Archive for Children of Bodom

Alexi Laiho’s book now available in English

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , , on 22nd April 2020 by izaforestspirit

So we may have to wait a while for the debut album from Alexi Laiho‘s new band Bodom After Midnight but there is some good news for his fans. The former Children of Bodom front-man’s autobiography ‘Alexi Laiho – Chaos, Control & Guitar’ is now available in English.

The book was ghost written by Petri Silas, a music journalist and personal friend of Mr. Laiho. The original version (in Finnish) came out last year.

Alexi Laiho - Chaos, Control & Guitar, Book - Backstage Rock Shop

The international, English edition is available from the following online stores:
Alexi Laiho – Chaos, Control & Guitar (Book in English)
https://www.recordshopx.com/book/laiho_alexi/kitara_kaaos_kontrolli/

For further information go to:
https://fi-fi.facebook.com/AlexiLaihoOfficial
https://www.facebook.com/bodomaftermidnightofficial/

Meet Alexi Laiho’s new band Bodom After Midnight

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , , on 16th March 2020 by izaforestspirit

So it’s official… Children of Bodom is no more. The well renowned Finnish melodic death metal group played their last show in Helsinki, Finland in December last year. With their front-man Alexi Laiho loosing the rights to the name, a decision was made for the band to call it a day.

Luckily, there is some good news for their fans. Alexi Laiho has recently formed a new band called Bodom After Midnight. He will be joined by former CoB band-mate guitarist Daniel Freyberg, drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost) and bassist Mitja Toivonen (Santa Cruz). The band have yet to find a full time keyboard player, but for now the keyboards will be performed by a session musician called Lauri Salomaa.

Bodom After Midnight are scheduled to play their first show at Tuska Open Air Festival on 27th June 2020 with other festival dates to follow this summer including John Smith Rock Festival and Summer Breeze Festival.

For now check out their new Facebook page for more details:
https://www.facebook.com/bodomaftermidnightofficial/#

 

Iza’s highlights of 2019

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s that time of the year again. Time for my annual best of list or “highlights” as I prefer to call them. 2019 was a eventful year for alternative music. There was a lot of new material that caught my attention which made selecting a top 10 much more difficult than last year. After much deliberation I have narrowed it down to the following albums:

1. Eluveitie – Antegnatos
Genre: Folk Metal
Eluveitie - Ategnatos
2. Children of Bodom – Hexed
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/ Power Metal
Children of Bodom - Hexed

3. The 69 Eyes – West End
Genre: Goth n’Roll/ Gothic Rock
The 69 Eyes - West End

4. Mgła – Age of Excuse
Genre: Black Metal
Mgła - Age of Excuse
5. Combichrist – One Fire
Genre: Industrial Metal/Electro-Industrial
Combichrist - One Fire - CD

6. Hocico – Artificial Extiction
Genre: Electro- Industrial/ Aggrotech
Hocico - Artificial Extinction - CD

7. Blutengel – Un:Gott
Genre: Synth-pop/Darkwave

8. Darkthrone – Old Star
Genre: Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Darkthrone - Old Star

9. Sabaton – The Great War
Genre: Power Metal
Sabaton - The Great War
10. Ad Inferna – Des Diables et Des Dieux
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal

Honorable mentions:
Aurelio Voltaire – She’s Glowing
Taken from the album What Are The Oddz?

God Module – Cross My Heart
Taken from the album The Unsound

Scandroid – The Writing’s On The Wall
Taken from the album The Light

The long-awaited new Rammstein album also came out this year. Sadly, despite a having handful of great songs including ‘Deutschland’, it was a little disappointing. I expected more from them after a decade of waiting.

Best live show of 2019
Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Runners up, honorable mentions go to: Behemoth live in Tampere and Blutengel live at Hellsinki Industrial.

New discoveries for 2019
Raven Said, Priest and Cygnosic

Most anticipated releases for 2020
a new albums from Helloween and Vader
Mono Inc- The Book of Fire
Celldweller – Satellites

That’s all from me. Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila

Three founding members leave Children of Bodom

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 3rd November 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s been over twenty years, thousands of live shows, world wide tours and ten albums. Now it looks as though this might be the final chapter for Children of Bodom. A few days ago Henkka, Janne and Jaska (three of the band’s founding members), made a shocking announcement that they will be leaving the band before the end of the year. Here is an extract from the official statement:

”It is with heavy hearts that we announce that 2019 will be the last for Children Of Bodom with this line-up.

After almost 25 years with Bodom, thousands of shows & 10 albums it is time for Henkka, Janne and Jaska to step back and change direction within their lives. All three will miss the fans and supporters in every city in every country the band ever played.

The last show of this line-up will be on the 15th of December at Helsinki Ice Hall. Tickets still remain for some of the Finnish shows in December.

Alexi and Daniel will have further announcements about their plans to keep creating new music in the future.

Thanks again for everything – Children Of Bodom”

The band’s front-man, Alexi Laiho has yet to comment on what will happen next. The band’s latest album ‘Hexed’ was released earlier this year via Nuclear Blast Records.

Finnish fans can still catch the band live with the current line-up on the following dates:

5.12.2019 Seinäjoki, Rytmikorjaamo
6.12.2019 Oulu, Teatria
7.12.2019 Tornio, Teatria
10.12.2019 Helsinki, Tavastia (Sold Out)
11.12.2019 Tampere, Pakkahuone
12.12.2019 Turku, Logomo
13.12.2019 Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
14.12.2019 Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
15.12.2019 Helsinki, Black Box

Children of Bodom - Photo

For more information visit:

https://www.cobhc.com/

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom/

Children of Bodom – Hexed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 27th February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom
Hexed
Released 8th March 2019
Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records


Children of Bodom - Hexed

Mr. Laiho and the Hate Crew are back with a new album. It’s been four years since ‘I Worship Chaos’, an album which I initially liked when it came out but after more listens it got a little repetitive. I still own it of course; I have all their albums, even the not so good ones. I guess that somewhere deep down I’m still that teenage Children of Bodom fan girl who had a crush on Alexi Laiho and dreamed of going to Finland to see them live. I used to listen to ‘Follow The Reaper’ on repeat for days and that album still holds a special place in my heart. If there is one band that has contributed the most to my obsession with all things Finnish and Finland it’s these guys. Not only did I visit Finland, I ended up relocating there and learning the language. I’ve seen Children of Bodom live on numerous occasions and I have even visited the Lake Bodom murder site in Espoo.

This brings me to ‘Hexed’, album number ten in Children of Bodom’s discography and the first to feature their new rhythm guitarist Daniel Freyborg. It’s astonishing just how much difference a second guitarist can make. Alexi Laiho is a great frontman and an exceptionally talented guitar player but there is more to this band than just him. Freyborg has his own unique style and he has definitely left his mark on this album. For example on Under Grass And Clover, the dual guitar harmonies work very well together, creating a smooth-sounding, catchy, melodeath metal song. Want something a little faster? Then skip right over to the next track Glass Houses – a classic COB track, with their signature ultra-fast keyboards and impressive guitar work. Speaking of keyboards, the title track features some of the best keyboard passages I have heard from Mr.Wirman in years.

There are quite a few moments on here that reminded me of their mid-career albums ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ and ‘Are You Dead Yet?’. It is not all same old Bodom, though. There are parts that display the band trying new things such as the technical guitar work and melodic keyboards on Hecate’s Nightmare. It is not something that I would have expected to hear from these guys but it works surprisingly well.

In summary, ‘Hexed’ shows how much Children of Bodom have evolved over the years. Where some of their previous albums failed to leave a lasting impression, getting stale after a few listens, here the songs stand out. While it lacks the “WOW!” factor of their best work, it is a strong album that will definitely please their fans both old and new.

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Children of Bodom reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , , on 30th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘I Worship Chaos’, will be called ‘Hexed’.

Check out the track-listing and cover art below:

1. The Road
2. Under Grass and Clover
3. Glass Houses
4. Hecate’s Nightmare
5. Kick in the Spleen
6. Platitudes and Barren Words
7. Hexed
8. Relapse (The Nature of My Crime)
9. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
11. Knuckleduster
12. I Worship Chaos (live)
13. Morrigan (live)
14. Knuckleduster (remix)

Children of Bodom - Hexed

‘Hexed’ is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide on 8th March 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records. This will be the band’s first album with their new rhythm guitarist Daniel Freyberg who joined the band in 2016 replacing Roope Latvala.

For more details visit:

https://www.facebook.com/childrenofbodom

http://www.cobhc.com/site/

Interview with Janne Wirman (Children of Bodom)

Posted in Gig, Interview, Live with tags , , , , , on 19th March 2017 by mickbirchy

Before their set in Manchester, our writer, Mick Birchall sits with Janne Wirman from Children of Bodom to talk about 20 years of the band and how they kept up in the music industry. Also, touring and the music scene in general.

This year marks 20 years of Children of Bodom. How does it feel to be able to say that you have actually been going that long?

Yes, it’s crazy it really is.  We weren’t really expecting that when we started. Back then we were just kids and we played heavy metal metal. Yeah it’s great it really is. Just the though that we’ve made it this far.

You guys have played all around the world.  Would you say there a difference in audience, depending on where you go?

You be surprised on how little the differences are really. Metal heads are metal heads no matter where you go.  If there are differences then they’d be small things. Such as in Japan, the crowd will probably go completely silent between the songs, it feels a little awkward. However, it is a show of respect. So it’s things like that but when the music is on, it’s on!

Going for 20 years now and with 9 albums.  How do you feel you keep your music sounding new without wearing out the same sound, but also without compromising the core of the band?

That’s becoming a challenge after releasing so many albums and we definitely don’t want to be stuck to a formula or get stuck the mindset of “this worked well, let’s just do that again”. As a band you have to keep creating something new and you have to take a risk with something eventually. I mean there’s only so many bands that can release the same album over and over.

Over the years what is the one song you wish you had written as a band?

I would say Redneck by Lamb of God.

What would be the best band that you have opened for and what’s the best band that’s opened for you?

I’d say the best we’ve opened for is Slayer. We did a couple tour with them and it was just great.  Their level of production and how well the opening bands were treated it was just amazing.

On the other hand we’ve had the pleasure of having so many killer band open the show for us. We had this band recently play with us.  Havok they were really great, we’ve heard them play and every audience they’ve played for people have just loved them.  Also we have Oni with us on this tour. They’re really cool, with a xylophone player. If you’re into the weird stuff then Oni is for you.

What’s your impression of the more gimmicky bands out there.  The ones who will dress up and get into character for a show?

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just don’t paste it over your image, if your band sound sounds fine without gimmicks then don’t paste it over the top of it.  Only do it if it’s natural to the kind of music that you’re trying to create. Also, if you’re going to do it, make it your own thing.  Don’t take another band idea and slap it over your band, try to be original with a concept.

So to end on. What was the hardest thing you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

We’ve had some obstacles in band. Obviously letting Roope (Latvala) go was a tough decision. We were struggling without him for sometime. When you’ve been in the industry for this long you’ve had up and and downs. At the end of the day, everyone in the band has to believe in the same thing, then between all of you you get through rough times. As long as you have you bandmates there’s very little that they’ll let you do wrong.

 

Interview and words by Mick Birchall

Children of Bodom w/ Supports – Manchester, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags on 19th March 2017 by mickbirchy

Bands: Oni, Forever Still, Children of Bodom

Location: Manchester Academy, Manchester

Date: 11th March 2017

A rainy night in Manchester and I was off to see Finnish metallers, Children Of Bodom. The last time I saw them was a few years ago in the same venue (The Academy 2). This year marks 20 years of the band, and they were going to celebrate in style with the Manchester crowd with a retro inspired setlist and a fearsome attitude. They also brought along Canadian progressive metal band, Oni and Danish hard rock collective, Forever Still.

I sadly missed Oni’s set as I was interviewing, Janne Wirman from Children of Bodom. It’s a shame as they seemed like a really interesting band with a unique set up. With a Xylosyth player up front. Everyone I spoke to about them after their set was truly buzzing. So I hope to see them quite soon.

Forever Still

I’ve liked this band for a while and I had never seen them live. However, I left this set a little  a underwhelmed. The Danish rockers hit the stage and they were OK. There wasn’t much of a flow to the set. Between the songs it didn’t really feel like they were engaging the audience. Their songs were performed decently enough with a sharp, crisp and polished sound. Front-woman, Maja’s vocals were particularly impressive and there were moments when it felt like they hit their stride. Yet it was only when they got into the songs that I liked off of the album that I started to like the set as a whole. I hope it was just tonight and not a Monica of their standard live performances.

A07 WM.jpg

A01 WM.jpg

Children Of Bodom

Now for the reason everyone was there. Children of Bodom fans are a rabid bunch and really enjoy their set. For me, it was pretty good. Maybe I just don’t understand their music. After all my favourite album from them is the one that fans of band don’t like (Relentless, Reckless, Forever). So maybe I wasn’t the best person to talk about this show.

Sayin that though I did enjoy the show for what it was. The live sound was really good, you could hear everyone the of the show and every members sound was coming in clear. Alexi’s voice was pretty good, much better than the last time I saw them. The band was tight and felt completely in sync. The on-stage on chemistry was brilliant and you really get that feeling that they just know how the others are thinking on stage.

The key word to their set was presence. You just feel them on stage. They really don’t hold back. Their energy and intensity is a powerful feeling and makes the night feel that much better for the fans. When you feel the guitar and drums in your gut with the synth twinkling and providing that atmosphere. It’s truly a great feeling. Alexi Laiho is an excellent frontman, he really just get his audience and plays to them and it comes back to his presence. He really owns the stage, even though he doesn’t move around a whole lot, you can can just feel him on that stage. Overall it was a good night of music. I had fun and that’s point at the end of the day.

C01 WM.jpg

C14 WM.jpg

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Words by Mick Birchall

Photos by Charlotte Wellings

www.charlottewellings.com

Children of Bodom – I Worship Chaos

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 23rd September 2015 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom
I Worship Chaos
Released 2nd October 2015
Melodic Death Metal / Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Here comes the Reaper with his Hate Crew…! The Finnish extreme metal band Children of Bodom are back with a new album, the follow up to ‘Halo of Blood’. This is the first album to feature just Alexi Laiho on guitars following the departure of their rhythm guitarist Roope Latvala back in May. Janne Wirman’s younger brother Antti Wirman will be playing guitar at their live shows until the end of the year. The band will then decide who replaces Roope Latvala on a permanent basis.

After a somewhat unexpected, eerie dark ambient intro I Hurt kicks off with the familiar sounds of Wirman’s ultra fast, yet melodic keyboards and Laiho’s equally fast guitar riffs. Mr. Laiho’s vocal style hasn’t changed since the previous album, he is still using the melodeath-esque semi-growls. Luckily the unimaginative filler phrases such as swear words and shouts of “yauuu!!” have been kept to a bare minimum. Morrigan is a catchy song in which the keyboards enter the spotlight offering a strong contrast to the harsh vocals. For those who prefer something a little heavier, more aggressive and more guitar-driven, then Horns will not disappoint. That track sounds like it was written with the mosh-pit in mind and personally I can’t wait to hear it live.

The title track acts as a showpiece, demonstrating all the things that make Children of Bodom so unique. It’s all here: the ultra-fast, power metal style keyboards, furious guitar riffs, the aggressive drum work and of course Laiho’s relentless vocals. Another track that caught my attention is the melodic All For Nothing, which sees a dramatic change to a slower and somewhat “softer” pace in both the instruments as well as Alexi Laiho’s vocals. It sounds like he is whispering at the start and shrieking rather than growling as the song progresses.

In summary I have really enjoyed this album. It’s rare for a band that has been around for many years to re-invent themselves and come up with something memorable. Just like its predecessor, ‘I Worship Chaos’ marks another step in the right direction. So, for those who hated their weaker albums such ‘Blooddrunk’ but now want to give the band another chance to redeem themselves, you should definitely check out ‘I Worship Chaos’.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom and Nightwish live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , on 1st August 2015 by izaforestspirit

Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom, Nightwish
Ratina Stadium, Tampere, Finland
31st July 2015

A cloudy Friday night in central Tampere. The weather might have not been great but there was a sizable crowd of metalheads gathered at the local stadium. Why, you might ask? Three of the country’s biggest metal bands have come here to play a show.

Sonata Arctica were almost half way through their set by the time I arrived at the venue. I like some of their old albums but I’ve never been a massive fan. I’ve also seen them live many times before so I knew what to expect from their show. They play energetic power metal with very fast keyboards and squeaky vocals. I’m not familiar with their recent albums but I’m glad that they played ‘Don’t Say A Word’ towards the end because that is one of the very few songs that I recognized. 3/5

I’ve been a Children of Bodom fan since my early teens and I was really looking forward to see them live again. The last time that I saw them was at Sauna Open Air back in 2013. This time they played more songs from their newer albums which was a bit of shame because I actually prefer the old songs. Luckily their set also featured some of my favourites including ‘Lake Bodom’, ‘Hate Me’, ‘Needled 24/7’ and ‘In Your Face’. 4/5

The last time that I saw the headlining act, Nightwish, was in 2013 just before they announced that Floor Jansen was going to be their full-time singer. I don’t own a copy of their latest album, but I’ve heard some of the songs on the radio such as the single ‘Élan’. I actually danced along to the tune when I heard it. They put on an elaborate performance complete with large backdrop artwork display, pyrotechnics and fireworks. I was really happy to hear some of the old classics, such as ‘Stargazers’, ‘Sleeping Sun’ and my personal favourite ‘She Is My Sin’. These were songs which I never thought that I would get to hear live since their previous singer Anette couldn’t handle the operatic vocals. Luckily her replacement, Floor Jansen is a much more skilled vocalist and a better performer. Not only could she sing all the classic Nightwish songs but also their mid-career stuff such as ‘Amaranth’ (originally written with Anette on vocals) sounded good. All the fancy stage props really helped to build up to the grand finale, the unforgettable opus that is ‘The Greatest Show on Earth. 5/5

Overall, it’s been a memorable evening. Sonata Arctica’s show was pretty much what I expected it to be. Children of Bodom put on a good show but they were better the previous time that I saw them. Nightwish exceeded my expectations with a fantastic show that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Iza Raittila

Decapitated announce new drummer and enter studio to record sixth album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Three days ago, on 10th March, Polish metal extremists Decapitated entered Hertz Studio’s, located in Bialystok, Poland, to record their sixth record. The yet untitled creation is set for a release in September via Nuclear Blast. The band have also announced that Michal Lysejko has joined the band as full-time drummer. UK fans of Decapitated will already be familiar with Michal following the band’s recent UK tour with US metal bands Lamb Of God and Huntress. Guitarist Waclaw ‘Vogg‘ Kieltyka comments:

We would like to share news with you. All you know that we’ve been quite busy lately. We had some personal changes in the band and also we did I guess the best tours we had; with Meshuggah, Lamb Of God and Children Of Bodom.  First of all we want to introduce you Decapitated new drummer Michal Lysejko. Some of you had a chance to meet him already during tour with Lamb Of God this January. Also I want to say THANK YOU to the rest of the people who took a challenge and sent their video for an audition.

Also since January this year we signed worldwide management contract with Continental Concerts & Management. That’s for sure big step and opportunity for us and big challenge. But I guess the most important news for most of you is that after almost nine years we back to Hertz Studio (albums: Nihility, The Negation, Organic Hallucinosis) to record new album which will be released autumn this year. We will inform you about details soon. Keep it touch!!

Decapitated will also be hitting UK shores once again this summer on Saturday 9th August when they annihilate Bloodstock! They’ll be joining their label mates Hatebreed, Children Of Bodom, Carcass, ReVamp and Biohazard at Bloodstock for what is looking to be the hardest hitting metal-filled weekend of the year.

Decapitated online:

http://decapitatedband.net
http://facebook.com/decapitated

 

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Iza’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Live, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2013 by izaforestspirit

It’s been one hell of a busy year in the world of alternative music. Lots of great new releases, memorable shows and festivals. I’ve decided to write a short summary of some of the highlights of 2013. Here are some of the albums that caught my attention this year:

1. Chthonic – Bú Tik
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/ Oriental Metal

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This is easily my favourite metal album of 2013. ‘Bú Tik’ brings together the aggression of black and death metal with the melodic oriental sounds of the erhu for that unique mix that only Chthonic are renowned for. The results of this combination are both complex and beautiful in their design. Best tracks: ‘Supreme Pain For a Tyrant’, ‘Sail into The Sunset’s Fire’ and Defenders of Bú Tik Palace’.

2. Suicide Commando – When Evil Speaks
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech/ Harsh Electro

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I’ve been a fan of Suicide Commando for a number of years now. ‘When Evil Speaks’ is the long-awaited follow-up to ‘Implements of Hell’. Based around the overall subject of hate and evil in today’s society; the album features dark and sinister lyrical themes, old-school EBM tunes and Aggrotech dance-floor hits. Best tracks: ‘My Blasphemy’, ‘Unterwelt’ and ‘Monster’.

3. Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood
Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal

 photo haloofblood_zps31ec4b24.jpg
I’ve been of a fan of this band since my early teens, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to review their latest album. Aside from the odd surprise such as the ballad ‘Dead Man’s Hand On You’, ‘Halo of Blood’ features the signature Bodom sound and is without a shadow of doubt their strongest release in years. Best tracks: ‘Transference’ , ‘Bodom Blue Moon’ and ‘Dead Man’s Hand On You’.

4. Psyclon Nine – [Order of the Shadow : Act I]
Genre: Aggrotech/ Industrial Metal

 photo PsyclonNine_OrderoftheShadowActI_zpse9992e54.jpg
This band is not an easy one to categorise into a specific genre. Some industrial and EBM fans dismiss their style by saying that their black metal influences are too strong to earn them a place in the industrial scene. Not that I give a damn since that’s precisely why I like them. ‘Order of The Shadow…” is their harshest and most aggressive release to date. After 10 tracks of intense, adrenaline fueled, blackened industrial, I was shocked to hear the sombre ballads at the end. Best tracks: ‘Shadows Unveiled’ , ‘Use Once and Destroy’ and ‘The Saint and The Valentine’.

5. Agathodaimon – In Darkness
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/ Symphonic Black Metal

 photo Agathodaimon-InDarknesscover_zpsd0e06cd6.jpg
This album marks a departure from the gothic metal days of its predecessor ‘Phoenix’ and a return their older, melodic black metal sound depicted in earlier releases such as ‘Chapter III’ and ‘Higher Art of Rebellion’. Whilst not quite reaching the greatness of ‘Chapter III’ (an album which holds a special place in my heart); ‘In Darkness’ is definitely a step in the right direction, offering a mixture of agression and melancholic melodies. Best tracks: ‘In Darkness (We Shall be Reborn), ‘I’ve Risen’ and ‘Favourite Sin’.

Best Live Shows of 2013

1. Sabaton live at Sauna Open Air, Tampere, Finland.

2. Children of Bodom live at Sauna Open Air, Tampere, Finland.

3. Chthonic live at Klubi, Tampere, Finland.

4. Suicide Commando live in London, the U.K.

5. Heimataerde live at KOMA festival, Oslo, Norway.

Best New Discovery of 2013: ErilaZ
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This Finnish band caught my attention during their performance at this year’s Lumous festival in Tampere, Finland. What do they sound like? Imagine a mixture of Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly with the combined lyrical themes of Amon Amarth. Impossible, you say? Go on, I dare you to give them a try!

To finish off I’d like to list some of the releases that I’m looking forward to in 2014:

Most Anticipated Albums of 2014:

1. Behemoth – The Satanist
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Release Date: 3rd February 2014

2. Vader – TIBI ET IGNI “For You (and only You) and Fire
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: Spring 2014

3. Kampfar – Djevelmakt
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Release Date: 27th January, 2014

4. Combichrist – We Love You
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech
Release Date: 15th March 2014

5. Nachtmahr – Feindbild
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech
Release Date: 14th February 2014

That’s all for now. Happy New Year!

Bloodstock 2014 Announcements

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 8th November 2013 by Hannah

The bill for Bloodstock 2014 is further heating up following the announcement of two exclusive UK-only appearances and one only UK-festival appearance. Metal giants Children of Bodom have been announced for the Ronnie James Dio stage, who along with legends of death metal Obituary are performing their only UK show of 2014 at Catton Hall, as well as the announcement of a UK-festival exclusive performance by sludge-titans Crowbar. Bloodstock also announced the long awaited main stage debut of long term fan favourites and parody-metal connoisseurs Evil Scarecrow, who will be opening the festivities on Saturday. Already on the bill are headliners Megadeth (also performing their only UK show of 2014), Down and a reunited Emperor, along with British NWOBHM legends Saxon, Flotsam & Jetsam and Decapitated.

Many more bands are still to be announced, as well as the dates for the 2014 Metal to the Masses competition, in order to find a band to perform at Bloodstock as well as a number of other European festivals, including Wacken. Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2014 will fall over the 7th-14th of August, and tickets are available from the Bloodstock website now.

Insomnium release behind the scenes video for One For Sorrow

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Before heading to the studio to record their follow-up for One For Sorrow; Finland’s darkest death metal musicial export Insomnium have complied a “Making Of” documentary of their time in the studio recording their Century Media debut album; One For Sorrow.

The band comments about this:

During the spring 2011 our good friend Jussi Ratilainen decided to shoot some video of Insomnium, which was supposed to become a short, making-of-documentary about writing and recording of our latest album One For Sorrow. As you already know, things took unexpected turn and we lost a band member and a good friend, Ville Vänni, during this process. Luckily, during the same year we also found the best imaginable fit and new member from Markus Vanhala. This is our first-ever video release telling how One for Sorrow came into being. It’s also a story about friendship and dedication; about four guys chasing a dream while trying to make ends meet. In all its honesty.

The first episode can be viewed at this location.

Furthermore Insomnium will embark for one more European tour to promote One For Sorrow. This time they’ll team up with mighty Children Of Bodom. The band is psyched about joining the metal legends on tour:

We have been listening Children of Bodom since we started this band and it’s an honour to share the same stage with them every night. Can’t wait to see you on road!

CHILDREN OF BODOM, NAPALM DEATH (main support), INSOMNIUM (2nd support act)MEDEIA (opening act)

07.10.2013 (GB) BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
08.10.2013 (GB) BRISTOL, O2 Academy
10.10.2013 (IRL) DUBLIN, Vicar Street
12.10.2013 (GB) SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
13.10.2013 (GB) NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
14.10.2013 (GB) MANCHESTER, Academy
15.10.2013 (GB) LONDON, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Insomnium are touring their latest album ‘One For Sorrow’ that was released last year to critical acclaim via Century Media Records.

Insomnium online:

http://insomnium.net
http://facebook.com/insomniumofficial

 

Powerwolf confirmed for 2014 edition of Rockharz Festival

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 6th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

The wolves of metal Powerwolf have been confirmed for Rockharz Festival 2014 in Germany. The five piece band are also the first power metal band to be confirmed for the event next year. Other bands on the bill so far are Children of Bodom and Arch Enemy. More details about the festival and tickets can be found at this location.

Powerwolf online:

http://www.powerwolf.net
http://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal
http://www.youtube.com/powerwolfmetal

 

Napalm Death confirmed as UK support for Children of Bodom

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th August 2013 by Nico Davidson

Pioneers of the UK grindcore scene Napalm Death were recently announced as special guests on Children of Bodom’s upcoming Halo of Blood UK tour. Formed in 1981 in Birmingham, Napalm Death have consistently released groundbreaking albums since their now legendary 1987 debut release Scum and they show no signs of slowing down as they continue to tour in support of their current Utilitarian release which came out in 2012. Children of Bodom stated:

Touring the UK and Ireland with Napalm Death feels great! We are honoured to have these pioneers with us and looking forward to seeing them live every night!

Tour dates are as follow:

7th October – BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
8th October – BRISTOL, O2 Academy
10th October – DUBLIN, Vicar St.
12th October – SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
13th October – NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
14th October – MANCHESTER, Academy
15th October – LONDON, O2, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Napalm Death online:

http://www.napalmdeath.org
http://twitter.com/NAPALM_DEATH
http://facebook.com/napalmdeathofficial

 

Lonewolf – The Fourth and Final Horseman

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1st July 2013 by Hannah

Lonewolf
The Fourth and Final Horseman
Released: July 2013
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records


The Fourth and Final Horseman is a valiant effort from French power metal powerhouses Lonewolf. At times reminiscent of other fully fledged champions of the genre like Sabaton, or indeed legends such as Manowar or Blind Guardian, they also promise variety and versatility with tinges of Children of Bodom, Wintersun and even the late, great Bathory. However, this variety never fully manifests, and it’s something that lets the band down here.

Don’t get me wrong, in the long run, I think TFAFH is a cracker of an album. Jens Börner’s often criticised vocal style actually works in their favour, in my opinion; his voice is intensely gravelly, very throaty and I can understand why it puts people off, but I think it elevates their sound beyond the normally ultra-slick and squeaky clean production of most power metal bands and adds a heavy, gritty edge to their music. Of course there is a major Running Wild influence throughout but Lonewolf get too much flack for this and I think it’s time we accepted that, and moved on!

There are some fantastic tracks on offer here. Opener and title track ‘The Fourth and Final Horseman’ is a strong start, with a simple, repetitive and infernally catchy chorus that will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day- a formula Lonewolf tend to stick to throughout the rest of the album! Here, Börner and guitarist Alex Hilbert definitely show off their virtuoso capabilities with spiralling guitar harmonies; again, a formula they will stick to. Most of the time, this faithful adherence to this tried-and-tested method of song writing doesn’t detract from their sound, and I am tempted to say if something works, then by all means go for it! It works well in tracks ‘Hellride’ and ‘Time for War’, for example, but leaves ‘Throne of Skulls’, ‘The Brotherhood of Wolves’ and ‘Guardian Angel’ quite uninspiring.

Where TFAFH reaches its most impressive heights for me is in the tracks that promise echoes of something more; those hints of variety that I mentioned previously. ‘The Poison of Mankind’, for example, starts very strong with an almost cinematic, choral tinged opener that slowly builds into a stomping tune that eventually reverts to the usual Lonewolf formula, but still maintains that atmosphere created by the start of the track. A similar effect is achieved in ‘Dragonriders’, with its almost Celtic, folk-tinged melodies and in album closer ‘Destiny’, in which a slow, almost acoustic feeling promises a brooding and atmospheric closer before it once again falls into simply another stomping, energetic power metal track.

Don’t get me wrong; their formula works, and I don’t think any of the songs on this album are bad; on the contrary, they are impressively energetic, and good all-round metal songs with more than a tinge of the retro. I just wish they had the balls to stick with the slower, more melodic and quieter elements sometimes! This is why the standout track for me, by far, is the only one in which they manage to maintain that epic, melodic atmosphere throughout, and that is in the Bathory-esque ‘Another Star Means Another Death’. Change the vocals and it wouldn’t sound that out of place on Hammerheart or Blood Fire Death. It begins with a beautiful, brooding, slow burning melody that quickly builds into heaviness but manages to keep that brooding atmosphere bubbling throughout.

Overall, there is some fantastic guitar work going on throughout this album, and I enjoyed most of it. However, I can’t help but think that Lonewolf would silence their critics if they only managed to shake things up a bit, and show off the versatility that is so blatantly hiding under the surface. Having said that, I do think that this is a good album and a must for any fan of power metal, and I even think that this would be a good choice for those that don’t usually dabble in the genre. A good effort; I just want to see more variety on the next album.

3/5

Hannah O’Flanagan

 

Behemoth forced to cancel Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival appearance

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 6th June 2013 by Nico Davidson

Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth have been forced to cancel their upcoming appearance on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival due to their drummer Inferno taking ill and requiring surgery. The band’s frontman Nergal comments:

This must have been the most difficult decision we were forced to make in recent years. Behemoth is known for not cancelling any shows or tours. But this is not something we can do when we are missing our driving force, the man behind the drums – Inferno. Unfortunately, he was hospitalised due to appendix surgery and it’s gonna take him few months to fully recover and get back to shape. We are trying to save selected European Festivals with a fill in drummer [Krimh, ex-Decapitated], but we won’t be risking doing a full-on prestigious tour like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival without Inferno. Behemoth is a solid unit and any part of this unit missing makes us weaker, and that is not how we want to present our new material to our fans. Please, accept our apologies and be patient, we shall return to Europe (this fall) and the US (early 2014) empowered and motivated as never before!

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is set to kick off on Saturday 29th June in San Bernardino, CA and features bands such as Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, Machine Head, Job For a Cowboy, Battlecross, Children of Bodom, and many more. For tickets, dates, contests, and more, head to the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Official Site and follow the tour on Facebook and Twitter.
Behemoth’s recently announced forthcoming full-length album, The Satanist, is scheduled for a fall 2013 release.

Behemoth online:

http://www.behemoth.pl
http://www.facebook.com/behemoth
http://www.metalblade.com/behemoth
http://twitter.com/behemothband

Insomnium annoucned as support on Children of Bodom European tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd May 2013 by Nico Davidson

After recently coming off tour with Moonspell, Insomnium have just been confirmed as direct support for the upcoming Children Of Bodom tour in Europe. The band is psyched about joining the metal legends on tour:

We’re very proud to announce the final One For Sorrow tour launching this fall. We have been confirmed main support act for the mighty Children Of Bodom on their Halo Of Blood Over Europe tour. This part of the tour will be Finnish only as second support is our friends in Medeia. See you on the roaaaad!

Insomnium supporting Children Of Bodom:
CHILDREN OF BODOM
INSOMNIUM (main support act)
MEDEIA (opening act)
25.09.2013 (S) STOCKHOLM, Tyrol
26.09.2013 (S) GOTHENBURG, Brewhouse
27.09.2013 (N) OSLO, Rockefeller
28.09.2013 (DK) COPENHAGEN, Amager Bio
29.09.201 (D) HAMBURG, Markthalle
01.10.2013 (D) COLOGNE, Live Music Hall
02.10.2013 (D) BERLIN, Postbahnhof
03.10.2013 (D) OSNABRÜCK, Halle Gartlage
04.10.2013 (B) ANTWERP, Trix
05.10.2013 (D) LEIPZIG, Werk 2
07.10.2013 (GB) BOURNEMOUTH, O2 Academy
08.10.2013 (GB) BRISTOL, O2 Academy
10.10.2013 (IRL) DUBLIN, Vicar Street
12.10.2013 (GB) SHEFFIELD, O2 Academy
13.10.2013 (GB) NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
14.10.2013 (GB) MANCHESTER, Academy
15.10.2013 (GB) LONDON, Shepherd’s Bush Empire
17.10.2013 (D) SAARBRÜCKEN, Garage
18.10.2013 (D) STRAUBING, Metal Invasion
19.10.2013 (D) ALSFELD, Stadthalle
20.10.2013 (NL) TILBURG, O13
21.10.2013 (D) STUTTGART, LKA Longhorn

Insomnium are touring their latest album ‘One For Sorrow’ that was released last year to critical acclaim via Century Media Records.

Insomnium online:

http://www.insomnium.net
http://www.facebook.com/insomniumofficial
http://twitter.com/insomniumband
http://www.myspace.com/insomniumband
http://vf-insomnium.blogspot.com

Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood

Posted in Review with tags on 21st May 2013 by izaforestspirit

Children of Bodom
Halo of Blood
Released 7th June 2013 (EU), 10th June (UK), 11th June (rest of the world)
Melodic Death/Power Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

 photo haloofblood_zps31ec4b24.jpg

Finnish melo-death/power metallers Children of Bodom don’t really need much of an introduction. For the benefit of those few who are unfamiliar with the band, here’s some brief background info:
Children of Bodom was originally formed back in 1993. After a handful of demos, the year 1997 saw the release of their debut album ‘Something Wild’. ‘Halo of Blood’ is their latest effort, a long-awaited follow up to their 2011 album ‘Relentless Reckless Forever’.

I’ve been listening to Children of Bodom since my early teens, so needless to say that I have high expectations for this album… Straight from the offset we’re entering familiar territory with the opening track Waste of Skin offering walls of guitar riffage, ultra fast keyboards and Alexi Laiho’s signature melo-death growls. Oh yes, this is a Children of Bodom album alright!!

Transference (also a video track) reminds me of the band’s ‘Follow The Reaper’ -era mostly due to the melodic tones of guitar and the keyboard patterns. As tends to be the case with Children of Bodom, there’s also a fair amount of guitar and keyboard solos providing the backbone to a lot of the songs on here. Not that it’s a bad thing, in fact that’s what makes this band so unique. As per usual, the album also features a Bodom-themed song, Bodom Blue Moon; a skilfully executed, keyboard infused piece of melodic death metal. Another noteworthy track is the slow paced and oddly tranquil-sounding Dead Man’s Hand On You, quite possibly the band’s very first metal ballad.

Overall I can say is that my rating for ‘Halo of Blood’ is based on how it compares to others in the band’s discography. My favorite of theirs is, was and always will be ‘Follow The Reaper’. Rest assured, this album is not a ‘Follow The Reaper part 2’ and luckily (for me at least) it’s not another ‘Blooddrunk’ either.

4/5 – so good to have you back Children of Bodom!

Iza Raittila