Children Of Bodom
Holiday At Lake Bodom - 15 Years Of Wasted Youth

1. Hate Crew Deathroll
2. Shovel Knockout
3. Hate Me
4. Everytime I Die
5. Needled 24/7
6. I’m Shipping Up to Boston
(Dropkick Murphys cover, previously unreleased)
7. Sixpounder
8. Warheart
9. Roundtrip to Hell and Back
10. Trashed, Lost & Strungout
11. Living Dead Beat
12. Deadnight Warrior
13. Blooddrunk
14. Follow The Reaper
15. Are You Dead Yet?
16. Silent Night, Bodom Night
17. Jessie’s Girl
(Rick Springfield cover, previously unreleased)
18. In Your Face
19. Angels Don’t Kill
20. Downfall

Alexi Laiho (Lead vocals & lead guitar)
Jaska Raatikainen (Drums)
Henkka Seppälä (Bass & backing vocals)
Janne Wirman (Keyboards & synthesizer)
Roope Latvala (Rhythm guitar & backing vocals on tracks 2, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 & 18)
Alexander Kuoppala (Rhythm guitar & backing vocals on tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 16, 19 & 20)

Something Wild (1997)
Hatebreeder (1999)
Follow the Reaper (2000)
Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)
Are You Dead Yet? (2005)
Blooddrunk (2008)
Relentless Reckless Forever (2011)

Kimberly Goss (screams on 8, 16 & 20)

Anssi Kippo (producer & recorder on 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 16, 19, 20 & mix on 12)
Jokke Ryhanen (ass. engineer on 12)
Pasi Karppa (ass mix on 12)
Mikko Karmila (producer & recorder on 11, 13, 15, 18, mix on 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20 & add. treatment on 3, 4 & 14)
Peter Tägtgren (production & engineer on 3, 4, 14 & vocals recorder on 13)
Lars Szöke (ass engineer on 3, 4 & 14)
Mikko Jussila (mastering on 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18 & 19)
Matt Hyde (producer & recorder on 2 & 9)
Chris Rakestraw (recorder on 2 & 9)
Tom Baker (master on 2 & 9)
Children Of Bodom (add. producers & recorders on all songs)

Released 22/5-2012
Reviewed 26/6-2012

nuclear blast

Unfortunately I haven't had much time to listen to my favorite band the last couple of years as I've had so many albums to review and so much work to handle. Because of this I got very happy to see Children Of Bodom release a compilation album with songs from all of their seven studio albums as it gave me a reason to listen to these songs once again. The album contains 20 songs, with two covers and 18 songs from their collected from their albums the following way: One from 'Something Wild' released in 1997 (track 12, Deadnight Warrior), three from 'Hatebreeder' released in 1999 (track 8, Warheart; track 16, Silent Night, Bodom Night and track 20, Downfall), three from 'Follow The Reaper' released in 2000 (track 3, Hate Me; track 4, Everytime I Die and track 14, Follow The Reaper), four from 'Hate Crew Deathroll' released in 2003 (track 1, Hate Crew Deathroll; track 5, Needled 24/7; track 7, Sixpounder and track 19, Angels Don't Kill), four from 'Are You Dead Yet?' released in 2005 (track 10, Trashed, Lost And Strungout; track11, Living Dead Beat; track 15, Are You Dead Yet? and track 18, In Your Face), one from 'Blooddrunk' released in 2008 (track 13, Blooddrunk) and two from 'Relentless Reckless Forever' released last year (track 2, Shovel Knockout and track 9, Roundtrip To Hell And Back). You might think that a cavalcade of Children Of Bodom like this couldn't be anything but christmas for a fan like me that still say they are the best despite almost not hearing them for a very long time, but as some of you might know preferences change as you develop as person so perhaps instead of christmas 'Holiday At Lake Bodom' might be a rude awakening from my glorified illusions about this band?

Sound wise and as a band, Children Of Bodom has gone through quite a big change during their 15 years long career without actually leaving their original idea and music foundation. The band has taken on a notably heavier approach with their later albums and I personally haven't been as fanatic about the later albums compared to the earlier as I've experienced them (and particularly 'Blooddrunk') as too heavy and too aggressive for me. The idea with melodic, guitar-driven death metal in extreme high speed is not too different though and the music is still as impressing as it's always been despite getting somewhat heavier. Yet, the first thing I notice when viewing the track list of this best-of album is that they only have one song from 'Blooddrunk' (and one from 'Something Wild) so perhaps there are more than me who consider that album the weakest Children of Bodom album - despite the fact that it's their most successful album so far? The one-CD album has been packed with almost exactly 80 minutes of Bodom after midnight but the chronology of the songs hasn't been followed and the songs come in a, chosen by the band, random order that begins with Hate Crew Deathroll and concludes with Downfall. Personally I'd liked a chronology-sorted track list but had they done that they would end the album with two covers following the two 'Relentless Reckless Forever' songs, which hadn't felt right either, so I guess the order is OK.

I really like every song on this album, except for perhaps the covers, and even though my dream line-up had included a couple of switches I consider this a great compilation with a nice running order. However, when it comes to the necessity of this album it's another question all together. I really have a hard time to see why people should buy a best-of album these days if the best-of doesn't offer anything in particular music-wise as all songs are possible to download individually anyway through iTunes. And that's cheaper too. Sure, you get two never before released covers as well as the documentary and the specially written liner notes by the band about each song included, but are these really worth the price of a normal full-length album for songs already heard and perhaps owned? No, I don't think so…

A couple of years ago, Helloween released their anniversary album for their first 25 years and on that album they recorded every song again and made them completely different compared to their originals. That was exciting! But to simply gather some songs and bunch them on an album with two covers is not particularly exciting and I just don't think Bodom makes this album enough value for money for their fans. The new Shovel Knockout video included on the album is possible to watch at the huge internet video gallery whose name shall remain unmentioned and as I said it's possible to get the songs elsewhere and the liner notes - who really cares for them anyway? Perhaps die-hard fans and they already own every song on this album, the only reason they should buy this album is for the collectable-sake. Perhaps people who collect Children Of Bodom thinks it's worth investing in the album for the cover art, the liner notes and the documentary, but who else?

So what could they have done different to make it better? Well, music-wise there's absolutely nothing wrong with this collection and I still think the music is as great as I remember it to be on the original releases that all stand lined up along with the live-albums and EPs in my record collection (I own every Children Of Bodom-release to date) but the problem is the same as with every best-of album - do we really need them? Especially in this day and age? Sure, it's a good way to give fans a chance to rapidly get to know the band quite easily but in a time when you can download songs individually anyway - haven't this kind of albums played out their time? Wouldn't it be better to suggest "best-of playlists" on their website every now and then and then their fans could buy the missing songs if they can't play such a list? Because with a best-of album today, it's almost a must to offer something extra even with the music. To rerecord all songs could be one way to do it, especially when it comes to the really old material that both sounds pretty different compared to the Bodom of today and had a member that isn't in the band any longer. But then you have the 'Relentless Reckless Forever' songs that was released last year and they hardly need to rerecorded so they would almost have to be left out (as well as the covers which never even should have been there in the first place). So what to do?

Well, I think they should have done something, anything new with the songs on the album since only collecting songs already released isn't particularly interesting anymore. I want to get (and with that I also mean hear) something that makes the album worthy the money it cost and not just get the old stuff along with a so-so documentary and so-so comments to these old songs. Music-wise it's an amazing album with plenty of gold, but I still don't see any reason for buying this album unless you're a huge fan or collector. If you're a new fan, you might as well buy the songs separately at your favorite download site.



Label: Spinefarm
Three similar bands: Norther/Imperanon/Dark Tranquillity
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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