If you guys been following my social medias for longest time possible, you’ll know by now that Children Of Bodom were one of my biggest influences into getting the melodic death metal spectrum alongside other bands that made me appreciate the genre for what it is. From Dethklok, Kalmah, The Black Dahlia Murder, Amon Amarth, Wintersun and Scar Symmetry, I love the genre so much that it made me the person I am today. But enough of that, today I wanna talk about this project, Bodom After Midnight which in many cases if anyone isn’t familiar with the band, these guys were formed around 2020 after the split-up Children Of Bodom disbanded in 2019 which really made me feel emotional deep inside that I was very fortunate enough to see that band live numerous times. But unfortunately in late 2020, the world lost Alexi Laiho, who was the frontman, lyricist, guitarist and songwriter for Children Of Bodom and when I first heard the news when other websites announced it publicly this year when he passed away, I was in disbelief. Not only he became a legend in the Finnish metal scene, but in my humblest opinion he was the Van Halen of death metal. His contributions, legacy from his time with Children Of Bodom, the stories, interviews and how he became a huge global phenomenon was something I will never forget just appreciating his work and ambition creating the most finest albums in melodic death metal.
But this EP Paint The Sky With Blood released on Napalm Records is the last official recording that Alexi Laiho have released officially before his death was announced in early January this year. For only a EP that’s three songs and roughly 15 minutes in length, just right off the bat if you were heavily into the earlier stages from Children Of Bodom specifically the album’s Hatebreeder, Something Wild and Follow The Reaper, you will absolutely find enjoyment about this album. Musically, this is what melodic death metal is all about with how well articulated, structured and complex these instrumentals have come to life where every band member provided is able to demonstrate their artistic talent to bring flair and originality to the table. There’s even some power metal and thrash metal signatures within the guitar melodies since it does bring the neoclassical-esque sort of sound that other bands use from Spawn Of Possession, First Fragment and more but with Bodom After Midnight however, there’s tons of replay value and the amount of dedication the music represents is truly a work of art. Vocally, Alexi Laiho is one of the absolute best frontman during his time and over the course of his vocal patterns, deliveries and showcasing what he was capable of during the final stages recording this EP, he proved himself on why he was the best of both worlds and its quite hard to comprehend myself since listening to the final contents of his signature sounds, his professionalism, his songwriting, everything he did for the metal scene was remarkable in a sense.
Even the title track Paint The Sky With Blood gives a huge I Worship Chaos and Hatecrew Deathroll feel sound to the track as it does reminded me a lot of Needled 24/7 with its tasteful soloing, wonderful keyboard compositional work and the drum fills to the song is just a testament that Alexi Laiho and his bandmates are a ultimate force to reckon with. Paint The Sky With Blood is not just a EP, this is a bittersweet moment to respect the life, legacy and remembrance that Alexi Laiho wasn’t just a musician, he was a father figure and he will always have such a huge impact in my life well as others who were influenced and picked up a instrument just to be motivated to be the best of the best. Paint The Sky With Blood is a revitalized and reinvigorated album that not only is absolutely fantastic in every shape and form for the Melodic Death Metal scene, but to those who loved Children Of Bodom and Alexi Laiho’s work will find something at home. Rest in power Wildchild, Children Of Bodom will forever be the biggest and most memorable bands in Finnish death metal history.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Jake Butler