A new Children of Bodom album calls for more than a little celebration, and consternation. COB has been confusing listeners and reviewers for several albums now with their mixture of metal styles. Relentless Reckless Forever is no different.
In one sense, this work picks up where 2008's Blooddrunk left off, with solid evidence of classic thrash metal coursing throughout. The title cut and the unusually titled Pussyfoot Miss Suicide certainly borrow from that motif. However, Relentless Reckless Forever finds Children of Bodom doing what they do best: thundering along with intensity of power metal, mashing it with speed and thrash and the wit of a classic metal fret feast from Alexi Laiho. Oh yes, don't forget those sometime nuances of prog metal. Then call it 'death' metal simply because that's how Laiho sings. I still don't like the death vocal side of COB, but for pure unadulterated kickass blistering Scandnavian metal, Relentless Reckless Forever is the real freakin deal. I love to hear Laiho rip it up on guitar (waiting for it on every track) and put the youngsters of modern metal to shame. Cry of the Nihilist, Ugly, Roundtrip to Hell and Back are representative of COB firing on all clylinders: furious and intense melodic metal songs.
Then, not to be pigeon-holed again, there's the rock and roll vibe within Was It Worth It? Finally, and once more, Children of Bodom gives us a cover tune, and it's classic. Well, not really. There's nothing classic about Eddie Murphy's Party All the Time: one of the worst songs of all time by a guy who can't sing for shit. But COB's cover will make you grin, maybe before laughing out loud. How or why they picked this one adds to the quizzical nature of Bodom's style.
With their seventh album Relentless Reckless Forever, Children of Bodom stays on course: defying category or definition, and delivering blistering and intense metal. Recommended.