Children of Bodom – A Chapter Called Children of Bodom (Final Show in Helsinki Ice Hall 2019) (Spinefarm Records)

Wednesday, 20th December 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

In December 2020 the metal world lost a premiere guitarist/songwriter with Alexi Laiho who fronted Children of Bodom since the 1990’s. His defined imprint on intricate, neoclassical shredding taken to the melodic death/extreme levels will last a lifetime. With approval from the family’s estate, this last gig A Chapter Called Children of Bodom (Final Show in Helsinki Ice Hall 2019) comes out as a celebration of the man, the band, and the global presence they delivered from the stage.

Over the course of eighteen tracks the vitality of this Finnish melodic death/power metal outfit shines brightly, encompassing the depth of their discography that the home crowd audience savors. Surprisingly the setlist only contains two tracks from the last studio album Hexed with “Under Grass and Clover” and “Platitudes and Barren Words” starting the concert in blazing form. Never forsaking the debut record Something Wild that put the group in the underground buzz world conversation, classic cuts like “Deadnight Warrior” as well as “Lake Bodom” still exhilarate, the unison keyboard/guitar syncopation runs creating chaos in the crowd. Favorites come and go depending on which era most satisfies your CoB cravings: for this scribe, Follow the Reaper cuts “Everytime I Die” plus the title track delight the most, as well as “Needled 24/7” from the follow-up Hate Crew Deathroll. Alexi’s unmistakable roar penetrates the sonic output, while the band explodes as the tightness, transitions, and atmosphere elevates adrenaline to peak performance levels. It’s also great to hear soccer-style chanting at key melodic runs or chorus moments, exuding the best transference from the audience back to the musicians, elevating the music to that passionate, memorable spectrum that people take away from the best shows.

There may never be another Children of Bodom that traverses the earth – yet the discography left behind will surely resonate with future generations of metalheads. Cheers, Alexi – you will be missed, never forgotten in the hearts of guitarists, songwriters, extreme vocalists, and the fans who embrace your music to get through their daily lives.

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