Richard G. : We had to wait for quite some time here at Lords of Metal headquarters, but finally, only a few days before the deadline of the November issue the promo of the new Children Of Bodom record 'Are You Dead Yet?' has arrived. I have to say that I had some serious doubts about this one. I liked their previous effort 'Hate Crew Deathroll' a lot less than its predecessor 'Follow The Reaper', which I thought was a really good album, but again a lot less than everything main man Alexi Laiho had concocted before that. But there is relief! After a few minutes of 'Are You Dead Yet?' I already know it: this one is going to rock! The experiments with modern day influences and layers of keyboards more on the background of 'Hate Crew Deathroll' have disappeared, instead of that it's straight out melodic death/thrash metal the way we know it and like it from the Fins. Alexi is spraying his virtuoso (solo)guitars around like its nothing, keyboardist Janne Warman heroically duels with him (and obviously (see live performances) loses, since it's Alexi's party). The songs have been put together even better than on all their previous work and to me 'Are You Dead Yet?' is the perfect combination between 'Follow The Reaper' and 'Hatebreeder'. I'm already looking forward to seeing live performances of the title track, the theme track (each record has to have a song named after the lake where the band name alludes to) and the super-fast ultimate thrashers 'If You Want Peace … Prepare For War' and 'Next In Line', every single one will be responsible for relentless moshing, no doubts whatsoever. Even the not so well chosen title and the not so pretty artwork cannot prevent this album from being an absolute killer. Children Of Bodom outdo themselves greatly and leave little room for improvement. Buy or die!