In this ongoing Finland metal tribute, we’ve been trying to focus on bands that are new to us, because we’re selfish like that. But really, how could we run a series on Finnish metal and not talk, at least briefly, about what is arguably the country’s most visible extreme metal export — Children of Bodom?
The three of us who started NCS have been diehard COB fans for many years. Whenever we get wind that they’re coming anywhere near Seattle on tour, we react like Pavlov’s dog at the dinner bell. For us, it’s hard to get enough of that speedy, hooky, identifiably COB brand of thrashy, flashy melodeath or Alexi Laiho’s shredtastic solos, and in just about every way you want, they put on a kickass live show.
These dudes have come a long way from their underground days. They’ve perfected a signature sound — you hear the first few bars of a COB song, and you know it’s them — and it’s a sound that causes shitloads of people all over the world to salivate.
Next year will bring more worldwide salivating, with the scheduled March 8 release of the band’s seventh studio album, Relentless Reckless Forever. The recording is done, and the band has even finished a music video for the first single, “Was It Worth It?”, which was filmed in Pennsylvania (?!?) and will feature two-time X Games gold medalist and two-time Thrasher Magazine “Skater of the Year” Chris Cole as well as pro skaters Jamie Thomas and Tom Asta. So it’s gonna be some kind of skate-thrash party song apparently.
With significant fan popularity and commercial success have come some questions: Has COB become so reliant on that signature sound that they’re starting to become formulaic in their song construction? Is their musical growth slowing? Are they losing that underground edge they used to have? Was 2008’s Blooddrunk album something of a let-down, despite the fact that it was the band’s biggest seller of all time? (more after the jump . . ., including a bunch of COB music)
Our reluctant answer to all those questions is “yes”. Does that mean we’ve lost our quasi-slavish hunger for their music? Nope — not yet. It does mean that we tend to play the older cuts a lot more than the newer ones. They left such an impression when we first heard them, and the newer songs are starting to sound like paler imitations. We’re keeping our fingers crossed about the 2011 release. What do you think?
To pay homage to COB as part of our Finland Tribute Week, we have some older songs for you. If we were to make a list of the Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs for the decade to date, this first one would be on it. It’s from the band’s 2005 album, Are You Dead Yet?
Here’s one more from Are You Dead Yet?:
Now let’s jump back in time and check out this song from 2003’s Hate Crew Deathroll:
Now let’s jump even further back in time. This next official video is for a song from COB’s 2000 album, Follow the Reaper:
Tomorrow we’re planning to pick up again with bands recommended to us in the comments on our original invitation for help with this series. For today, let us know what you think of COB — past, present, or future.
I really, really….(a lot of reallys) hope that their next album is better, but like you said, it’s hard for me to criticize one of the bands that got me into this shit show of a music obsession. However, the fact that their music video for the new song involves frikkin sk8r boys is not doing much to instill hope in me. I guess this album realease will be met by either a celebration of metal awesomness or a depressing state of hermitude. We shall see.
On a completely unrelated note, I persuaded a barista at one of my most frequented coffee shops to play Animals As Leaders’ self-titled album in the cafe, and it was loved by all. Muahahahaha….I am slowly turning Seattle from hipster to metal, one local business at a time (I think a band with vocals will have to wait…to soon, but give me time).
You get two gold stars for beginning the subversion of Seattle retailers. Conquering the world, one coffee shop at a time! And yeah, I’m getting nervous about the next COB release based on the description of that video. Could this represent a COB crossover effort (gasp)?
I just had to swallow some vomit
My work here is done.
I was waiting for you to post this band…
Yeah, had to do it. And there are a few others that everyone knows that I feel compelled to mention for similar reasons, ie, how can you talk about Finnish metal and leave them out, even if everyone knows the music already?
COB still holds a special place for me despite the varying quality of their newer material. They were part of the first real metal concert I saw (I say ‘real’ as in touring metal bands, rather than a local-bands-only show), supporting Iced Earth with Evergrey opening back in spring of Ought Four. A couple friends and I drove the 10 hours to the show at Harpos in Detroit (going to college in the middle of nowhere sucked as far as trying to catch any tours), rocked out for five or six hours or however long the show was, then drove the 10 hours back right afterwords.
I remember being really blown away at how COB’s guitar-keyboard duels were just as tight live as they were on record, and laughing at how often Alexi would do his spit-straight-up-in-the-air thing! Good times…
I have found Children Of Bodom in 2000 the first album i have purchased was “Follow the Reaper”… COB changed my life and to me is the most powerful music in the world Alexi is a genius and all band members to, all albumsare great and the RRF album will show how f..king restless they are undying music machine for the livingdead fans we are for them, thinking deeply about Children Of Bodom makes me cry and i am not ashamed it´s the Band of my life and death they never abandoned me and i have found them in one of the lowest part of my life, i´mcrying … COB!!!!! sh*t
Thanks for letting it all hang out about COB. As you can tell from our post and some other comments above, that band played a big role in turning lots of other people in the direction of extreme metal, too. I tell you truly, I’m always gonna have a soft spot for them and will always listen to their releases, even if I might prefer the older songs that helped get me into metal in the first place.
I’m seriously an expert (or should I say, a person thats obsessed with) on Finnish metal. If you want to heavily discuss it, hit me up! By the way, I better see Stam1na, Moonsorrow, Imperanon, Norther, Naildown and last but not least Wintersun on this list!
Well, I had 3 of those bands on my list and now need to check out the other two (Stamina and Naildown). Isn’t Aleksi Sihvonen the vocalist for Norther, as well as Medicated (who we wrote about in another one of these installments)? And did he have some connection to Imperanon at one time?
I’d definitely be interested in picking your brain. Expect an e-mail from me soon.
I forgot to add some more you may or may not have heard of/posted: Elenium, Korpiklaani, Olympos Mons,
Omnium Gatherum, Ensiferum, Speed Piano Solo, Radiance (Sami Raatikainens project), Rattus, Stratovarius, Sentenced, Amoral, Tarot, Sonata Arctica, Symphonia, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, Kalmah, Kiuas, Swallow The Sun, Tracedawn, Waltari, Hevisaurus (MOST METAL LITTLE KID BAND EVER) and how could you forget, the ones that started it all…..
Cool. Two of those bands will be in our post the day after tomorrow. We’ve written about some others in the past — there’s a rundown of Finnish bands we’ve reviewed earlier in the year at this post:
And some others on your list I need to check out . . .