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Children of Bodom

The band Children of Bodom: Alexander, Jaska, Janne, Henkka and Alexi

Children of Bodom is a Finnish band from the small town of Espoo which is one of the precursors of the melodic death metal style.

Biography

The band was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD. Having known each other since childhood and sharing the same interest for heavy/death metal bands such as Stone, Entombed and Obituary, they formed the original line-up of the band that would later become Children of Bodom together with bassist Samuli Miettinen. The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year.

Samuli was the main composer of the band's lyrics for the two years he took part of IneartheD, but in 1995 his family moved to the USA and there was no way for him to continue in the band. His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission. Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist.

In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist.

Jaska played a French horn in a local big band at the time, and one day - during rehearsal - he met Alexander Kuoppala, who was a trumpet player and also a good guitarist. When the band was about to record their second demo, Alexander was invited to join them and soon became an active member of the band.

For some time, Alexi and Jaska played and recorded the keyboard sections of IneartheD's songs separately and later mixed the keyboard track with the other instruments, but in 1996 they felt the need of adding a musician to specialize in keyboards. The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki.

With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. This new demo didn't impress record labels much more than the previous ones had, and no label took interest in the young Finnish band. It was a harsh time, in which - despite all of their efforts - their music got no exposure and they only managed to play at small events.

As a last resort, the band decided to record an independent album, funding all of the production costs themselves, a daring move considering that none of them had much money to begin with.

Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. So he was fired from the band - albeit not in a hostile manner - and a friend of Jaska's, a talented pianist called Janne "Warman" Wirman, assumed the position of keyboard player.

Janne was the component that was missing for IneartheD to assume the style that would later characterize Children of Bodom. With him, the band successfully recorded their first album in the year of 1997 and got a professional deal from it. Their debut - Something Wild - was supposed to be released by a small Belgian label, but Sami Tenetz (from Thy Serpent) got hold of a copy of their album through the hands of Alexander shortly after IneartheD signed this contract, and sent it to Spinefarm Records' boss, who immediately got interested in signing them for a country-wide release. The later deal was much more interesting for 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.

For the band to be able to sign with Spinefarm Records, they were forced to change their name, since the contract with the Belgian label had already been signed under the name of IneartheD. The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; 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 story of the Lake Bodom murders goes as follows: on the night of June the 4th of 1960, three teenagers were murdered while on a camping trip to the lake. There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime.

With the intention of promoting the upcoming release of Something Wild, the band opened one of the shows from the black metal band Dimmu Borgir. However, their success was such that the Nuclear Blast label approached them with a contract for an European release; the deal started in the following year.

Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior. The video directed by Mika Lindberg had a slim budget of €1000, but managed to convey the band's style well through the use of simple scenery, in which they play at night, in the cold.

Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. They played together with Hypocrisy and a few other bands such as Covenant and Agathodaimon, but suffered from the absence of Janne, who was busy finishing his studies. He was replaced by Erna Siikavirta - a female pianist who is a friend of the band's and who curently plays with the teatrical band Lordi - for the duration of the tour.

Their second tour happened in September of the same year, but once more Janne was not able to play with them. Alexi's then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and ex-Dimmu Borgir and Therion) played with them this time around. The band showcased the song Towards Dead End for the first time during this tour.

In late 1999, Children of Bodom was finally able to tour with Janne on the keyboards. The success of the Downfall single and of the Hatebreeder album allowed them to make three shows in Japan with the veterans from In Flames and with Sinergy. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs.

For their next release, the band decided to make use of Peter Tägtgren's Abyss studio in Sweden, instead of the Finnish ASTIA studio from Anssi Kippo, in which they had recorded all of their previous releases, including the demos from IneartheD. The band wrote eight new songs for the album, and while on the studio, decided to add an extra track, which was hastly composed and whose lyrics were improvised by Alexi; that track would eventually receive the name of Kissing the Shadows. The band gave this album the name of Follow the Reaper and recording sessions took place between August and September of 2000; the album saw a worldwide release in early 2001.

With their rapidly increasing success, Children of Bodom recorded another album, and their first complete world tour began in 2003 and lasted until late 2004. This tour had many sold-out concerts and was a defining point in their career, but it was also accompanied by an unexpected annoucement: Alexander decided to quit the band for personal reasons, giving no warning and right in the middle of the tour. Alexi's bandmate from Sinergy, Roope Latvala (founding member of Stone, one of the bands which started the heavy metal movement in Finland) then replaced him as a session player, until a more permanent solution could be found. This formation was introduced in Moscow on the 16th of August.

Roope successfully finished the world tour and took part in the recording of the Trashed, Lost & Strungout single. Ever since then, he has been playing regularly with Children of Bodom and seems to have assumed a permanent position in the line-up that will record the band's upcoming album.

Children of Bodom's symbol is the Grim Reaper, and they often refer to themselves as the Hate Crew.

Current line-up

  • Alexi Laiho - Vocals, lead guitar
  • Roope Latvala - Rhythm guitar
  • Janne Viljami Wirman - Keyboards
  • Henkka Seppälä - 5-string bass
  • Jaska Raatikainen - Drums

Former members

  • Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm guitar
  • Jani Pirisjoki - Keyboards
  • Samuli Miettinen - Bass

Discography

Albums

  • Something Wild (1997)
  • Hatebreeder (1999)
  • Tokyo Warhearts (Live CD, 1999)
  • Follow the Reaper (2001)
  • Hate Crew Deathroll (2003)

Singles

  • Implosion of Heaven (Demo, 1994)
  • Ubiquitous Absence of Remission (Demo, 1995)
  • Shining (Demo, 1996)
  • Children of Bodom (1997)
  • Downfall (1998)
  • Hate Me! (2000)
  • You're Better Off Dead! (2002)
  • Trashed, Lost & Strungout (2004)

Cover songs

  • Aces High, by Iron Maiden
  • Bed of Nails, by Alice Cooper
  • Don't Stop at the Top, by Scorpions
  • Hellion, by W.A.S.P.
  • Latomeri, by Klamydia
  • Mass Hypnosis, by Sepultura
  • No Commands, by Stone
  • Rebell Yell, by Billy Idol
  • She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. K.
  • Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne
  • Silent Scream, by Slayer
  • Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones
  • Waiting, by King Diamond
Despite popular belief, Children of Bodom have never covered the song The Final Countdown by Europe.

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Children of Bodom's symbol is the Grim Reaper, and they often refer to themselves as the Hate Crew. Murphy also has been stricken with cancer, and is organizing a Death tribute album to be released this year. Roope successfully finished the world tour and took part in the recording of the Trashed, Lost & Strungout single. Ever since then, he has been playing regularly with Children of Bodom and seems to have assumed a permanent position in the line-up that will record the band's upcoming album. James Murphy has formed numerous projects such as Disincarnate and has made a name for himself. This formation was introduced in Moscow on the 16th of August. DiGiorgio is now a permanent member of both Sadus and Testament. Alexi's bandmate from Sinergy, Roope Latvala (founding member of Stone, one of the bands which started the heavy metal movement in Finland) then replaced him as a session player, until a more permanent solution could be found. Ralph Santolla also ended up with Iced Earth, as did Steve DiGiorgio momentarily.

This tour had many sold-out concerts and was a defining point in their career, but it was also accompanied by an unexpected annoucement: Alexander decided to quit the band for personal reasons, giving no warning and right in the middle of the tour. Richard Christy went on to gigs with Acheron and Iced Earth before joining the Howard Stern Show. With their rapidly increasing success, Children of Bodom recorded another album, and their first complete world tour began in 2003 and lasted until late 2004. Others went on to do so, such as Sean Reinert, who formed the legendary Cynic with fellow Death member Paul Masvidal. Ironically, both of these pioneering death metal musicians have ended up in a sensitive pop band laced with delicate guitars and Masvidal's soft croon, named Aeon Spoke. The band gave this album the name of Follow the Reaper and recording sessions took place between August and September of 2000; the album saw a worldwide release in early 2001. Some, such as Gene Hoglan from Dark Angel and Andy LaRocque from King Diamond, already had made a name for themselves. The band wrote eight new songs for the album, and while on the studio, decided to add an extra track, which was hastly composed and whose lyrics were improvised by Alexi; that track would eventually receive the name of Kissing the Shadows. The members of Death have dispersed all throughout the landscape of extreme metal.

For their next release, the band decided to make use of Peter Tägtgren's Abyss studio in Sweden, instead of the Finnish ASTIA studio from Anssi Kippo, in which they had recorded all of their previous releases, including the demos from IneartheD. But their markedly unfinished state and lack of vocals led few to pay attention to what was obviously an unlistenable product. With only two albums recorded previously, the band managed to play a technically flawless concert, seamlessly reproducing and at times improving on their songs. In 2004, Hammerheart Records released a CD made up of both old, pre Scream Bloody Gore demos, and partial demos of the unfinished album, under the name Chuck Schuldiner, not Death. In one of these shows, the album Tokyo Warhearts was recorded. The second Control Denied release is yet to be completed and is mired in a variety of odd legal problems involving their label, Chuck's mother, and the musicians who have publicly stated their desire to complete the album. In late 1999, Children of Bodom was finally able to tour with Janne on the keyboards. The success of the Downfall single and of the Hatebreeder album allowed them to make three shows in Japan with the veterans from In Flames and with Sinergy. And as he worked on the second release, the disease overcame him, and he passed from this earth.

The band showcased the song Towards Dead End for the first time during this tour. As Chuck finished their debut album, he was stricken with brain cancer, forcing them to scrap plans for a tour. Alexi's then-girlfriend Kimberly Goss (from Sinergy and ex-Dimmu Borgir and Therion) played with them this time around. Clendenin was cashiered in favor of Steve DiGiorgio, who was once again available, and an underground power metal singer named Tim Aymar. Their second tour happened in September of the same year, but once more Janne was not able to play with them. After the album and a supporting tour, Chuck dissolved Death to pursue Control Denied with Christy and Hamm from his last album. He was replaced by Erna Siikavirta - a female pianist who is a friend of the band's and who curently plays with the teatrical band Lordi - for the duration of the tour. Somehow this did not pan out, and he reformed the band with Florida musicians Richard Christy, Shannon Hamm, and Scott Clendenin, to record 1998's The Sound of Perseverance with his new label Nuclear Blast.

They played together with Hypocrisy and a few other bands such as Covenant and Agathodaimon, but suffered from the absence of Janne, who was busy finishing his studies. After Symbolic, Chuck dissolved the band and all ties with Roadrunner Records and began writing songs for Control Denied. Children of Bodom's first tour happened in February of 1998. Afterwards, for 1995's Symbolic, Santolla and DiGiorgio were cashiered for Kelly Conlon and Bobby Koelbe, underground Florida musicians. The video directed by Mika Lindberg had a slim budget of €1000, but managed to convey the band's style well through the use of simple scenery, in which they play at night, in the cold. Chuck replaced them with Gene Hoglan of the recently dissolved thrash metal band Dark Angel, and for Individual Thought Patterns, worked with guitarist Andy LaRocque from King Diamond, LaRocque being obligated to his band, Chuck hired Ralph Santolla as touring guitarist. Something Wild was officially released in November of 1997, and for promotional purposes the band recoeded a music video of the song Deadnight Warrior. In 1993, Reinert and Masvidal left the group to continue with Cynic, Chuck being unable to persuade them otherwise.

However, their success was such that the Nuclear Blast label approached them with a contract for an European release; the deal started in the following year. 1991's Human was their best selling album yet, receiving many accolades and some MTV play. With the intention of promoting the upcoming release of Something Wild, the band opened one of the shows from the black metal band Dimmu Borgir. Chuck hired Steve DiGiorgio and recruited Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal from the underground Florida band Cynic. In late 2004, Finnish police arrested the survivor, who is the main suspect of commiting the crime. Chuck then abandoned the idea of a band altogether and continued working with session musicians only. The murders have remained one of the most widely-discussed cases in Scandinavian history and remained unsolved for more than fourty years. However as part of the disagreement, Bill and Terry continued Death to tour Europe and recruited Walter Trachsler (guitar) and Louie Carrisalez (vocals) to replace Chuck, much to Chuck's disgust.

There was a lone survivor, who has lived a relatively normal life afterwards. Soon, in 1990 the entire band dissolved once again. The story of the Lake Bodom murders goes as follows: on the night of June the 4th of 1960, three teenagers were murdered while on a camping trip to the lake. More and more melody was added to the band. A long list of possible names involving the word Bodom was then made, and they settled with Children of Bodom. Chuck abandoned the "gore" lyrical theme for more social critique and the musical style progressed from simple brutal death metal to complex, technical death metal. When they stumbled upon Lake Bodom, they realised it was a name with impact; one which had an interesting story behind it. With whom in 1990 the third album was recorded: Spiritual Healing.

The answer to that problem came as the bandmen looked for good names in their local phone book. A replacement was found in James Murphy. For the band to be able to sign with Spinefarm Records, they were forced to change their name, since the contract with the Belgian label had already been signed under the name of IneartheD. But soon thereafter, Rick Rozz was fired in 1989 after lots of gigging around. The later deal was much more interesting for 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. In 1988, that lineup recorded the Leprosy album. Their debut - Something Wild - was supposed to be released by a small Belgian label, but Sami Tenetz (from Thy Serpent) got hold of a copy of their album through the hands of Alexander shortly after IneartheD signed this contract, and sent it to Spinefarm Records' boss, who immediately got interested in signing them for a country-wide release. Terry Butler, and Bill Andrews.

Janne was the component that was missing for IneartheD to assume the style that would later characterize Children of Bodom. With him, the band successfully recorded their first album in the year of 1997 and got a professional deal from it. There he teamed up with former bandmate Rick Rozz, and two members of Rick's band Massacre viz. So he was fired from the band - albeit not in a hostile manner - and a friend of Jaska's, a talented pianist called Janne "Warman" Wirman, assumed the position of keyboard player. The album was a great success, but nevertheless, Chuck decided to move back to Florida, leaving Chris Reifert behind. Alexi wanted to make use of the keyboards more effectively this time around, and Pirisjoki just wasn't fit for the task anymore. He teamed up with a second guitar player named John Hand, who however never played anything for Death, but showed up on the album cover. As a last resort, the band decided to record an independent album, funding all of the production costs themselves, a daring move considering that none of them had much money to begin with. The Scream Bloody Gore album was released in 1987.

It was a harsh time, in which - despite all of their efforts - their music got no exposure and they only managed to play at small events. This enabled them to record the first LP. This new demo didn't impress record labels much more than the previous ones had, and no label took interest in the young Finnish band. They recorded the "Mutilation" demo, which led to a deal with Combat Records. With this new line-up, IneartheD recorded their third demo, named Shining. He returned to Florida, but then moved quickly to San Francisco, where he joined with Chris Reifert. The person chosen for that role was Jani Pirisjoki. This only lasted two weeks, as he found out it was not his thing.

For some time, Alexi and Jaska played and recorded the keyboard sections of IneartheD's songs separately and later mixed the keyboard track with the other instruments, but in 1996 they felt the need of adding a musician to specialize in keyboards. There, in 1986, he got an invitation from Slaughter to play on their album, which he accepted and so he moved to Canada. When the band was about to record their second demo, Alexander was invited to join them and soon became an active member of the band. But he was not happy with this incarnation of Death and moved back to Florida, without a band. Jaska played a French horn in a local big band at the time, and one day - during rehearsal - he met Alexander Kuoppala, who was a trumpet player and also a good guitarist. Chuck moved to San Fransisco and recruted DRI's drummer Eric Bregt. From then on, Henkka also started doubling as the band's backing vocalist. However, a drummer could not be found; the band dissolved again.

Despite the slight age difference, they got along well and soon Hennka became the band's new bass player. Then, Chuck fired Kam and Rick in favour of Repulsion's bassist and guitarist, Scott Carlson and Matt Olivio. In junior high, Alexi and Jaska got to know Henkka "Blacksmith" Seppälä, who was one year younger than them. In 1985, the Infernal Death tape was recorded and released. Alexi, who previously only composed the melodies of the songs, assumed the role of the band's lyricist. Another demo was released in called "Reign of Terror". His last contribution to IneartheD were the lyirics of the songs from their second demo, Ubiguitous Absence of Remission. New members were found by the same Rick Rozz and Kam Lee.

Samuli was the main composer of the band's lyrics for the two years he took part of IneartheD, but in 1995 his family moved to the USA and there was no way for him to continue in the band. In 1984, Chuck, however, dissolved Mantas and quickly started a new band under the name of Death. The band recorded its first demo - entitled Implosion of Heaven - on that same year. These tapes along with the "Death by Metal" demo circulated through the tape trader world, quickly establishing the bands name. Having known each other since childhood and sharing the same interest for heavy/death metal bands such as Stone, Entombed and Obituary, they formed the original line-up of the band that would later become Children of Bodom together with bassist Samuli Miettinen. Together with Barney "Kam" Lee, and Rick Rozz, Chuck started to compose songs that were released on several rehearsal tapes in 1984. The band was founded in 1993 by guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen under the name of IneartheD. They were a part of and helped define the famous Florida death metal scene.

Children of Bodom is a Finnish band from the small town of Espoo which is one of the precursors of the melodic death metal style. Founded in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner under the original name of Mantas in Orlando, they pioneered the Death Metal sound along with Morbid Angel, Possessed. Waiting, by King Diamond. Death was an influential death metal band from America. Somebody Put Something In My Drink, by Ramones. Live In Eindhoven '98 (2001). Silent Scream, by Slayer. Live In L.A.: Death & Raw (2001).

Shot In the Dark, by Ozzy Osbourne. Sound Of Perseverance (1998). K. Symbolic (1995). She Is Beautiful, by Andrew W. Individual Thought Patterns (1993). Rebell Yell, by Billy Idol. Fate: The Best Of Death (1992).

No Commands, by Stone. Human (1991). Mass Hypnosis, by Sepultura. Spiritual Healing (1990). Latomeri, by Klamydia. Leprosy (1988). Hellion, by W.A.S.P. Scream Bloody Gore (1987).

Don't Stop at the Top, by Scorpions. Mutilation (demo, 1986). Bed of Nails, by Alice Cooper. Back From The Dead (demo, 1985). Aces High, by Iron Maiden. Rigor Mortis (demo, 1985). Trashed, Lost & Strungout (2004). Infernal Death (demo, 1985).

You're Better Off Dead! (2002). Live At Ruby's Pub (live-demo, 1984). Hate Me! (2000). Reign Of Terror (demo, 1984). Downfall (1998). Death By Metal (demo as Mantas, 1984). Children of Bodom (1997). Shannon Hamm - guitars (1996-1999).

Shining (Demo, 1996). Scott Clendenin - bass (1996-1999). Ubiquitous Absence of Remission (Demo, 1995). Richard Christy - drums (1996-1999). Implosion of Heaven (Demo, 1994). Bobby Koelble - guitars (1995). Hate Crew Deathroll (2003). Chris Williams - drums (1996).

Follow the Reaper (2001). Kelly Conlon - bass (1995). Tokyo Warhearts (Live CD, 1999). Craig Locicero - guitar (1993). Hatebreeder (1999). Ralph Santolla - guitars (1993). Something Wild (1997). Andy LaRocque (Anders Allhage) - guitars (1993).

Samuli Miettinen - Bass. Gene Hoglan - drums (1993-1995). Jani Pirisjoki - Keyboards. Paul Masdival - guitars (1990-1991). Alexander Kuoppala - Rhythm guitar. Skott Carino - Bass (1991-1992). Jaska Raatikainen - Drums. Sean Reinert - drums (1991-1992).

Henkka Seppälä - 5-string bass. Louie Carrisalez - vocals (1990). Janne Viljami Wirman - Keyboards. Walter Trachsler - guitar (1990). Roope Latvala - Rhythm guitar. Steve DiGiorgio - bass (1986, 1991, 1993). Alexi Laiho - Vocals, lead guitar. James Murphy - guitars (1990).

Bill Andrews - guitars(1987-1990). Terry Butler - bass (1987-1990). Chris Reifert - drums (1986-1987). Albert Gonzalez - guitars (1990).

John Hand - guitars (Never played anything live or on any album) (1987). Eric (last name unknown) - bass (1985). Eric Bregt - drums (1985). Matt Olivio - guitars (1985).

Scott Carlson - Bass (1985). Rick Rozz (Frederick DeLillo) - guitars(1983-1985, 1987-1989). Kam Lee (Barney Lee)- drums, vocals (1983-1985). Chuck Schuldiner - rhythm and lead guitars, vocals, main songwriter (1983-1999).

Time: 1983-1999. Status: Dissolved. Country: USA. Genre: Death metal.

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