Bodom After Midnight // Paint The Sky With Blood // EP Review
This was supposed to be the start of something new and exciting, but tragedy struck and put an end to the dream.
Recorded in Finland in 2020, the three-track EP now serves as a tribute to the late guitarist and vocalist Alexi Laiho, who died in December 2020 and had performed in Children of Bodom immediately prior to the commencement of Bodom after Midnight. Making up the band are Daniel Freyberg on guitars, Waltteri Väyrynen from Paradise Lost, bassist Mitja Toivonen ex- Santa Cruz and live keyboard player Vili Itäpelto so it’s fair to say that the remaining members have some incredible talent.
The EP opens with ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ which has a strong Children of Bodom vibe, with striking guitars and melodies that summon up images of the band on stage with smoke shooting up into the sky intermittently with flames burning the front row. This must be due to the searing guitar work that is utterly stunning and is incredibly supported by the drums that never stop crashing and thumping and the unmistakable vocal. This is a stunning opening to the EP and shows the potential of the band in full effect.
The meat in the sandwich is ‘Payback’s a Bitch’ which continues the theme of stunning guitar work, as the stringed choppiness is joined by the keys to create a fantastic harmony as the instruments complement each other perfectly whilst the drum work is crushingly brilliant. The feet and hands are constantly providing more than just a beat. When the solo arrives, it is breath-taking and the culmination of everything is another cracking track.
The EP is closed with ‘Where Dead Angels Lie’ which is a steadier paced offering yet has a more sinister vibe around it as the guitars are a little deeper and the vocal changes to match. The guitars still take the limelight even though they are slower, the way that they enhance the track is fantastic. The riffs and drums provide dramatics that goes hand in hand with Bodom After Midnight.
When the EP ends, it is an emotional moment, knowing that this is the last guitar of Laiho is upsetting as this amazing talent has played his last note and the possibilities that were on the way with this new band were endless. Instead, however, we need to use this as a celebration of what was and appreciate this last opportunity of new material with him.
The EP also shows just how good the other band members are and hopefully, when the time is right, will decide to continue this exciting project.
Paint The Sky With Blood will be released 23rd April 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records.