Children of Bodom

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Children of Bodom
Children Of Bodom logo.svg

Children of Bodom at Rockharz Open Air 2016
Children of Bodom at Rockharz Open Air 2016
General information
origin Espoo , Finland
Genre (s) Melodic Death Metal
founding 1992 as Inearthed
resolution 2019
Founding members
Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho
Jaska W. Raatikainen
Last occupation
Vocals, guitar
Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho
Daniel Freyberg (since 2016)
former members
Samuli Miettinen (1994–1995)
Jani Pirisjoki (1995–1997)
Alexander Kuoppala (1995-2003)
Roope Latvala (2003-2015)
Jaska W. Raatikainen (1992-2019)
Janne Viljami "Warman" Wirman (1997-2019)
Henkka "T. Blacksmith "Seppälä (1995-2019)
Live support
Antti Wirman (since 2015)

Children of Bodom was a Finnish melodic death metal band from Espoo . The band existed from 1993 to 2019.

Band history

Foundation and first recordings (1993–1996)

Singer and guitarist Alexi (Wildchild) Laiho 2016

The band was initially founded under the name Inearthed . Founding members were the guitarist Alexi Laiho (born April 8, 1979), the drummer Jaska Raatikainen (born July 18, 1979) and the then bassist Samuli Miettinen. The three musicians shared their common interest in heavy metal and bands such as WASP , Manowar , Ozzy Osbourne , Judas Priest , Slayer or Hypocrisy .

In August 1994 they made their first demo recording , which they called Implosion of Heaven . The melodies for the three songs were composed by Laiho, the lyrics by Miettinen. These recordings are stylistically assigned to Death Metal . Their second demo recording followed in July 1995. It was called Ubiquitious Absence of Remission . The recordings were made in the Astia Studio together with producer Anssi Kippo, who later worked on many of the bands' albums. However, only Laiho and Raatkainen were involved in the recordings, Miettinen was not in the studio because he had already moved to the USA with his family at the time. Keyboard sounds can be heard for the first time on this demo , although Inearthed did not have a keyboardist at the time. The keyboard parts were recorded by Laiho and Raatkainen. At that time Raatikainen was still playing the French horn in a big band , where Alexander Kuoppala also played the trumpet . Kuoppala also played guitar and was invited to join the band as a rhythm guitarist.

In late 1995, Miettinen moved with his family to the United States , which made it impossible for him to continue playing in the band. For their third demo, two new musicians have been added to the band. The new bassist Henkka Seppäla (born June 7, 1980) was the replacement for Miettinen. Laiho and Raatikainen knew him because they went to the same school. In addition, a permanent keyboard player was found in Jani Pera Pirisjoki (born June 14, 1978). The third demo, Shining , was recorded again in February 1996 at the Astia Studio. This demo is also commonly referred to as Death Metal, even if the music is more melodic and has developed more towards Melodic Death Metal . The band gave small concerts in Espoo and the surrounding area for the first time.

Renaming and debut album (1997)

The band was looking for a record company to sign, but none seemed interested in Inearthed. So in mid-1997 the band members decided to go back to the studio to record their first album, even though they didn't have a record deal yet. The costs of around 3500 euros were borne by the band members alone. Shortly before the recordings, Pirisjoki was kicked out of the band because he didn't take Inearthed seriously enough. Raatikainen asked his school friend Janne Wirman (born April 26, 1979) whether he would like to help out in the band. Wirman's interest in metal music wasn't great, but he agreed. Only a short time later he became a full member of the band.

Now the band was ready to record their debut album . The seven songs were recorded in the Astia Studio. Anssi Kippo was again the producer. The recordings were sent to numerous record labels, but only one showed interest in them. It was a small Belgian company that made the band an extremely poor offer that would not cover the studio costs and sell 1,000 copies of the album themselves. But since there was no better offer, the band members decided to take it.

Kuoppala was working with Thy-Serpent guitarist Sami Tenetz at the time. He gave him a copy of the album. He liked the album and passed it on to the Finnish record label Spinefarm Records . There the album was received with enthusiasm and Inearthed should be signed. Since Inearthed had already signed with the Belgian record company, but the offer from Spinefarm Records was much better, the band members decided without further ado to simply rename themselves from Inearthed to "Children of Bodom". The name goes back to the Finnish lake Bodominjärvi , which is located in a district of Espoo and where three young people camping in 1960 were cruelly murdered. The song "Lake Bodom" was dedicated to this lake. Children of Bodom's first six albums had at least one song that contained the word "Bodom" in the title. This trend ended with the 2011 album "Relentless Reckless Forever".

After the renaming, their first album called Something Wild could be released under Spinefarm Records. The style of the album cannot be clearly determined. Influences from Death- , Speed- , Power- , Black- and Heavy Metal come together. Classical elements can even be heard in some songs.

In October 1997 Children of Bodom played their first big concert as opening act for the black metal band Dimmu Borgir . The band became more and more popular in Finland and the album reached number 20 in the album charts. In 1998 her album was released abroad by Nuclear Blast , Toys Factory and a few other record labels.

Nuclear Blast organized a tour with Disbelief , Crack Up , Covenant (from 1999: The Kovenant) , Hypocrisy and Benediction . Wirman could not accompany the band on this tour because of his upcoming graduation and so he was replaced on the tour by Erna Siikavirta, a classical pianist. Soon after, the band went into the studio to record two new songs. The song "Children of Bodom" was released on a split single with Cryhavoc and Wizzard , which reached number 1 in the single charts and gold status in Finland . Furthermore, the song "Towards Dead End" was recorded.

Several appearances followed, including at the Wacken Open Air in August 1998. The second European tour was also organized by Nuclear Blast. Wirman was again unable to take part in the tour because of the school. He was replaced for a short time by Kimberly Goss, who was keyboardist for Dimmu Borgir.

Hatebreeder (1998-2000)

Drummer Jaska Raatikainen 2016

In December 1998 and January 1999 the band went back to the Astia Studio to record five more of their own songs and two cover songs. These should be published on an album with the two songs already released. In addition to initial problems with the equipment, the band was able to record the album as desired. At first the album was supposed to be called Towards Dead End , but it was then called Hatebreeder and was released on April 26, 1999 on Spinefarm Records. On this album, the keyboard comes to the fore. Wirman also recorded keyboard solos on this album that he wrote himself.

Hatebreeder was very successful in Finland and reached number 6 in the album charts, and it also rose to number 76 in Germany. In July 1999, she toured with In Flames and Sinergy by Japan . Their first live CD was recorded. The limited album was called Tokyo Warhearts . It reached number 33 on the album charts in Finland. In September 1999 followed a tour through Europe with In Flames, Dark Tranquility and Arch Enemy . In May 2000 their new single "Hate Me" was released, which immediately made it to number 1 in the single charts and was also awarded platinum .

Follow the Reaper (2000-2002)

Keyboarder Janne Wirman 2016

In August 2000 the next album should be recorded. The band decided not to go to the Astia Studio this time, but to the well-known Abyss Studio in Sweden . 8 new songs and a cover song were recorded under the direction of Peter Tägtgren , who had already produced numerous death and black metal albums. The title "Kissing the Shadows" was first written in the studio. In these songs the keyboard sounds come to the fore. The band still needed a name for the new album and they ultimately decided on Follow the Reaper .

The album was released in Finland in late October 2000 and worldwide in January 2001. In Finland it reached third place on the album charts, in Germany it rose to 46th place. In addition, Nuclear Blast released a remixed version of the album in February 2001, in which a few small details were improved. Subsequently, Children of Bodom toured Europe together with Primal Fear and Sacred Steel. Before starting a tour of Japan, they played a concert in South Korea that was even broadcast on South Korean pay TV . After the tour, the band went to the Astia Studio and recorded two more cover songs, which were later used as bonus tracks for singles and albums. In October they played a concert in Italy, as a support act for Slayer , followed by a South America tour with eight concerts. Small concerts in Finland followed in December.

Hate Crew Deathroll (2002-2003)

After Spinefarm Records had been bought by Universal Music , the band could now dispense with distribution abroad by Nuclear Blast, as this has now been taken over by Universal Music.

After a concert at the Wacken Open Air 2002, the band decided to go back to the Astia Studios and record their fourth studio album with Anssi Kippo. Heavy metal riffs and guitar and keyboard solos were integrated into the new songs . In September the single "You're Better Off Dead" was released by the Ramones together with the cover song "Somebody Put Something in My Drink" . It rose to number 1 in Finland and was gold-plated.

In early January of the following year, the new album Hate Crew Deathroll was released. It was the first Children of Bodom album to reach the top of the Finnish album charts. It could then stay there for three weeks. It even got a gold record in March when it was sold for the fifteen thousandth time. The band then toured Europe again, this time together with Shadows Fall . But when they couldn't play together with Children of Bodom because of their own tour at the last concerts, the German band Suidakra stepped in .

Line- up change and trashed, lost & strungout (2003-2004)

Roope Latvala with Stone at the Sauna Open Air Metal Festival

In July 2003, rhythm guitarist Alexander Kuoppala left the band because the permanent tours had bothered him and life on tour became too stressful for him. Friend and Sinergy colleague Roope Latvala offered Laiho to help out in the band as an accompanying guitarist in order to complete the already planned tours in Japan and North America. During the Japan tour, Children of Bodom had to cancel a concert because Laiho suffered from severe muscle cramps that prevented him from playing. After that, however, the tour could be ended successfully.

In November Children of Bodom toured North America with Dimmu Borgir, Hypocrisy and Nevermore . Another gig in Minneapolis had to be canceled because the whole band got sick. In March 2004 the band went to Astia Studios and recorded four new songs, the two songs "Knuckleduster" and "Trashed, Lost and Strungout" and the two cover songs "She Is Beautiful" by Andrew WK and "Bed of Nails" by Alice Cooper . In April 2004 the band decided to tour the United States again, as the demand there had been very high. This time the band went on tour with Iced Earth and Evergrey . In the summer the band played at many important metal festivals all over Europe, after which the band went on a tour of South America.

In October a single called "Trashed, Lost and Strungout" was released. On it were the song itself and the cover song "She Is Beautiful". At the same time the EP of the same name was released, which also contained "Knuckleduster" and "Bed of Nails". A DVD was also released with the music video for "Trashed, Lost & Strungout", live performances from the Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2003, a remix of "Angels Don't Kill", a video documentary and greetings from Andrew WK contains. The single went gold in the charts after 21 weeks.

That same year, the band began another tour of the United States, along with Fear Factory and Lamb of God . At the end of the tour, the band decided spontaneously to announce shortly two more appearances in which Children of Bodom as headlining a long setlist played. Latvala has since become a permanent member of the band.

Are You Dead Yet? (2005)

Bassist Henkka Seppälä 2016

After the festival tour in summer 2005, the band went to Astia Studio to record the new tracks for their upcoming album. After a small legal battle with the Swedish melodic death metal band Carnal Forge , who previously released their own album Aren't You Dead Yet? it finally became Are You Dead Yet? called.

In June, Children of Bodom gave one of their biggest concerts in front of 120,000 spectators at the farewell concert of the Böhsen Onkelz . On the DVD of the concert, which was called Vaya Con Tioz , Children of Bodom were also represented with the song "Everytime I Die". In August the single "In Your Face" was released. It was released along with a censored radio version of "In Your Face," which had many words cut out, and the Britney Spears cover Oops! ... I Did It Again published. Because of these bonus tracks , which the band saw as a joke, the single came under fire , but nevertheless immediately reached number 1 in the Finnish charts and was soon gilded.

The album was released in mid-September. It reached number 1 in Finland and number 16 in Sweden and Germany. For the premiere of the album, four concerts were given in Australia for the first time . Then they started a tour of Japan, during which the fans were allowed to vote on the band's homepage about the songs that should be played. In November they went on a North American tour, this time as a headliner for the first time. The subsequent European tour with Ektomorf and One Man Army And The Undead Quartet was almost without exception sold out.

Chaos Ridden Years (2006-2007)

On February 5, 2006 Children of Bodom gave a concert in the "Arenan" in the Swedish capital Stockholm . This concert was recorded and was released in October 2006 on DVD and live double CD under the title Chaos Ridden Years: Stockholm Knockout Live (DVD) and Stockholm Knockout Live (CD). The CD contained over 95 minutes of concert, the DVD contained, in addition to the video recording of the entire concert, a documentary about the band, interviews , the so-called “deleted scenes”, almost all music videos that were shot with the band, and a photo show.

In June the band went on their biggest tour to date. Slayer invited the bands Mastodon , Thine Eyes Bleed , Lamb of God and Children of Bodom to play on their "Unholy Alliance" tour. After the first part of this tour and the festival tour in summer, the second part of the “Unholy Alliance” tour began in October. Mastodon has been replaced by In Flames. After the tour, Laiho went to the north of Finland and found time to compose some new songs for the planned next album. Laiho was in an aggressive mood at the time and the songs were evolving towards Thrash Metal . Another North American tour followed in November.

Blooddrunk (2007-2008)

Children of Bodom live 2007

In May 2007 the band went to Sonic Pump Studios to record five new songs. The new title "Tie My Rope" was published on the compilation Viva La Bands, Vol . In October the recordings for the upcoming album Blooddrunk took place. It was recorded in the Petrax Studio, producers were Mikko Karmila and Peter Tägegren, who specially produced Laiho's vocals. Nine original compositions were recorded, including "Tie My Rope", which was newly recorded, and four cover songs, this time by Stan Jones, Kenny Rogers , Creedence Clearwater Revival and Suicidal Tendencies . The album was released in April 2008, reached number 1 in Finland and was also very successful abroad. It came in at number 10 in Germany and number 22 in the United States.

Afterwards Children of Bodom took part on the “Gigantour” 2008 through North America. Other bands on the tour were Megadeth , In Flames , Job for a Cowboy and High on Fire . The first three studio albums ( Something Wild , Hatebreeder , Follow the Reaper ) and the live album Tokyo Warhearts were re-released in 2008 with additional bonus tracks under Spinefarm Records. In September, the band started a North American tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me .

A European tour with Slipknot and Machine Head followed in November and December .

Skeletons in the Closet (2009-2010)

From the end of January 2009 Children of Bodom toured Europe together with Cannibal Corpse and Diablo as special guests. In April a tour started with Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying , God Forbid and Municipal Waste through North America. The last gigs had to be canceled due to an injury to Laiho. He fell out of the top bed in the tour bus and broke his shoulder.

On September 18, 2009, Children of Bodom released a compilation album called Skeletons In The Closet, which contains most of the cover songs the band has recorded to date. Two new cover songs were recorded for the album, namely Hell is for Children by Pat Benatar and Antisocial by Trust and Anthrax . In addition, the Suicidal Tendencies cover War Inside My Head , which was recorded in 2007 but never released on a CD by the band, will appear on the album.

Furthermore, the band began a South America tour in September, followed by a second North American tour in September and October and a few gigs in the Far East , also in October. The year and a half "Blooddrunk World Tour" ended at a show in Moscow.

In 2010 there was a mini-tour of Finland in April and performances at some summer festivals.

Relentless Reckless Forever and Holiday at Lake Bodom (2011–2012)

The album Relentless Reckless Forever was released in Germany on March 4, 2011. For the first time in their band history, Children of Bodom worked with a producer (Paul Conroy), who also influenced the musicians during the composition phase (according to Laiho in an interview). The album contains nine tracks and was recorded in Finland and Los Angeles . Janne Wirman recorded the keyboard parts in the Petrax Studios and in his studio Beyond Abilities. The recording period extended from August to September 2010. The first single was Was it worth it? decoupled, for which a video was shot in Camp Woodward ( Pennsylvania ). The scenery consists of the band, which plays in a skate hall, and the skaters Chris Cole and Tom Asta . In general, the album is quite short with a playing time of about 36 minutes. In Germany it is available as a normal CD edition and as a special edition with a bonus DVD on which the music video for Was it worth it? and its making-of can be found as well as two live tracks from Bloodstock Open Air and a trailer for Laiho's new Rock House Method DVD.

As part of the band's 15-year existence, the band will release a Best Of CD / DVD on May 22, 2012, “Holiday at Lake Bodom (15 Years of Wasted Youth)”.

Resolution (2019)

In November 2019 the band announced that Jaska Raatikainen, Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä and Janne Wirman would leave the band at the end of the year. On December 15, 2019 the band played their last concert in Helsinki. Since Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman own the rights to the band name, Children of Bodom disbanded. Alexi Laiho then founded the band Bodom After Midnight .



Duel between Alexi Laiho and Janne Warman

Musically, this band is difficult to classify in the established style system. Fast runs in lead guitar and keyboard , short melodies and guttural vocals are characteristic . The frequent alternation of melodic and atonal elements creates a broad contrast. In contrast to other metal bands, the keyboard also takes on a lead function, but mostly with sounds that are similar to the electric guitar. Traditionally, every live concert includes a classic solo duel between keyboard and guitars. This is sometimes compared to the joint work of Yngwie Malmsteen and Jens Johansson . The drums are characterized by double kicks, which are played either in 4/4 or 2/4 time.

The band has no direct connection to any particular metal subculture, which is why the style remains controversial. Stylistic differences between several albums make classification even more difficult.

While the first two albums ( Something Wild and Hatebreeder ) are increasingly influenced by the Melodic Black Metal genre, you can hear a clear turn towards Thrash Metal on the newer works such as Trashed, Lost & Strungout , but above all Blooddrunk .

Children of Bodom are often referred to as Melodic Death Metal , although their style differs musically from typical Melodic Death Metal bands such as In Flames or Dark Tranquility.

In the 2005 Canadian documentary Metal - A Headbanger's Journey, the band's style is classified as Thrash Metal in the definitive metal family tree .

The band itself does not comment on a precise definition of their style - only the often occurring classification in the Power Metal genre is particularly rejected by guitarist Alexi Laiho:

“To me, it's just metal and that's it. It's not black metal, it's not death metal, it's not thrash. It's like, what the fuck? We don't spend too much time thinking about labels. They don't mean shit anyways. For me, metal is metal, music is music. So I don't really care about labels. But, you know, if somebody says we're black metal or they say that we're thrash metal, I'm ok with it. I don't really care as long as they don't call it power metal. "

“For me it's just metal. It's not black metal, it's not death metal, it's not thrash. It is what the hell? We don't spend a lot of time thinking about labels. Besides, they mean nothing anyway. For me metal is metal and music is music. So I don't care much about labels. But if someone says that we are Black Metal or that we are Thrash Metal, that's fine. I don't really care as long as they don't call it Power Metal. "

- Alexi Laiho : Interview on


The lyrics deal mostly with death , violence and aggression . Often times in the songs dying is described as a cruel pain . The Grim Reaper, the band's symbol, also appears in the lyrics.

“Don't wake it up, call my name, it's death!
Set them all on a trip of pain,
I can't wait! "

“Don't wake it up, call my name, it's death!
Take them all on a journey of pain,
I can't wait any longer! "

- Deadnight Warrior

Furthermore, some songs address the murders at "Lake Bodom":

"And the waters of Bodom
turn a deep red shade of blood,
as the Children Of Bodom
take their last breath."

"And the water of Bodom
turns dark red with blood
as the children of Bodom take
their last breath."

- Silent Night, Bodom Night


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1997 Something wild - - - - - FI20th

(12 weeks)FI
1999 Hatebreeder DE76 (1 week)
- - - - FI6th

(8 weeks)FI
2000 Follow the Reaper DE46 (2 weeks)
AT38 (3 weeks)
- - - FI3

(5 weeks)FI
2003 Hate Crew Deathroll DE45 (3 weeks)
- - - - FI1

(9 weeks)FI
2005 Are You Dead Yet? DE16 (2 weeks)
AT42 (2 weeks)
CH79 (2 weeks)
- US195 (1 week)

(10 weeks)FI
2008 Blooddrunk DE10 (5 weeks)
AT19 (5 weeks)
CH50 (3 weeks)
UK44 (1 week)
US22 (4 weeks)

(20 weeks)FI
2011 Relentless Reckless Forever DE20 (3 weeks)
AT29 (2 weeks)
CH43 (2 weeks)
UK71 (1 week)
US42 (2 weeks)

(8 weeks)FI
2013 Halo of Blood DE18 (3 weeks)
AT28 (1 week)
CH24 (1 week)
- US54 (1 week)
FI2 (17 weeks)
2015 I worship chaos DE20 (1 week)
AT36 (1 week)
CH26 (2 weeks)
- US92 (1 week)
FI1 (10 weeks)
2019 Hexed DE9 (2 weeks)
AT15 (1 week)
CH14 (2 weeks)
- - FI1 (7 weeks)

Web links

Commons : Children of Bodom  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Radio 66.6 - Weekly Music News from the Crypt: March 19th, 2012
  3. Concert report by Robert Pöpperl-Berenda on the band's performance at the Rock Hard Festival 2005
  4. Interview with Alexi Laiho (English; accessed: March 11, 2007)
  5. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US FI