When it comes to Finnish death metal, I could go on talking for hours about it. Renowned big names such as Abhorrence, Demigod, and Amorphis have helped the scene build a continuous worldwide legacy that will forever prevail. And speaking of Finnish death metal, of course we can’t forget the legendary, off-kilter Children of Bodom with their viciously hell-raising sounds. Unfortunately, the band didn’t last more than 25 years (even though it’s probably best for them and it’s meant to be so I can’t complain, considering the situations). Moreover, the passing of Alexi Laiho has definitely left everyone actively involved in the metal scene devastated.
As for me personally, Children of Bodom opened the gates of discovery towards the Finnish death metal scene for me as a 12 year-old back in 2010, therefore hearing the news about his passing shocked me to a great extent. Just right before passing away, Alexi Laiho, together with Bodom After Midnight, left his one last legacy in the form of a sonic thrashing, which is this Paint the Sky with Blood EP that I’m reviewing.
Bodom After Midnight itself is a new act in the Finnish metal scene that Alexi Laiho and Daniel Freyberg proceeded to form, not so long after the disbanding of Children of Bodom. Together with bassist Mitja Toivonen (of Santa Cruz fame) and drummer Waltteri Váyrynen (of Paradise Lost fame), they went on to create ferocious resonances that bear an inclination towards persistence and heavy rhythms. Posthumous works (in this case, music) are always heart-wrenching to listen to, mostly if you have a profound attachment towards the late musician. So whenever I listen to this EP, somehow fragments of reminiscence towards Children of Bodom would still replay itself in my head. I can sense some Blooddrunk-ish hints here and there, and the album artwork of this EP reminds me of Hate Crew Deathroll. But enough reminiscence for today, I guess.
This EP consists of three tracks, in which, two of them are original tracks, and one of them is a cover of Dissection’s very own “Where Dead Angels Lie”. The title track is one hell of a far-out wonder; it presents intricate chord progressions, frantic drumming, and chorus with enchanting melodies. The fast paced guitar solo also helps build an intense nuance that makes the tune even more ghastly.The second track, “Payback’s a Bitch”, is quite strong on thrash influences. Aggressive riffs and barrelling rhythms are two of the qualities I noticed first when I came across this track for the first time. The distortions on the vocals really got me hooked as well. And finally, the Dissection cover. They took a bold step by attempting to cover a song by these Swedish extreme metal einherjar, and that bold step turned out to be a good step. It starts off as tranquil with its intro that features orchestral instrumentation, but then strikes like a malevolent thunder, and while Bodom After Midnight presented their own kind of eclectic authenticity in a cover, they still retain the dark and atmospheric ambience that Dissection has.
Even if Bodom After Midnight is not going to continue on with the absence of Alexi Laiho, I’m already satisfied enough with the release of this impeccable EP. It explores
many sides of death metal converging with a bit of thrash and the way they keep their sounds consistent throughout the whole EP is one of its good sides. Thank you for your last riffs, Alexi Laiho. Rest in power.