It's difficult to imagine where a band can go after they release an album so completely different than their previous work, just as CHILDREN OF BODOM did with their 2008 thrashfest, "Blooddrunk". Many speculated that the band had turned its back on its original sound for something heavier and more generic. To these fans, "Relentless Reckless Forever" should come as quite a surprise, as they have returned to their melodic roots and brought back the catchier elements that they built their success upon. With this album, the band proves that they've still got their groove.
The album begins with "Not My Funeral", a song featuring absolutely everything that is great about the band: a heavy verse, majestic keyboards, a catchy as hell chorus, and beautiful, long winding solos to boot. It's classic BODOM at its best! "Shovel Knockout" is perhaps the best song on the album, featuring the most epic guitar work we've heard from them since the title track of "Are You Dead Yet?". The next four tracks play out in traditional BODOM-esque style, with a few spontaneous and rambunctious quirks thrown in for good measure; but the real beauty of it all lies in the melodic nature of the dual guitar work, something that was sorely missed in "Blooddrunk". The keyboards, as always, really shine on their own solo work, but there's a real sense of atmosphere to them as well that has been missing from the band's last few efforts. "Was It Worth It?" is the big party song of the album, and while not quite as interesting as some of the other more ambitious tracks, it will still have you coming back for more. The final track is yet another nod to earlier albums, featuring an arrangement of sounds that you'd only expect from this particular outfit. In some ways it is the weakest track of the record, but it has a lot in common with previous album enders.
If anything, "Relentless Reckless Forever" is a really fun album to listen to. It doesn't get stale or boring after just a few short listens, and it really feels like they've brought back their original brand of Melodic Death Metal. The only thing you can really complain about is how short it is, but that just spurns you to start over from the beginning again all the more quickly.