Unleashing the Legends: Children of Bodom's Iconic Albums in Melodic Death Metal
8.2.2023 | By Alex Haber
In the realm of melodic death metal, Children of Bodom stands tall as a legendary band, celebrated for their intricately crafted guitar work, haunting melodies, and unwavering energy. Their third studio album, "Follow the Reaper," released in 2000, marked a turning point in their career, propelling them into the international spotlight and showcasing their signature blend of virtuosity and raw emotion.
Since its release, "Follow the Reaper" has achieved a seminal status within the melodic death metal genre, earning widespread critical acclaim and amassing a devoted fan base worldwide. This masterpiece played a pivotal role in establishing Children of Bodom as one of the leading forces in the metal scene, leaving an enduring impact that continues to resonate with fans and musicians alike.
Following the monumental success of "Follow the Reaper," Children of Bodom unleashed their follow-up album, "Hatecrew Deathroll," in 2003. This album marked a shift towards more modern elements in their sound, departing slightly from the neoclassical influences that dominated their previous release.
The album opens powerfully with the thunderous "Needled 24/7," immediately captivating listeners with its blistering guitar work, lightning-fast keyboard solos, and intense drumming. Alexi Laiho's distinctive growls and soaring guitar harmonies add an extra layer of darkness to the music, showcasing the band's evolution in their craft.
ESP Alexi Laiho Signature Guitars: Alexi Laiho, the late frontman and lead guitarist of Children of Bodom, was synonymous with his striking black-and-white-striped ESP guitars. These signature guitars featured an alder body, a bolt-on maple neck with a 25.5" scale, and a 24 extra-jumbo fret ebony fingerboard, ensuring ease of playability and comfort during extended performances. The most notable feature of the guitar was the ferocious EMG HZ H4 and H4A humbucker pickup combination, which provided the band's signature high-output, aggressive tone. ESP LTD Alexi Laiho 200 and 600 Series: For fans who wanted to replicate Alexi's sound on a more affordable scale, ESP offered the LTD series. These guitars featured similar body and neck construction, but with different finishes and hardware choices. The LTD models were widely used by fans and aspiring guitarists due to their close resemblance to the signature models.
The Engl Powerball II amplifier head played a significant role in shaping Children of Bodom's sound. With four channels of pure tube-driven tone, it provided an array of tones ranging from clean to searing high-gain distortion. This versatility allowed the band to explore various sonic textures in their music and added depth to their live performances.
Throughout "Hatecrew Deathroll," Children of Bodom's technical prowess shines brilliantly, especially evident in tracks like "Sixpounder" and "Angels Don't Kill." Their ability to seamlessly blend intricate guitar riffs with Janne Wirman's keyboard wizardry sets them apart from their contemporaries. The signature guitar and keyboard duels elevate the songs to a level of grandeur rarely seen in the metal world.
Upon its release, "Hatecrew Deathroll" received widespread critical acclaim, further solidifying Children of Bodom's prominent position in the melodic death metal genre and opening doors to a broader international audience. The album's success propelled them to headlining status, leading to extensive touring, first tours in the USA, and memorable festival appearances worldwide. Their energetic live performances and musical prowess cemented their place as one of the premier acts in the metal scene.
Children of Bodom's impact on the melodic death metal genre is undeniable, with their albums "Follow the Reaper" and "Hatecrew Deathroll" standing as iconic releases in the world of metal music. Their intricate guitar work, haunting melodies, and relentless energy have earned them legendary status, captivating fans and critics alike. As their music continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, Children of Bodom's legacy as one of the genre's foremost pioneers endures, leaving an indelible mark on the history of melodic death metal.