Vitals

Name: Children of Bodom
Year Formed: 1997
Origin: Espoo, Finland
Genre(s): Death Metal; Thrash; Power Metal
Status: Active
Lyrical Themes: Death, Lake Bodom Murder, Rebeling

Current Members

Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho (Sinergy) Guitar, Vocals
Janne Warman (Warmen) Keyboards
Roope Latvala  (Sinergy, Warmen, Stone) Guitar
Jaska W. Raatikainen Drums
Henkka T. Blacksmith Bass

Notes

  • Originally called Inearthed
  • Named after the Lake Bodom murder in Finland
  • Alexi is a fan of Ozzy Osbourne and 80s hair metal

Genre/Style Breakdown

Vocals:   Harsh; "Death metal"; cleaner (later)
Rhythm Guitar: Thrashy; staccato
Lead Guitar: Virtuosic; sweeps; melodic solos; classical influence (early)
Keyboard: Virtuosic; melodic; duels-w/-guitar; classical influence (early)  
Drums: Underlying double bass;syncopated; blast-beats (early)  
Bass: Inaudible/plays little role  

Major Discography

 

Year

Type

Title

 

1997

Full-length

Something Wild

 

1999

Full-length

Hatebreeder

 

1999

Live

Tokyo Warhearts

 

2001

Full-length

Follow the Reaper

 

2003

Full-length

Hatecrew Deathroll

 

2003

Compilation

Bestbreeder from 1997 to 2000

 

2004

EP/Single

Trashed, Lost and Strungout

 

2005

Full-length

Are You Dead Yet?

 

Similar Artists

 

Norther

Kalmah

Arch Enemy

Skyfire

Suidakra

 

Commentary

 
What can be said about Children of Bodom that hasn't already been stated? From humble, almost black metal-esque beginnings, the Hatecrew has risen to the proverbial cream of the crop of modern, extreme metal bands. While many of their American contemporaries are busy with hardcore breakdowns and their European ilk preoccupied with tremolo picking, CoB bring a fresh spin on a melting pot of styles - and do it extremely well.

While Children of Bodom's basic formula is that of mosh-pit-inducing thrash and death metal riffery with harsh, death metal-styled vocals, this band defies classification. Calling Children of Bodom purely thrash, or death metal, or symphonic black metal would be a disservice to the band. Indeed, Children of Bodom are one the few listenable, aggressive metal bands who actually put a keyboard to good use. Janne Warman is not used merely for ambient effects or simple root chords. Rather, he plays the roll of playing a second melody, or adding dynamics to the rhythm section, or performing blazing duels with front man Alexi Laiho. The band's first few albums actually saw Warman employing the use of a mandolin sound and style to add a dark, classical, Baroque quality to their songs.

CoB's style also has a lot to do with a hallmark taken from the camps of power metal. In addition to Warman's competence, guitarist Alexi Laiho is in no small part responsible for the extremely melodic and virtuosic sound that easily identifies Bodom. Alexi has been constantly referred to as one of this generation's guitar heroes, with a flamboyant, technical playing style to back it up. As much as they hate being lumped in with bands like Hammerfall and Blind Guardian, Alexi's soaring solos and weaving leads owe much homage to power metal and are what make Children of Bodom's sound so accessible and unique.

It is this melding of chunky riffs, varied song-structures, interwoven keyboards, and incredible guitar solos that make Children of Bodom so different. While any of said elements have been done by previous bands, it is rare to see a band merge them together and do it with such flawless execution. It is nigh impossible to listen to a Children of Bodom song and not get completely immersed in one of the song's blazing guitar and/or keyboard spotlights.  Its hard to find a band that is both badass sounding and yet incredibly catchy and competent without sounding overly cheesy. In a day and age post rap metal, Children of Bodom champion the idea that being good at your instruments and playing flashy solos is as cool as it was in 1986.