bodom any favors, not on this album. The album as a whole is still better than average, which is what I have come to expect of Bodom, but is still sub-par for Bodom. I would still listen to this over Blooddrunk or Are We Dead Yet? any day. A great album, just not a great Bodom album.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it was worth it, 14 April 2011
This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
Relentless Reckless Forever, is the best Children of Bodom album up to date. Hearing them going back to their 'old stuff' is amazing! From its great opening song Not My Funeral, to the second to last closing song Was It Worth It?, gets all Children of Bodom fans up and ready for more. I completely recommend Relentless Reckless Forever for all Children of Bodom fans, and for people who want to try them out.

* This review was written by my daughter, as I bought the CD for her.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good return to form, 5 April 2011
By 
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
Children of Bodom haven't had it easy in recent years. After wowing the metal world with their first few offerings, COB became the band everybody loves to hate after their recent albums saw a move away from their signiture neoclassical/melodic/power/black sound towards a more mainstream groove-metal orientated style. That this has coincided with the bands increasing popularity stateside has caused many to dub the band as 'sell-outs' and the old 'i liked them before they were popular' pretention has never been applied more liberally. So, with so many calling Relentless Reckless Forever COB's return to their glory days, I had to check it out.

So just how is RRF? Well, funnily enough, I wouldn't call this the return to the style of Hatebreeder/follow The Reaper I've read about on the internet. The neoclassical melodies of those albums are nowhere to be found, and RRF retains many modern elements that Bodom brought in on Are You Dead Yet and Blooddrunk. But is this a bad album? HELL NO! this is, for me, the most enjoyable Bodom album since Hate Crew, and while it's not the rebirth of their original sound, it is a return to the high quality of music we used to expect from the band. More importanly, the melodic aspect of the band, particularly the power metal melody, makes a welcome return to the fold. Subsequently, RRF is a far more engaging and memorable offering then Are You Dead Yet or Blooddrunk (which wern't that bad, were they? oh, maybe Blooddrunk was)

Yup, the melodies are back and RRF rocks hard! While Not My Funeral might not be the most explosive opener the band has produced, it sets the tone nicely with some great melodic riffing, nice keys and tasty anthemic chorus. Shovel Knockout sees heavier riffing and a slower pace, more in line with newer Bodom material, yet the rediscovered melodies carry the song through. However, RRF reall gets going with Round Trip to Hell and Back, an absolute highlight of the album which reminds me a lot of Every Time I Die and Angels Don't Kill. From their on out it's all good, with other stand outs being the ultra-technical riffing of Ugly and Northpole Throwdown and the pendulum grooves of Was It Worth It. The band also throws in some classic rock influences at times, such as the southern swing of Pussfoot Mass Suicide, while the chorus riffing of Cry of the Nihilist brings back memories of Thin Lizzy. But, overall, the quality of the album is much higher then their last two, especially in terms of guitar riffs and harmonies, and now that Alexi and co have remembered how important melodies are to their music, the blandness of BloodDrunk is all but a distant memory! The only thing that's really missing from RRF is the speed and aggression of earlier works, but then again the riffing and the keys are so could i can kinda forgive them. I do find myself wishing the drumming was a bit more furious at times though...

RRF might not be as good as Hatebreeder or Follow the Reaper, and it's probably not good enough for all the pretentious Bodom-haters out there. However, I haven't had as much fun listening to a new a Bodom album this much since Hate Crew, and by bringing back the anthemic power metal element of their music the Bodom lads not only reignited the compelling power of their music but also my interest in the band. Thanks Bodom!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommendable, 2 April 2011
This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
Although my 4 star rate might indicate otherwise, I have some points on which I disagree with the two reviews that have been written here on COB's latest release so far. I'll run down the album track by track, but let me please at first note one thing which has always been annoying me about COB albums: The fact that they are much too short for metal releases. "Relentless Reckless Forever" like its predecessors is no exception and takes only 36 minutes. That may be alright with punk bands, but not with metal bands. In this regard, COB are definitely far below average. Ok, but let's judge the album from the musical point of view:

1. "Not my funeral" indeed starts with a riff similar to the one kicking off the "Follow the reaper" album (although it was published in 2000, not in 1999). But apart from that, the songs don't have much in common. The keyboard dominance from the first three albums is gone although Janne Warman still makes his contributions to the unique COB sound. The chorus is pretty cool and at the beginning of the fantastic solo part there are really nice in unison guitar/keyboard lines. The song in general shares features with most recent albums, but not so much with the old ones.

2. "Shovel Knockout" is one of my favourites on the album. Excellent musicianship, and I have always liked the way how drummer Jaska Raatikainen gives even more effect to the guitar riffs by his double bass drumming. Unlike the first reviewer I really like the contrast between the blast part of the first chorus and the second part when the keyboards join in with a bone-chilling string sound. Fantastic! The constant changes of harmony in that part and the following guitar solo part are also remarkable. The guitar and keyboard solos are flawless...or let's say almost. The last note (building up a sixth if I'm not mistaken) in the parallel keyboard solo part (at 3:16) irritates me and seems to be misplaced. But that's maybe too fussy...

3. "Roundtrip to Hell and Back" one of the strongest tracks on the album, one of their best ever songs, one of the best metal songs of all time??? Sorry, never ever!!! It's just a compilation of all their mid-tempo songs from former albums (such like "Angels don't kill", "Punch me I bleed", "Banned from heaven"), with slightly more speed (more in the Moderato than in the Andante tempo), and that exactly is the explanation why "Roundtrip to Hell and Back" does not last 5 minutes like most of the above mentioned songs, but only 3:46. In addition, there is nothing special at all about the song, boring from the beginning to the end. The keyboard solo at the end undoubtedly is nicely played, but the ritardando at the end reminds me too much of the ritardandos at the end of all the twin songs.

4. "Pussyfoot Miss Suicide" is everything but a forgettable track. I can't see where the song is the alleged thrash-fest. Great riffs, very accentuated, gorgeous solo interaction between Alexi and Janne, and the typical COB sound in the chorus with a melody played in unison between guitar and keyboards.

5. "Relentless Reckless Forever": There is nothing else to say in addition to the review of Dave Hall. Exceptionally, I completely agree with his opinion ;-). My favourite song together with "Shovel Knockout" and "Ugly".

6. "Ugly" is maybe the most innovative song on the new album although it's still in line with the stuff they had done before. It starts with a galloping riff that is built up gradually until you can't to anything else but bang your head to the double bass flow. After that the song surprisingly turns into a ¾ time signature, I would call it an odd time signature for COB. But I like it very much! The chorus is great, and so are the solos although the guitar solo is not so much based on tempo but on melody, not the worst choice indeed!

7. "Cry of the Nihilist" is a very good song without being excellent. The mid-tempo riff at the beginning always reminds of Metallica riffs although I cannot say why let alone prove it. The coolest passage of the song starts at 1:40, again a template for how the drummer can effectively contribute to the overall result. The solos which follow are in the best COB vein.

8. "Was It Worth It?" had already been available on youtube for some time before the official release of the album. After the first listening I thought it would rather fit on the 2009 COB cover album "Skeletons in the Closet", but it really is their own work. And somehow I like it. A driving shuffle rhythm, catchy guitar riffing, excellent keyboard sounds and odd, but very good solos.

9. "Northpole Throwdown" definitely is the fastest and heaviest, but also the shortest song on the album. In the view of the other critics it seems to be one of the weaker songs. But why? The verses with their staccato guitar/keyboard riffing are addictive, the solos are superfast and full of strange guitar sounds (that's what I like from time to time in Alexi's solos). And the drum fill leading into the solos is so simple, but just fantastic at the same time: starting with 16th notes on the snare drum and then doubling them with 16th notes on the double bass. Wow! It might depend on the taste of the listener, but I like this song very much. Funny thing about it: It's the only song of which the lyrics are not included in the booklet.

Résumé: Before writing this review, I was convinced that this was one of the weaker COB albums. But actually it's not. By examining the music in more detail, I realised that there is much too discover and that there are many nice neat little ideas that make this album a special one. But unfortunately, "Roundtrip to Hell and Back" is pulling the album down, and that's why I can't award five but only four stars. Nevertheless, highly recommendable!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power-Metal, 11 Mar 2011
By 
Max Watt (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Relentless Reckless Forever (Audio CD)
This is an album which is enjoyable on many levels. In the tradition of COB albums, it has a great mixture of both powerful melody and heaviness.

It opens with a bang with "Not My Funeral", listening to which you won't be able to help but headbang from start to finish. A powerful chorus, and a great song, but the easiest to dismiss. For some reason, I have no desire to listen to this one over and over.

"Shovel Knockout" is my favorite track. It opens with speed and heaviness, but then it surprises us with gorgeous melody. This is the reason why Children of Bodom are my favorite band of recent times.

"Roundtrip to Hell and Back" induces a slower, softer sound. This one I find to be a lacking. There is little to hold my interest save the power of the opening riff, and it is a fairly boring song.

Track 4 brings back speed and heaviness. This is a more addictive, tongue-in-cheek song. The riffs stay in my head all day. The combination of keyboards and guitars in the chorus is particularly powerful.

The title song is another heavy one, but ironically another of the weaker songs in my opinion. Obviously, it's fantastic song, but in comparison to songs such as "Shovel knockout" and "Ugly" it just feels bland.

"Ugly" is my second favorite. The track opens with a chugging riff and then breaks into a melodic verse, accentuated by Warman's keyboards. The chorus is one of the best moments on the album, it has such a surprising sound that I can't get enough of.

My initial reaction to "Cry of the Nihilist" was that it was the next "Follow the Reaper", but now I think it's a more mediocre COB track. The solo two thirds through is another highlight of the album. It packs so much power it will knock you off your feet.

"Was it Worth It" is a great melodic song, and another of my favorites. There are some fantastic riffs, and the chorus is wonderful. The song sticks out like a sore thumb in the COB library, but it it's versatility makes it one of their best.

"Northpole Throwdown" is the fastest, heaviest song on the album. I love it. Previous COB albums have ended with power, but this one ends with speed. People have complained about it being the shortest song, but why is that such an issue? Fast songs work much better that way. Short but sweet. It's like the album's exclamation mark.

I can confidently recommend this album both to COB fans and outsiders (it's a great place to start). It's a fantastic metal album. The album manages to be entirely original and new, yet it still retains the classic sound of albums such as "Follow the Reaper" and "Hatebreeder" ("Blooddrunk" doesn't spring to mind at all.) 2011 is shaping up to be one hell of a year for metal!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars there back with a bang., 5 May 2011
i am a huge COB fan and love them to bits even when everyone thought they were loosing there touch when they realeased "are you dead yet" and "Blooddrunk".There was nothing paticulary wrong with them but it just diddent have that spark they prodeuced that made the others so addictive. i dident think any lower of them its a wonder how "are you dead yet" is there most succsesfull since everyone thought it was diffrent from the rest. but for those that think that then this album takes it back according to some "Relentless, Reckless, Forever" is a significant return to form from blaze opening "Not My Funeral" onwards espeacialy from there gloriuse single "Was it Worth it". they are back at there best every one who is a Bodom fan get it, it wont disapoint.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do it for me, 3 Oct 2012
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This album doesn't do it for me. It lacks the nice melodies and cool riffs that Hate Cew and Follow the Reaper had. I'm especially disappointed that the combination of keyboard/guitar melodies isn't there. Also, Alexi's leads might be technically great, but totally lack musical character; they remind me a bit of Slayer: "WiidiiidididdiidlelldieiiII-yayayayayyayayay-weeEEIEEIIIE!" goes one, "trilllilililiililwiwiedlieiieieyuuuUUUUhhh!" the next. Where are the cool leads as on the earlier albums? The album shares too much of the weak points of Blooddrunk, which I also thought was mediocre.
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Relentless Reckless Forever by Children of Bodom (Audio CD - 2011)
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