Hear Previously Unreleased Live Recordings Of ALEXI LAIHO Singing DEATH Covers
On Monday, January 4, the metal world was shocked to hear about the passing of Alexi Laiho, former frontman of CHILDREN OF BODOM, at the age of only 41. As a tribute to both Laiho and late DEATH mainman Chuck Schuldiner, journalist and author Björn “Nalle” Österman thought it would be fitting to release two live recordings sung by Alexi from a memorial concert held in 2002 for Schuldiner that have remained in the vaults — until now.
On March 1, 2002 a memorial concert was held at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland for Schuldiner, who passed away from to cancer on December 13, 2001 at the age of only 34. Four bands performed at the event: DIABLO, NORTHER, MORBID DREAM and a Finnish “all-star group” called EVIL CHUCKS, which only played covers of songs from the first three DEATH albums.
Vocals in EVIL CHUCKS were handled by three Finnish golden greats: Taneli Jarva (SENTENCED, POISON WHISKY), Jari Hurskainen (GANDALF, THE SCOURGER) and Laiho, who sang two songs from DEATH‘s third album, “Spiritual Healing” — “Within My Mind” and “Defensive Personalities”.
The full lineup on “Within My Mind” and “Defensive Personalities” is as follows:
* Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM, BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT) – Vocals
* Mitja Harvilahti (MOONSORROW) – Guitar
* Janne Perttilä (MOONSORROW, BARREN EARTH) – Guitar
* Oppu Laine (AMORPHIS, CHAOSBREED, BARREN EARTH) – Bass
* Nalle Österman (GANDALF, CHAOSBREED) – Drums
Listen to ‘Defensive Personality’ below.
Listen to ‘Within The Mind’ (filed as ‘Within My Mind’) below.
Laiho died in his home in Helsinki last week. The musician had suffered from long-term health issues in the years leading up to his death.
Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen founded CHILDREN OF BODOM in 1993, and the band was one of the most internationally acclaimed metal acts in Finland up until their very last farewell concert in December of 2019. Last year, Alexi put together BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, which recorded three songs and shot one music video, to be released posthumously.
Laiho recently said that he will not shy away from performing his former band’s songs when he hits the road with BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT. He told Kaaos TV (translated from Finnish): “We will be playing CHILDREN OF BODOM songs as that is what most of the audience want to hear. Those songs are written by me anyway, so I dont see any reason why not to play them. There will be so-called ‘basic’ songs, but there are also plans to play one or two songs live which CHILDREN OF BODOM has never played so far and some songs which we haven’t played live in ages, so the setlist will be a good mix. We try to play as diverse setlist as possible on each show.”
Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henri “Henkka T. Blacksmith” Seppälä (bass) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) announced their departures from CHILDREN OF BODOM in October 2019. Two months later, they confirmed that they were the rightful owners of the CHILDREN OF BODOM brand.
CHILDREN OF BODOM played its final show on December 15, 2019 at the Black Box in Helsinki Ice Hall. A short time later, Finnish music magazine Soundi reported that the rights to the CHILDREN OF BODOM name are held by AA & Sewira Consulting Oy, the company owned by Raatikainen, Seppälä and Wirman. In June 2019, the trio filed an application with the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland, and their application was subsequently granted for a five-year period starting on October 1, 2019. As a result, Laiho, who was CHILDREN OF BODOM‘s singer, guitarist and main songwriter, isn’t authorized to use the band’s name without permission from Wirman, Raatikainen and Seppälä.
In November 2019, Laiho admitted to Helsingin Sanomat that there had been tensions in the BODOM camp for quite some time.
“The original decision [to end the band in its current form] came when the other guys said they just couldn’t do it anymore,” he said. “There were family reasons for it. I respect their decision. I myself have a wife and stepdaughter in Australia, and my wife understands my lifestyle. I’m pretty much gone [most of the time], but always I come back and I give them my all. Nothing is more important to me.”
According to Laiho, things came to a head when CHILDREN OF BODOM performed in Russia in October 2019.
“We fought a lot within the band, and I can honestly admit that those fights were mainly my fault,” he said. “They always started with some misunderstanding.”
Relations within the band apparently got so bad during the Russian tour that it looked as if CHILDREN OF BODOM would break up right there and then. But cooler heads prevailed, and the group decided that the shows in Finland would be their last with the most recent formation.
CHILDREN OF BODOM‘s last album, “Hexed”, came out in March 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.
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