Monday, December 13, 2010

Album Art Breakdown--Children of Bodom

In my daily interwebbing, I visit several blogs every day to discover things that people are listening to and what they think of them.  It's part of the fun of the webulogosphere; discovering what a bunch of nerds think about Black Label Society and other things that are much more acceptable makes me feel cool, and reading in depth their thoughts about any given album gives me an automatic opinion about whatever crap there is that I won't listen to.  Example: Korn's latest album was critically panned (and it's confusing that they are even covered on metal blogs since they haven't been a metal band in...ever), but had a surprising number of proponents who are more than happy to tell anyone that "Duuuhhhh, the ablum wnt taht bad, but Korn has defintly got badder siec they'r frist ablum, duuuuhhhhh."  Which, of course, proves that there are still a large number of Americans who huff spray paint in their parents' basement.

My most frequented site is Metalsucks, which I like because they post lots of stuff every day and participate in the dying art of journalism, wherein people try to hit the "next big scoop" by speculating on heresay rumors and, increasingly more often, cryptic and poorly-written Tweets from our favorite artists.  I was observing their fine net publication last night, and I came across something that made my heart leap in my chest: New Children of Bodom album, out March 3. (!!!)

Now, I know what you're thinking, reader.  You're thinking "Eeeeeeewwwww, Children of Bodom?  Duuuuumb!"  Which is true and valid.  I keep my love for the Amazing Flying Bodoms (and my passion for creating ridiculous alternate names for them using the word Bodom) no secret.  In the interest of full disclosure, the Bodom Family Carwash is one of the two reasons why I even got into heavy metal in the first place (you can also heap a fair amount of blame on In Flames' Whoracle), and I will defend the Bodom Steel Foundry, LLC to the death.  I think they rule, no matter how much more kvlt my tastes become, and I will almost certainly purchase this newest album as close to when it comes out as possible.  However, the actual reason I'm bringing this to your attention is because of the album art.  Welcome to the first edition of Album Art Breakdown, where I examine the dumbest album art and give you the inside skinny on what it's all about.  And this one is a doozy, too; Bodom Orphanage and Gruel House has had increasingly lame album art with increasingly high Michael Bay-style production values for quite some time, while never eschewing the theme they apparently agreed upon at the inception of the band, which is "Grim Reaper Getting Ready to Chop Stuff with Slightly Different Background."


The Bodom Manufacturing Concern has dropped another doozy of an album cover, and it maintains their zeal for Reapers A-Chopping, Dumb Fonts, and Poorly Translated Album Titles.  Let's break this down.

The Bodom Lake and River Conservation Project is obviously making a comment on the landscape of modern society with this gem.  The Reaper's clothes are much more tattered than usual, which can obviously be attributed to the global economic situation; Grim Reaping has become more competetive, and the jobs are drying up, so the Bodoms' Reaper has taken to angrily collecting trash along the highway.  That his face is now hidden is telling; likely, his wife left him for someone who collects garbage more efficiently (and not with a scythe).  Also likely, the new gentleman does not have his own Kitten Tree, where the husks of his dead kittens (Mikey I-IX) hang as a grisly reminder of his infertility and the fact that he should just stick to houseplants when it comes to nurturing living things.  His lack of respect for himself and his wife has been noticed by the neighborhood toughs, who have lately taken to toilet-papering his beloved Kitten Tree in an act of scorn, as if to say "Go back to living with your mother, homo!  You can't Grim Reap like you used to!"  And every year, on the Vernal Equinox (the yellowest day of the year), old Reaper takes an extended sojourn to his Kitten Tree, where he laments his many losses with some Punch Dancing while the city that betrayed him looms in the background.  The Bodom Brothers Haberdashery are shining light upon the rough times that befall even our reapers during this economic collapse.

The title of the album references the malaise of the Reaper's situation; his enthusiasm for reaping is offset by the fact that he can't get work doing his chosen profession, and now he spends all of his time cleaning up TP, Cheetos bags and leaves off the side of the city's major drag with the relentless recklessness of a spastic child weaned on the Jackass movies and Jersey Shore.  The dumb font reflects how dumb all of this is.

If you're interested, there's also a truly odd sample video for their lead single, titled "Was It Worth It?"  It features flaming skateboards (?), professional skateboarders doing some sweet tricks (??), and best of all, very little music with which to tittilate yourself (??!?).  Follow your nose to Metalsucks to take a gander if you're as False as I am and want to see the beginning portions of cool skateboarding tricks (is that Chris Cole?).

And I'd like to finish this post with a personal message to the Bodom Penguin Habitat Preservation Society: You aren't skate rock.  This video is confusing, and you should maybe consider adding more music to your next teaser trailer.  And I still love you.

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