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The album is the first to use a power metal-influenced sound in addition to the black metal and symphonic metal elements from previous albums—present mainly in the keyboards, vocals, and fast tempos. Many songs on the album became live setlist favorites, such as "Everytime I Die", "Hate Me!", and the title track. The song "Mask of Sanity" is a remake of the song "Talking of the Trees" from their early demo Shining (released as IneartheD).
Follow the Reaper was recorded and mixed at Peter Tägtgren's Abyss studio in Sweden, instead of the Finnish Astia-studio from Anssi Kippo, in which they had recorded all of their previous releases, including the demos from IneartheD. On this album, Children of Bodom used D standard tuning (D,G,C,F,A,D), which was also used on Hatebreeder.