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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