Although I prefer "Hatebreeder" over "Follow the Reaper," I can't deny the continuing flawless execution of Children of Bodom's offerings. "Follow the Reaper" seems to slow things down just a tad, but that doesn't make the music any less bone-crunching or such a hoot to listen to. 'Bodom After Midnight' and 'Children of Decadence' are two of the first few tracks to get you going, and are personal favorites of mine, but the album seems to kick more into overdrive as you listen through it. It all works up to "Hate Me!" which is my ultimate favorite Children of Bodom song, period. This is a song that will get your blood pumping and put one of those big smiles on your face. The song manages to mix semi-fast, intensely heavy drums and guitars with a soloing violin (I think) at the beginning of the song, and keeps up the pace right to the end. For a song with such negative lyrics and connotations, I feel the most happy after it's all done.
Again, for fans that are skeptical about treading into death metal territory, fear not. This isn't a dark, bleak, satanic, slit-your-wrists kind of album. It's technical, complex, precise, and offsets negative notes with postive notes to give you that angry, but focused and confident feeling. If you're a fan of classic thrash metal, especially melodic in the vain of Megadeth, Anthrax, and the like, then you'll be surprised at just how easily Children of Bodom manages to ramp up the notches on all of those bands and create something infinitely more grand and appealing to the average listener. give it a listen a few times, THEN pass judgment, or you'll be missing out.