Children of Bodom
riginally called Inearthed, Children of Bodom assumed their new ominous name a few years later, a name taken from the Bodom Lake Murders, an infamous unsolved Finnish murder case at Lake Bodom whereby several teenagers were camping and were attacked by an unknown person wielding an axe, resulting in three of the teen's deaths. Wielding their own deathly attack of death metal meets Judas Priest, the 14 and 15 year olds Alexi Laiho (vocals/guitar), Samuli Miettinen (bass), Janne Warman (ex-Warmen; keyboards), Jaska Raatikainen (drums) and Alexander Kuoppala (guitar) would release several demos to no action in the early 1990s.
Miettinen was the main composer of the band's lyrics for the two years that he took part in when the band went under the Inearthed name, but his family moved to the United States in 1995, making it impossible for him to remain in the band. Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, whom Laiho and Raatikainen had previously known from school took his place. Under the Inearthed name they released three demos titled: Implosion of Heaven (1994), Ubiguitous Absence of Remission (1995) and Shining (1996).
It would take four years before 'Spinefarm' showed interest and released their debut, Something Wild (1998) but not before the band changed their name from Inearthed to the current, Children of Bodom. A name change was required in order to solve a contractual dispute with rival label 'Shiver Records' who had signed the band shortly earlier but failed to create a full studio album; the band was unhappy wihth the label's lack of support.
Something Wild showed Children of Bodom to be a far more sonically mature act than expected. Indeed, Laiho was becoming a bit of a guitar hero by the time their second album, Hatebreeder (1999), emerged on 'Nuclear Blast'. originally to be titled "Towards Dead End". Laiho was now also an active member of Synergy and Impaled Nazarene as well. The second album also proved to be a bit of a watermark for the band by setting them up as an important member within the genre.
Tokyo Warhearts (1999) was their first live effort, being recorded at Tokyo's Club Citta, and was released in Finland only. Follow The Reaper (2001) and Hate Crew Deathroll (2003) further helped to establish their credentials.
Children of Bodom's first world tour began in 2003 and went thru 2004. Alexander Kuopalla would leave the act in July of 2003 in the middle of the tour for personal reasons without warning. Griffin's guitarist Kai Nergaard was invited by Laiho to replace Kuoppala, but did not accept the offer; Laiho's bandmate from Sinergy, Roope Latvala, however, did.
Soon after the tour, Children of Bodom released the EP Trashed, Lost & Strungout, which contained songs from their upcoming album and a parody cover of Oops!... I Did It Again by Britney Spears!
That follow-up album, Are You Dead Yet (2005), featured a different style from what had been featured on the act's previous works by offering simpler and heavier guitar riffs, as well as elements from Industrial music styles. Reactions from fans to the release were varied; however, the album remains the band's most commercially successful. It was awarded gold status in Finland.
Children of Bodom's live DVD Chaos Ridden Years - Stockholm Knockout Live was released December 2006. It contained a recording of a live concert performed on 5 February 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, with over 90 minutes of live footage. It also featured a documentary featuring interviews with band members about the history of the band and footage of them on tour. It also contained every music video Children of Bodom had made, except for Needled 24/7.
On 31 January 2007, Laiho slid down the lane at a bowling alley after accidentally stepping over the foul line and slipping. He slammed into a nearby wall, breaking his left shoulder rendering him unable to play guitar for six weeks. Children of Bodom was forced to cancel their first 2007 tours and a festival that they were slated to headline. Although his injury would never fully heal, he was able to play guitar again three months later.
Blooddrunk (2008), contained 10 songs including a cover of Ghost Riders in the Sky.
In 2008, Children of Bodom's first three studio albums, as well as Tokyo Warhearts, were remastered and re-released with bonus tracks.
Skeletons in the Closet (2009), an all covers album, featured covers of tracks released by other artists as well as including four new tracks. Covered artists included Suicidal Tendencies, Britney Spears, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Andrew WK, Billy Idol and Scorpions. Children of Bodom also launched a contest to promote their new album in which anyone could win prizes featuring an ESP/LTD M-53 electric guitar, the band's entire back catalog, as well as Skeletons in the Closet. The contest ran from 25 August to 21 September 2009. The winners were announced 28 September 2009.
Blooddrunk (2008), Relentless Reckless Forever (2011) and Halo of Blood (2013) whereby Janne Wirman performed backing vocals as well as his other duties, followed. I Worship Chaos (2015) would come next.
Daniel Freyberg would take over from Latvala in 2016.
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Artists mentioned in this article:
|Impaled Nazarene||Judas Priest||Slayer|
|Iron Maiden||Suicidal Tendencies||Alice Cooper|