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Date Formed 1997

Categories: Death Metal, Speed Metal


A powerful, modern Metal act from the town of Espoo, named after Finland's infamous Lake Bodom, the scene of a horrific, unsolved attack on June 5th 1960 that left three teenagers dead. The children had died from multiple stab wounds but a sole survivor, Nils Gustafsson, was famously declared insane and institutionalized after he had blamed the attack on the Grim Reaper. This medieval harbinger of death character would feature prominently on all of the group's output to date.

Founder member and vocalist Alex "Wildchild" Laiho made his name as part of THY SERPENT, maintaining CHILDREN OF BODOM, created in 1993 with drummer Jaska Raatikainen, as a going concern. Initially the group had gone under the title of INEARTHED, issuing a batch of melodic Death Metal demos commencing with 'Implosion Of Heaven', recorded at Munkkiniemen Studios in August 1994 and released that December. These tracks would be laid down as a duo of Laiho and Raatikainen.

INEARTHED followed this opening tape with second set 'Ubiquitous Absence Of Remission' in July 1995, recording this time at Astia Studios. Interestingly, melodies from the track 'Translucent Image', which featured female guest vocals from Nina Keitel, would re-surface in SINERGY's 'Beware The Heavens' at a later date. Once again composed and performed by Laiho and Raatikainen, the tape does make mention of bassist Samuli Miettinen and new member rhythm guitarist Alexander Kuoppala. A third demo, entitled 'Shining', was committed to tape at Astia Studios in February 1996 utilising keyboard player Jan Peri Pirisjoki. A line-up change found bassist Samuli Miettinen superseded by Henkka Seppala.

As INEARTHED the group scored a label deal in Belgium but a better offer from the highly respected Finnish Spinefarm concern convinced the band their way. At this stage the band, now with Janne Wirman Pimeys on keyboards, switched title to CHILDREN OF BODOM recording the Anssi Kippo, Alex Laiho and Jaska Raatikainen produced 'Something Wild' debut.

The album was issued in Finland in February 1997 and picked up for European license by the German Nuclear Blast corporation shortly after, emerging on the continent in April 1998, and successively via Toy's Factory in Japan. Adding a degree of colour to the mix, the group employed movie narrative from 'Ben Hur' as an intro to 'The Nail', the opening section of 'Deadnight Warrior' being taken from the film 'It' and even Mozart's Symphony no. 25 was re-worked for 'Red Light in My Eyes, Pt 2'. The group recorded an additional track, 'Children Of Bodom', which, when released as a single alongside tracks from CRYHAVOC and WIZZARD, scored the unprecedented achievement of hitting the number 1 spot on the charts.

The band supported DIMMU BORGIR on their 1997 Finnish dates and in February of the following year hooked up with HYPOCRISY, COVENANT and BENEDICTION for mainland European gigs. For these shows, a friend of the band, Erna, substituted for Wirman Pimeys who could not get time out of schooling. With album sales on a sharp rise, CHILDREN OF BODOM were back out on the road in Europe during September, performing as part of another package bill with DISMEMBER, AGATHODAIMON, RAISE HELL and NIGHT IN GALES. Once again Wirman Pimeys had to sit it out and Kimberley Goss of AVERNUS, DIMMU BORGIR and THERION repute filled in. A one off concert in St. Petersburg, Russia, pairing with IMPALED NAZARENE, resulted in Alex Laiho opting to join the fellow Finns when CHILDREN OF BODOM's schedule allowed. As such, Laiho perform with IMPALED NAZARENE in February 1999 on their tour of North America and Mexico.

CHILDREN OF BODOM scored a further national number 1 single with 'Downfall' in early 1999. The single also contained a cover version of STONE's 'No Commands'. The 'Hatebreeder' album would also witness the band's presence in the national German album charts for the first time peaking at number 75. Humour was again in evidence, the intro narrative for opening song 'Warheart' being lifted from Milos Forman's 'Amadeus' movie and the keyboard introduction to 'Black Widow' brazenly borrowing from 80s TV series 'Miami Vice'.

Touring began with inaugural dates in Japan during the summer, concert recordings from Club Citta, Tokyo then surfacing as 'Tokyo Warhearts - Live In Japan', followed by a familiar all-Scandinavian Nuclear Blast package European venture allied with IN FLAMES, DARK TRANQUILITY and ARCH ENEMY. This time Janne Wirman Pimeys was finally in his rightful place behind the keyboards. In band down time Wirman, under the title of WARMEN, cut a solo album titled 'Unknown Soldier'.

In May 2000 another partnership with IMPALED NAZARENE conducted Greek gigs in Thessaloniki and Athens with Alex Laiho performing double guitar duty each night. The ensuing October album 'Follow The Reaper' record, cut at Abyss Studios in Sweden with the HYPOCRISY pairing of Peter Tägtgren and Lars Szöke acting as producer and engineer respectively, found the Japanese version with an extra bonus track, a version of OZZY OSBOURNE's 'Shot In The Dark'. Fans were quick to spot the band's now traditional oddball habit of planting the unexpected with the bridge section of 'Bodom After Midnight' in homage to 'The Rock' movie whilst speeches in 'Taste Of My Scythe' came transplanted from 'Exorcist 3'.

As a precursor of what was to come the band's 'Hate Me' single of October 2000, featuring a cover version of W.A.S.P.'s 'Hellion', swiftly reaped Platinum sales status in Finland by selling over 10'000 copies. Raatikainen deputised for SINERGY toward the close of the year before CHILDREN OF BODOM supported PRIMAL FEAR for a European tour across Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and France in February 2001. Their 'Follow The Reaper' album quickly shifted over 50'000 copies in Europe, attaining a number 46 placing in the German national charts and reaching the top five in Finland. In October the band featured on the Spinefarm compilation 'Metal Rocks' with an exclusive cover version of IRON MAIDEN's 'Aces High'.

Jaska Raatikainen, along with TAROT and SINERGY bassist Marco Hietala and TAROT keyboard player Janne Tolsa would also convene a 2001 endeavour dubbed VIRTUOCITY. Raatikainen would also find time to session on the EVEMASTER EP 'Wither'.

CHILDREN OF BODOM broke their silence in mid 2002 unveiling plans for an August single comprising a new track 'You're Better Off Dead' coupled with a cover version of the RAMONES 'Somebody Put Something In My Drink'. Upon release this single was swiftly certified with Gold sales status. By October the band had flagged up 'Hate Crew Deathroll' as a projected title for their next Anssi Kippo produced studio album. Upon release the record crashed into the national Finnish album charts at number one, soon racking up in excess of 15,000 domestic sales and duly attaining gold status.

Jaska Raatikainen forged a project band in 2004 entitled GASHOUSE GARDEN, comprising such scene notables as NORTHER lead guitarist Kristian Ranta, CRAYDAWN guitarist Jaakko Teittinen and the SINERGY, KOTIPELTO, WARMEN credited Lauri Porra on bass. Heading up the band would be female singer Mertsa, located whilst singing AC/DC covers with her band CHINA CAT. An opening set of demos was recorded at Janne Wirman's studio in Helsinki.

CHILDREN OF BODOM live dates in Japan, allied with none other than Metal God HALFORD, were announced for February 2003. Rhythm guitarist Alexander Kuoppala left the CHILDREN OF BODOM ranks following the band's appearance at the July Helsinki 'Tuska' festival.

The band, announcing that the noted figure of SINERGY, LATVALA BROS, WALTARI and ex-STONE man Roope Latvala had joined up as session guitarist for the remainder of their world tour, debuted this new look line up in Moscow on 16th August. They would be back in the Far East for a further run of Japanese shows that September, partnering up with SOILWORK. That same month 'Hate Crew Deathroll' saw release in the USA on the Century Media label. In the interim Alexi Laiho gained co-production credits on GRIFFIN's album 'No Holds Barred'. In Japan, the Toy's Factory Records label revealed an exclusive compilation album entitled 'Bestbreeder (1997-2000)'.

CHILDREN OF BODOM united with DIMMU BORGIR, NEVERMORE and HYPOCRISY for US dates in November. During a gap in the band's schedule Laiho reunited with his ex-SINERGY comrade Tommi Lillman, founding KYLÄHULLUT, or "village idiot", alongside lead singer on Finnish punk band KLAMYDIA Vesa Jokinen. The band issued the 'Keisarinleikkaus' EP in May of 2004.

An extensive North American trek throughout April and May of 2004 had the band partnered with ICED EARTH and Swedish Progressive Metal band EVERGREY. An EP, 'Trashed, Lost & Strungout', novelly included covers of ALICE COOPER's 'Bed Of Nails' and ANDREW W.K.'s 'She Is Beautiful'. The single, backed by a promotional video for the title track directed by Patric Ullaeus, would impressively debut on the Finnish charts at no. 1. Despite all this activity Alexi Laiho found time to act as producer for the GRIFFIN album 'No Holds Barred'. Meantime Roope Latvala guested on SOULGRIND's 'The Origins Of The Paganblood' album.

The band would tour Brazil in August. October shows across the US had the band partnering with LAMB OF GOD, FEAR FACTORY and THROWDOWN.

On 5th January 2005 Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala gathered together with Finland's Metal community at Helsinki's Rock 'n' Roll Station to pay homage to the recently murdered PANTERA / DAMAGEPLAN guitarist Darrell 'Dimebag' Abbott by by forming up a one off PANTERA tribute band DIMEN NIMEEN ("In Dime's Name!"). Other musicians featured in this collective included Atte Sarkima of AJATTARA and VERENPISARA, Tony Jelencovich from TRANSPORT LEAGUE, Petteri Hirvanen and Nicke of MONSTERBALL, Toni, Pete, Kride and Jukkis of NORTHER and Nico, Euge and OJ from GODSPLAGUE amongst many others.

In early 2005 the Back On Black label re-issued 'Something Wild', 'Hatebreeder' and 'Follow The Reaper' on limited edition vinyl picture discs. CHILDREN OF BODOM's new studio album title would be revealed as 'Are You Dead Yet?'. Unfortunately, the similarity to CARNAL FORGE's recent 'Aren't You Dead Yet?' drew immediate comparisons.

CHILDREN OF BODOM's single 'In Your Face', issued in August, surprisingly included a cover version of BRITNEY SPEARS' 'Oops I Did It Again'. The album 'Are You Dead Yet?' saw release on 14th September in Finland and 19th September for the rest of the world. A limited edition vinyl picture disc, restricted to just 2000 copies, would be pressed up by Universal in Germany. In keeping with the band's left-field choice of cover songs, Japanese variants of the record added a rendition of the Glam Rock classic 'Talk To Dirty To Me' originally by POISON.

'Are You Dead Yet?' debuted at number 1 in Finland and in Japan at number 17, where it sold 21,000 copies in its first week of release. In the USA the album hit no. 195 on the Billboard charts, selling over 5,000 copies in its first week. Meantime, the 'Humppasirkus' album from fabled Finnish Humppa Metal band ELÄKELÄISET sported a rendition of CHILDREN OF BODOM's 'Hate Me' re-branded 'Vihann Humppaa' ("I Hate Humppa").

US tour dates commenced in November, partnered with TRIVIUM and AMON AMARTH. The group then hooked up with EKTOMORF and ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET for European and Scandinavian gigs commencing in Germany during late December and finalizing in Finland in February 2006. North American gigging witnessed a union with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE and CHIMAIRA in March. Summer 2006 US dates commencing in June, dubbed the "Unholy Alliance - Preaching To The Perverted" tour, saw the group packaged with headliners SLAYER plus MASTODON, LAMB OF GOD and THINE EYES BLEED as support. The group also joined the European leg of the 'Unholy Alliance', comprising SLAYER, IN FLAMES, LAMB OF GOD and THINE EYES BLEED, in October. CHILDREN OF BODOM teamed up with AMON AMARTH, SANCTITY and GOJIRA for a North American tour in December.

The band was announced as performing at the Dubai, United Arab Emirates 'Desert Rock' festival in March 2007 but withdrew when Alexi Laiho injured his shoulder, tripping over at a bowling alley. CHILDREN OF BODOM's performance of the song 'Everytime I Die', filmed at the BÖHSE ONKELZ farewell show in Lausitzring, Germany in 2005, was featured on a four-DVD BÖHSE ONKELZ box set.

On February 16th CHILDREN OF BODOM was honoured with the "Band of the Year" award at the Finnish Metal Awards, which were held during the Finnish Metal Expo at the Cable Factory in Helsinki, Finland.

The 2008 album 'Blooddrunk' sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, a fourfold increase on the opening tally of its predecessor, 'Are You Dead Yet?'. The album peaked at no. 22 on the US charts. 'Blooddrunk' was certified gold in Finland, for sales in excess of 15,000 copies, on pre-sales alone — before it was even officially released — a first for the band.

CHILDREN OF BODOM toured Australia and New Zealand in June. Veteran Thrashers OUTRAGE supported the band on their July Japanese dates in Tokyo and Nagoya. CHILDREN OF BODOM released a new, thoughly highly limited, single, 'Smile Pretty For The Devil', in the UK on 1st December to coincide with the first date on the band's run of UK shows with SLIPKNOT and MACHINE HEAD. However, the single, available as a three-track CD, with the accompanying video plus the POISON cover version 'Talk Dirty To Me', was restricted to 1,000 numbered copies only for sale on at two Zavvi stores in London and Manchester where CHILDREN OF BODOM undertook in-store appearances.

2009 kicked off with January and February European concerts aligned with CANNIBAL CORPSE and DIABLO. On 13th January the US branch of Spinefarm released the back catalogue of 'Blooddrunk', 2006's 'Tokyo Warhearts', 2005's 'Are You Dead Yet?', 2000's 'Follow The Reaper', 1999's 'Hatebreeder' and 'Something Wild' from 1997 as picture disc vinyl collectables. Each was restricted to just 1500 individually numbered copies.

Alexi Laiho broke his shoulder in late April after falling from his tour bus bunk while travelling with the rest of the band during the 'No Fear Energy' US tour with LAMB OF GOD, AS I LAY DYING, GOD FORBID and MUNICIPAL WASTE

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