Children of Bodom

Something Wild Children of Bodom - Something Wild (Spinefarm) 1997

1. "Deadnight Warrior" (3:21)
2. "In The Shadows" (6:02 )
3. "Red Light In My Eyes, part 1" (4:28)
4. "Red Light In My Eyes, part 2" (3:50)
5. "Lake Bodom " (4:02)
6. "The Nail" (6:17)
7. "Touch Like Angel Of Death" (7:57)

"Something Wild" is a relentless display of talented, technical, speed metal, melodic death metal mixed with a healthy dose of power metal. Blasphemy? Yes I know, but at times Children of Bodom almost sound like a modern power metal band with a death metal vocalist. Alexi Laiho and Alexander Kuoppala are an excellent guitar duo, with intertwining guitars riffs and killer solo's, that at times remind me of the interplay between Downing and Tipton. Laiho pulls off some blazing solo's and Kuoppala pulls out some skull crushing riffs. Keyboardist Janne Warman dominates each and every song as well; each laden with ethereal keyboard melodies and even some solos. The vocals are the typical death metal grunt, but fortunately aren't completely toneless. The use of some higher pitched grunts, as well as the lower, gutteral grind works well with the melodic metal, not unlike Amorphis' "Tales from the Thousand Lakes." "Something Wild" is a fitting album title for the debut album from these Finnish metal mongers.

The only song on this CD that truly has lyrics is "Touch Like Angel of Death". The rest were all made up on the spot by Alexi during the recording process. The intro of "Deadnight Warrior" is taken from the movie "It" and the intro speech for "The Nail" is taken from "Nightmare On Elm Street 2". The opening riff for "Red Light in My Eyes, part 2" is from Mozart's Symphony No. 25 and later there's a riff from "Requiem".

I have actually owned this album several times before and have used it as a trader, as Children of Bodom are hot traders for some reason. Twice I have traded this CD off for far more rare metal releases. However, I think I will be hanging onto this copy.

Hatebreeder Children of Bodom - Hatebreeder (Spinefarm / Nuclear Blast) 1999

1. Warheart (4:07)
2. Silent Night, Bodom Night (3:12)
3. Hatebreeder (4:21)
4. Bed Of Razors (3:56)
5. Towards Dead End (4:54)
6. Black Widow (3:58)
7. Wrath Within (3:54)
8. Children Of Bodom (5:14)
9. Downfall (4:34)

WOW!!! This is pure blinding speed! There is just so much going on at all times, so either you're gonna love it, or hate it. "Hatebreeder" has combines elements of power metal and thrash with layers of guitar, keyboards, and harsh, death metal vocals. Unfortunately to my ears, the vocals are the downpoint of the CD. I wish there were some good metal wails here and there, but there just aren't any. That point aside, this CD is just relentless and the vocals really do grow on you with repeated listens. The guitar solos are another high point. Check out the insane, fast guitar work in "Warheart" and "Towards Dead End". Oh and did I mention this music was fast? We are talking some serious whiplash here my metal bretheren. Imagine the speed and intensity of Slayer mixed with the guitar solos of Impellitteri or Axel Rudi Pell and you might get the picture.

Reaper Children of Bodom - Follow the Reaper (Nuclear Blast Records) 2001

1. Follow The Reaper (3:47)
2. Bodom After Midnight (3:43)
3. Children Of Decadence (5:35)
4. Everytime I Die (4:03)
5. Mask Of Sanity (3:58)
6. Taste Of My Scythe (3:54)
7. Hate Me! (4:44)
8. Northern Comfort (3:48)
9. Kissing The Shadows (4:32)
10. Hellion (3:02)

Children Of Bodom's third studio album blends speed and aggression with heavy riffs and keyboard melodies. Guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho takes center stage with his blazing guitars and gutteral vocals. However, it's keyboardist Janne Warman that adds most of the melody and atmosphere. Basically, this is European flower/power metal with harsh, death/thrash vocals. As well, Bodom adds in all those fast, sweeping, arpeggio guitar solos. In a word, shred!

"Follow the Reaper" starts off with a soft-spoken word which reads as follows "Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful. Thou art not so." Just as the quote ends, the music blasts into the opening chords of the title track. After the spoken word intro, the first few moments of the title track really define the sound of the entire album. The songs rip along relentlessly with some riffing that is reminiscent of thrash metal, yet with those keyboards weaving in and out, adding the power metal twist. Songs like the title track, "Children of Decadence" and "Mask of Sanity" definitely showcase this mixture of styles

For some strange reason, it was about this time that a major backlash against this band happened among metal fans. It suddenly became cool to hate on Children of Bodom on the message boards. Perhaps the music is a bit too flowery, power metal for most death metal fans liking. Certainly the vocals are more extreme than most Rhapsody or Blind Guardian fans are use to hearing. I can only imagine that it's this contradiction that people seem to dislike this band so much. I do confess that I have also wondered what this band would be like with a vocalist who sang rather than growled. However, I do happen to like both schools of metal. As such, Children of Bodom seem to be the perfect middle. In fact, it could be said that "Follow the Reaper" is one of those genre defining albums. In this case, extreme power metal.

"Hellion" is a W.A.S.P. cover.

My copy is autographed by Henkka T. Blacksmith (bass) and Alexi Laiho (guitars/vocals).

Children Of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever (Spinefarm) 2011

1.   Not My Funeral (4:55)
2.   Shovel Knockout (4:03)
3.   Roundtrip To Hell And Back (3:48)
4.   Pussyfoot Miss Suicide (4:10)
5.   Relentless, Reckless Forever (4:42)
6.   Ugly (4:13)
7.   Cry Of The Nihilist (3:31)
8.   Was It Worth It? (4:06)
9.   NorthpoleThrowdown (2:57)

1. "Was It Worth It?" (video clip)
2. Making of "Was It Worth It?"
3. "Angels Don't Kill" [live]
4. "Everytime I Die" [live]
5. The Rockhouse Method w/ Alexi Laiho (DVD trailer)
6. The Rockhouse Method w/ Alexi Laiho (instructional excerpt)

It seems that Children of Bodom are the band that everyone currently loves to hate. On various different metal forums I belong to people are labeling them "posers" or at best, saying they haven't released a good album since "Follow the Reaper" or "Hatebreeder". I"m not sure what the big deal is. It's not like Children of Bodom are playing alternative rock, emo, ska or some other form of music. The music on the awkwardly titled "Relentless Reckless Forever" is 100% pure heavy metal. It's almost an AC/DC or Motorhead like predictability in the band's sound. "Relentless" is packed full of European power metal led by Alex Laiho's guitar theatrics and extreme vocals. As is par for the course, the keyboards play an important role in the songs as well. Perhaps the keyboards are the reason for the dissension. Perhaps it's just the band's ever growing popularity. Whatever the case may be, I really don't care. "Relentless Reckless Forever" is a fantastic, completely enjoyable heavy metal record.

The album opens with the fantastic "Not My Funeral", which really showcases the band's guitar skills. The whole album is chock full of fantastic guitar work. The guitar solos are inspired and the interplay between the keyboards and guitars is reminiscent of early Dream Theater. Yes, it's almost progressive in nature, though not so much as to detract from the overall hooks of the songs themselves. "Cry of the Nihilist" is a perfect example of that positive interplay between the guitars and keys. The song also features some nice keyboard solo work. "Was It Worth It?", likewise, features the guitars and keyboards trading off licks during the solo section of the song.

The songs overall are angst-driven and aggressive while retaining a melodic nature and never really crossing over into pure speed and certainly never really touching death metal. The closest the band really gets to pure speed is on closing number "Northpole Throwdown", which is nearly a thrash metal song. I dare say, if Children of Bodom had a different singer, I think that modern power metal fans worldwide would be singing their praises. Instead, they have a bunch of whiney extreme metal fans complaining about them and labeling them posers, calling them "Children of Boredom" and other such nonsense. For those who enjoy extreme vocals, superb guitar work and all the things that generally make for a solid heavy metal record, "Relentless Reckless Forever" is that record. Haters will go on hating no matter what.

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