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Children of Bodom are a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Their band name is derived from the infamous Lake Bodom murders which took place in Finland in the sixties.
Formed in 1993, the group currently consists of Alexi Laiho (vocals, lead guitar), Daniel Freyberg (rhythm guitar), Janne Wirman (keyboards), Henkka Seppälä (bass) and Jaska Raatikainen (drums). The band has proven hard to define into one genre as their music incorporates many different musical styles. Labels used to describe them have included melodic death metal, power metal, symphonic black metal, thrash metal and neoclassical metal.
The Finnish metallers were founded by vocalist Laiho and drummer Raatikainen, originally under the name Inearthed. The pair have known each other since childhood and shared a mutual interest in death metal bands such as Dissection, Entombed and Obituary. They recorded their first demo in August 1993, called “Implosion of Heaven”. The band was initially unsuccessful as Inearthed – their EPs brought no interest and little exposure – until the addition of Janne Wirman on keyboards. Wirman was the missing piece of the puzzle and allowed the band to adopt the style that would later characterize them as Children of Bodom. Shortly after, the band signed to Spinefarm Records and officially changed their name – a requirement as the record label had already signed a band under the name Inearthed. Their debut album “Something Wild” was released in 1997, and in the same year Bodom opened a show for Dimmu Borgir. They were subsequently approached by a record label representative from Nuclear Blast with a contract for a European release. Despite this, self-critical Laiho frequently cites "Something Wild" as his least favorite Bodom album.
Children of Bodom’s second album “Hatebreeder” was released in 1999 and their third album “Follow the Reaper” was released the next year, gaining gold status in their homeland Finland. Since this album, each of the five albums that followed have achieved this status. The band is actually one of Finland’s biggest artists, having sold over 250,000 records there alone. 2003 was a big year for the band – after releasing their fourth album, “Hate Crew Deathroll” it was crowned Finnish Band of the Year at the Finnish Music Awards. They also embarked on their first world tour in this year.
Laiho has been voted “Best Metal Guitarist” by the readers of Guitar World, beating well known players such as Kirk Hammett of Metallica to win the prestigious award. Some of Bodom’s most popular songs "Was It Worth It?", "Living Dead Beat", "Blooddrunk" and “If You Want Peace...Prepare for War” are featured in the video game series Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
Unusually, amongst their eight studio albums, Children of Bodom has released a covers album titled “Skeletons in the Closet”, which features a bonkers cover of Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again!” (yes, really.) Their latest album “Halo of Blood” released in June 2012 is their most accessible release yet and could very well push death metal into mainstream consciousness. More pop covers could also do the trick!