Children of Bodom

Children of Bodom is a Finnish heavy metal band from Espoo. Formed in 1993, the group currently consists of Alexi Laiho (vocals, lead guitar), Roope Latvala (rhythm guitar), Janne Wirman (keyboards), Henkka Seppälä (bass), and Jaska Raatikainen (drums). In total they have released seven studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, and one DVD.

The band’s third studio album, Follow the Reaper, was their first album to receive a Gold certification in Finland, and since then, all six of the band’s studio albums have reached the same status. In Finland, Children of Bodom has released three consecutive albums that debuted at number one on Finnish album charts, and has also seen chart positions on the United States Billboard 200.

The band has incorporated many different musical styles, leading critics and fans to label them as melodic death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and power metal.

History

Formation and early years (1993–1997)

Children of Bodom was formed in 1993 by guitarist Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of Inearthed. Both musicians had known each other since early childhood and had shared an interest in heavy metal, especially death metal groups, such as Dissection, Entombed, and Obituary. Bassist Samuli Miettinen completed the initial line-up of the band. Inearthed recorded its first demo, Implosion of Heaven, during August of the same year.

Samuli was the main composer of the band’s lyrics for the two years that he took part in Inearthed, but his family moved to the United States in 1995, making it impossible for him to remain in the band. His last contribution to Inearthed were the lyrics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiquitous Absence of Remission which was first time they worked with producer Anssi Kippo at Astia-studios (Lappeenranta, Finland). In this demo, keyboards were incorporated into the band’s songs for the first time. In order to achieve this, both Laiho and Raatikainen played the keyboards separately, and subsequently mixed the recorded track with the other instruments. Laiho, who had previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band’s lyricist.

At the time, Raatikainen played French horn in a local big band, and during a rehearsal he met Alexander Kuoppala, a trumpet player and also a proficient guitarist. Shortly after the recording of their second demo, Kuoppala was invited to join Inearthed as a rhythm guitarist.

The bassist chosen to replace Samuli was Henkka “Blacksmith” Seppälä, whom Laiho and Raatikainen had previously known from school. Apart from playing the bass, Seppälä also often doubles as the band’s backing vocalist. Also, the band recruited a musician to specialize on keyboards, whose name was Jani Pirisjoki. Both joined Inearthed in early 1996.

With this new line-up, Inearthed proceeded to record their third demo, entitled Shining. This demo did not impress record labels any more than the previous ones had, and none took interest in the band. Despite their efforts, their music got little exposure and managed only to play at local events. As a last resort, the band decided to record an independent, self-funded album. Considering that none of the musicians had much money to begin with, it was an audacious move.

Laiho wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively, though Pirisjoki was not attending rehearsals; thus, he was fired and replaced by a friend of Raatikainen’s, a jazz pianist named Janne “Warman” Wirman.

Wirman was the component which was previously missing from Inearthed. His presence allowed the band to assume the style which would later characterize Children of Bodom. With Wirman, the band successfully recorded their first album in 1997. Their debut, Something Wild, was supposed to be released by a small Belgian label, Shiver records, but second vocalist Sami Tenetz (from Thy Serpent) acquired a copy of their album through the hands of Kuoppala, both worked for the same company at the time. Shortly after Inearthed signed this contract, Spinefarm Records’ boss immediately became interested in signing them for a country-wide release. The latter deal was much more attractive to the band, since the Belgian label was offering them close to no help, to the point where they would have to distribute and sell the album themselves.

The band was required to create a new name to sign up to Spinefarm Records. The contract with Shiver records had already been signed under the name of Inearthed. The answer to that problem came as, members looked for good names in their local phone book. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realized that it was a name with impact and one which had an interesting story behind it. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom. The band’s name is derived from the Lake Bodom murders.

Something Wild

Something Wild was produced, recorded and mixed by Anssi Kippo and Children of Bodom at Astia-studios (Lappeenranta, Finland). In an attempt to promote their band, they opened a show for Dimmu Borgir in 1997. Their success was such that a representative from the Nuclear Blast label shortly approached them with a contract for a European release, a deal which started on the subsequent year.[citation needed] Something Wild was officially released in November 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recorded a music video of the song “Deadnight Warrior”. The video was directed by Mika Lindberg and had a slim budget of €1000. It made use of simple scenery, which consisted essentially of an outdoors location after a snowstorm. The band played for a couple of hours at night, with an average temperature of minus fifteen degrees Celsius.

Although Laiho is very critical of all of the music he has written, he notes that he dislikes Something Wild the most of all of his albums. When recording this album, Laiho had tried to mimic the style of one of his idols, Yngwie Malmsteen, which is why Something Wild is considered one of the most technical albums Children of Bodom have ever produced.

Children of Bodom’s first European tour began in February 1998. They played together with bands such as Hypocrisy (at such festivals as Under the Black Sun), The Kovenant and Agathodaimon, but suffered from the absence of Wirman, who was concentrating on finishing his studies.He was replaced by pianist Erna Siikavirta for the duration of the tour.

Months later, the band recorded two new songs again at Astia-studios with producer Anssi Kippo, entitled “Towards Dead End” and “Children of Bodom”. The latter was included in a compilation by Spinefarm Records, which after being released remained on the top of Finnish charts for eight consecutive weeks.[citation needed] In late August, the band played the song “Forevermore” live for the first time during a show in Russia. This song was later renamed “Downfall”.

Their second European tour occurred in September of that same year, but once more Wirman was not able to perform with them. Laiho’s then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and formerly of Dimmu Borgir, Ancient and Therion) assumed the keyboards this time. By the end of the tour, Kimberly invited Laiho to join Sinergy, which at the time was still in its early stages.

Relentless Reckless Forever (2010–present)

The Blooddrunk tour ended and Children of Bodom started recording their new album. During the recording of the drum tracks there was a small tornado and the power was cut out. Consequently the recording was delayed until after their tour with Black Label Society. Children Of Bodom released some information to Metal Hammer magazine about new album tracks. The three track names they released were entitled: “Pussyfoot Miss Suicide”, “Ugly”, and “Was It Worth It?”

In November the band announced “The Ugly World Tour 2011” which would run from March–May 2011 and would feature dates around Europe. Opening Acts were Ensiferum, Machinae Supremacy and Amon Amarth (UK only). On November 24, it was announced that the title of the album would be Relentless Reckless Forever. The album was released on March 8, 2011. A music video for “Was It Worth It?” was produced, featuring skateboarder Chris Cole as well as noted pro skaters Jamie Thomas, Garrett Hill and Tom Asta. “Was It Worth It?” was released as a downloadable track for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock on February 2, 2011 for European Playstation 3 owners, and February 8, 2011 for Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii worldwide, as well as non-European Playstation 3 owners.

Relentless Reckless Forever was certified gold (sold over 10,000 copies) in Finland on the first day of its release, March 9th.As of March 10th, the album had sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.

Genre debate

Children of Bodom’s genre classification is debated amongst fans and critics. The band could be part of several musical genres, among them power metal, neo-classical metal, speed metal, progressive metal, black metal, and melodic death metal. Their more recent material, such as Blooddrunk, has been said to contain thrash metal elements. The term “Tuonela Metal”, recently introduced by Finnish press, albeit rare should be taken into some consideration, due to its expressiveness (such as its reference to the Ade, the Reign of Shadows) and to its implicit tribute to Jean Sibelius, the most representative Finnish composer. Laiho says that he prefers to just be called a metal group and nothing other. However, in a recent interview for the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Laiho states that the band’s genre is extreme metal, since he feels that all other alternatives are too restrictive.

CHILDREN OF BODOM (or COB), the esteemed Finnish Heavy Metal band that features frontman and modern day guitar hero Alexi Laiho releases its new album Relentless Reckless Forever in March via Universal Music / Spinefarm Records. COB’s enthralling mix of modern heavy metal, melodic hooks and the guitar acrobatics of Laiho have solidified the critically acclaimed quintet as one of the most revered hard rock acts in the world and one of the leading voices of metal’s new generation.

Formed in 1993 in Espoo, Finland, CHILDREN OF BODOM has built a rock solid reputation as a one of the best pure metal bands in the world. The band’s name is derived from the infamous Lake Bodom murders, which took place in Finland in 1960. Originally named Inearthed (with a series of demos to their name), COB can be as downright brutal as any metal band when the situation demands. But what places this band at the pinnacle of the pack is the way it can suddenly dish up huge swathes of melody and instantly memorable choruses with an unmatched degree of musicianship that has seen vocalist / guitarist Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and his cohorts grace the covers of musician magazines around the globe.

In the time since its formation, CHILDREN OF BODOM has recorded and released six full length studio albums (Something Wild (1997), Hatebreeder (1999), Follow the Reaper (2000) Hate Crew Deathroll (2003), Are You Dead Yet? (2005) and Blooddrunk (2008) as well as a full album of the band’s favorite cover tunes (2009’s Skeletons in the Closet). With each subsequent album, the band has honed and perfected its unique sound and today stand tall in metal’s pantheon. Long known for employing a lighthearted musical modus operandi, a weighty work ethic and a no joke dedication to its craft, CHILDREN OF BODOM has joined the ranks of the world’s finest heavy music acts.

Laiho has been named “Best Metal Guitarist” by the readers of Guitar World, besting well known players such as Kirk Hammett of Metallica to win the coveted award. No wonder, CHILDREN OF BODOM has been called “technically dazzling” by the New York Times and “One of the most talented metal bands of our time” by contemporary media conglomerate VICE. COB’s popular songs “Was It Worth It?”, “Living Dead Beat”, “Blooddrunk” and “If You Want Peace…Prepare for War” are currently featured in the smash hit music video game series Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

Recorded in Finland’s Petrax Studios with famed rock producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Monster Magnet), Relentless Reckless Forever’s high-energy hooks and electric energy forge stadium-sized heavy metal anthems that seethe with both marvelous musicianship and a phenomenal pop prowess. The quintet’s unique union of haunting melodies, rhythmic sensibility, guitar-and-keyboard interplay and king-size solos is supercharged to the maximum, and the resulting record is poised to push the band to an altogether new pinnacle.

It is not mere precision, but a metal-mad passion that makes COB the standout band that it is today.

In addition to Laiho, CHILDREN OF BODOM features Roope Latvala (guitar), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass) and Janne Warman (keyboards).

Children of Bodom
Background information
Origin Espoo, Finland
Genres Melodic death metal, power metal
Years active 1993–present
Labels Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm, Century Media
Associated acts Norther, Sinergy, Kylähullut, Warmen, Stone, Timo Rautiainen, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica
Website http://www.cobhc.com
Members
Jaska Raatikainen
Alexi Laiho
Roope Latvala
Janne Wirman
Henkka Seppälä
Past members
Alexander Kuoppala
Jani Pirisjoki
Samuli Miettinen
Erna Siikavirta
Kimberly Goss
Choldren of Bodom Lyrics
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