Children Of Bodom – 15 Years Of Wasted Youth (Holiday At Lake Bodom)

By Tom Aylott

Joining the pantheon of Finnish exports such as Nokia, ex-Liverpool and Ajax striker Jari Litmanen and, erm, Eurovision song contest winners Lordi, Children Of Bodom here release a career retrospective cataloguing their decade-and-a-half thus far. Named after an infamous unsolved multiple homicide that took place a few miles outside their town of Espoo (quiet at the back there) at Lake Bodom, this Greatest Hits package encompasses elements of melodic death metal, thrash, power metal, prog, classical and black metal to create a maelstrom of riffage with a huge dose of fun on top.

This swaggers with a devil may care attitude – the music sways heavily on the latter side between the sublime and ridiculous, but clearly gives so miniscule a fuck it verges on the former. If you’re looking for intellectual depth, cathartic intensity and any semblance to art, this is not the record for you. If you want to drink a few beers, bang your head and grin like a loon, welcome to your personal nirvana. Coming from the same school of thought as Dragonforce where massive lead breaks, flamboyancy and a panache for the preposterous are the raison d’etre, Children Of Bodom are like an ADHD kid let loose on the Megadeth back catalogue; songs like Hate Me, Needled 24/7 and Sixpounder are either an all-out assault on what is good and pure in music or just as grin-inducing as Space Mountain aged 6.

Each album is pretty fairly represented along with a must-hear cover of “I’m Shipping Up To Boston”, the Dropkick Murphys’ effort made famous by Martin Scorsese film The Departed. This delivers exactly what a best of package is supposed to do – provide an insight into what you might have been missing out on all this time. If there is a single soul out there, including the numerous members of their fan club, the self-proclaimed “Hate Crew”, who take this seriously for one second, they may require some serious soul-searching post-haste. However, if like me you have an embracing, unabashed love of the ludicrous, pick this up and chuck those horns in the air.

OLLIE CONNORS

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