December 3, 2009

Filmed during the band’s September 27th Chicago tour stop (@ House of Blues)

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Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!



November 30, 2009

New Moon is the fourth album from Finnish melodic doom/death act Swallow The Sun. By the time the wall of distortion and rousing chorus of voices is suddenly cut off at the end of “Weight of the Dead,” it has become clear that the album is one of the strongest releases this fall amidst an already strong season. Perhaps the biggest move forward is the variety of vocal styles that Mikko Kotamaki brings to the new material. As opposed to a reliance on his deep-throated growl, he frequently makes use of a much higher shriek. On the opposite end of the vocal spectrum, both “Falling World” and “New Moon” predominantly feature clean tones, and it’s this element that contributes to them being two of the strongest tracks on the album — a feat considering the competition. Guest vocalist Aleah (Trees of Eternity) hints at side projects to come on “Lights on the Lake (Horror pt. III).” The track is also one moment where the band breaks into an unexpected gallop that sounds like a direct homage to more blackened forms of metal.

Mostly, however, New Moon’s sound is the kind of material that’s come to be expected from the Swallow The Sun. It remains just as effective as it has been on past efforts. Juha Raivio and Markus Jämsen’s guitars alternate between the usual eerie single notes and crashing chord progressions. Matti Honkonen’s bass is given time to shine during the quieter, doom-laden moments. While newcomer Kai Hahto (Wintersun) and his drums never take the spotlight, they instead act together as an ever-present metronome with a subliminal influence over the whole album. Overall the songs don’t have the sort of epic build that was found on the band’s most recent EP A Plague of Butterflies, but what they lack in length and layered complexity they make up for in terms of sheer “oomph.” At its core, New Moon is about what Swallow The Sun have been doing at their best — infectious, melancholy, and swaying lead guitar melodies eventually overwhelmed by crushing fuzz surging against the backdrops of subtle keyboard ambiance. It’s quite possible that there will be time when Swallow The Sun’s sound is in need of a new direction, but New Moon ensures that for now it’s still well worth another trip down the beaten path. (Spinefarm) By Jonathan Smith

Rating: 8.5

SWALLOW THE SUN, New Moon: (FONINT5414 / 602527195414 / C14) Available Now!
Swallow The Sun.pdf


November 30, 2009

SWALLOW THE SUN, “New Moon” (Spinefarm)✰✰✰✰
Mikko Kotamäki’s work ethic certainly can’t be questioned, nor can his emotional bloodletting, which he lets flow forth on Swallow the Sun’s fourth record “New Moon” (hold the lame-o vam­pire quips, please).

Swallow the Sun have been solid citi­zens ever since their 2003 debut that mixed horrific death and doom heart­ache. “New Moon” finds the band a bit more atmospheric and certainly as melodic as they’ve ever been, sending you wailing toward your absinthe and tissues on eight epics, the best of which are “Sleepless Swans,” “Lights on the Lake (Horror Pt. III)” featuring lovely guest vocals from Trees of Eternity’s Aleah, and “Falling World,” where Kotamäki laments, “Wish I could end this all today.” (Brian Krasman)

SWALLOW THE SUN, New Moon: (FONINT5414 / 602527195414 / C14) Available Now!

Swallow The Sun.pdf


November 21, 2009

Cover albums serve many purposes: They’re fun, they reveal some unlikely musical influences and, of course, they make for excellent mix tape filler. In the case of Skeletons in the Closet, Children of Bodom’s foray into the medium, there’s one more bonus—most of these songs have only appeared on rare B-sides, pricey deluxe editions or imports, so the 17-track opus serves as an excellent all-inclusive collection for those fans too honest (or inept) to track down the torrents individually.

But don’t let that flippant annotation take away from the tunes themselves. Truly, one of the most interesting things about Skeletons in the Closet is the range and diversity of the songs Bodom chose. Sure, Slayer’s “Silent Scream” and Sepultura’s “Mass Hypnosis” must’ve been no-brainers, but consider that they share space with unlikely hits by

Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Lookin’ Out My Back Door”), Kenny Rogers (“Just Dropped In”) and an unreleased version of a Pat Benatar staple (“Hell Is for Children”), and the dynamics become pretty stunning. For the most part, the arrangements stay true to COB’s patented screeching guitar style, replete with flourishing keyboards, and even

when the songs don’t necessarily work, they still kind of do (see: Trust’s “Antisocial”).

Still, considering how renowned COB are for doling out prolific covers, one would have hoped they’d thrown in a few more exclusive selections, as only four of the songs are wholly new. And though a sequel to Skeletons in the Closet is inevitable, let’s hope they don’t stray into Lady Gaga territory.

Online @

Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!

Decibel is a full-color magazine billed as “America’s first real extreme music magazine.” The publication caters to the high-end metal crowd and has a circulation of 50,000 copies monthly. Decibel is available in major booksellers and record stores in the U.S. and Canada, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Tower, FYE, Sam Goody, and select Hot Topic locations. Decibel is also distributed in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Australia.



November 9, 2009


“Oops! I Did It Again” could have posed a strange dilemma for Children Of Bodom. If the Finnish extreme-metal act failed to include perhaps their best-known cover on their first covers compilation, people would inevitably ask where it was. However, the group’s goofy, funky Britney Spears rendition belongs inescapably to another time; in fact, it’s hard to imagine anyone clamoring to hear any version of the tune at this point.

The rest of Skeletons In The Closet continues to straddle the line between amusing and dauntingly inessential. The album’s longest track is its most worthwhile: “No Commands,” by Stone, the seminal thrash act COB guitarist Roope Latvala co-founded 24 years ago. A country-rock romp through Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” complete with banjo picking, proves Between the Buried and Me doesn’t hold a monopoly on bizarre genre hopping.

Most of the makeovers are relatively faithful, injecting two uniquely Bodom elements: a frenzied keyboard solo, and a “yowww” from croaky singer Alexi Laiho. A howling version of W.A.S.P.’s “Hellion” does the best job of transferring the obvious fun the band had recording these tunes to the listener, while the glammed-out strut through the Ramones’ “Somebody Put Something In My Drink” raises the question: If imitation is the sincerest flattery, then what would you call a great original song paying tribute to an artist, like Motörhead’s “R.A.M.O.N.E.S”?

Cover albums are usually somewhat disposable, but this one borders on superfluous for the group’s long-time fans, given that all but four of the 17 songs were previously released. Of the new tracks, two are rote thrash rehashes (Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies), one is a King Diamond number rendered comical by a silly approximation of his famous falsetto, and one is a gloomy, chugging treatment of “Hell Is For Children,” featuring group vocals on the “hell.” It’s impressive, but would anyone these days buy a metal album for a Pat Benatar cover, no matter how well it’s done? (SPINEFARM)Andrew Miller

Direct link is:

Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!

* Alternative Press (or commonly referred to as ‘AP’) is a music magazine which primarily focuses on punk, emo, metal, indie rock, ska, hardcore and rock music and their attendant subgenres, providing readers with band interviews and photos, information on upcoming releases, and music charts. Founded in 1985, the long-running publication has over 235,000 monthly readers.



November 4, 2009


On the heels of the underwhelming “Blooddrunk”, Finland’s CHILDREN OF BODOM deliver the typical covers-album career stopgap, but being CHILDREN OF BODOM , and unable to do anything that isn’t ludicrously over the top, they’ve cranked out seventeen jams that range from the expected to the interesting to the patently ridiculous. All are run through the BODOM-grinder and come out the other side bedecked in keyboards, shredding solos and Alexi Laiho‘s increasingly-goofy vocals. It’s a lot of fun in small doses, if a little much to consume in one sitting.

The band sounds surprisingly convincing on the faster, thrashier numbers they run through (a version of SLAYER chestnut “Silent Scream” that’ll probably have Kerry King publicly harrumphing for months to come, a ripping take on SEPULTURA‘s “Mass Hypnosis”). They manage to polish 80’s SCORPIONS turd “Don’t Stop At the Top” to the point where it could slot in next to one of the more melodic tunes on the first couple BODOM records. The W.A.S.P. and RAMONES covers, previously released, are enjoyable romps through expected territory, while the band turns moldy 60’s oldie “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” into their own twisted, melodic metal beast (and yes, the song was originally done by KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION, marking the first and hopefully only Kenny Rogers reference in the history of BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

A few of the tunes here, like “Anti-Social” and “Aces High”, are competently done but the cover adds nothing special to the original. The only flat-out dog of the bunch, though, is the absolutely obnoxious cover of CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL‘s “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” that kicks off the record. What the hell is that all about? Even “Talk Dirty To Me” is more tolerable, and their version of “Oops… I Did It Again” is at least funny. One out of seventeen ain’t bad, I guess, but still… yikes.

In short, “Skeletons In the Closet” is that mix of virtuosity, silliness, dazzling catchiness and thrashing melodic abandon that made us all dig CHILDREN OF BODOM in the first place. Depending on your feelings about their recent material, this covers album could either give you hope that the band will be energized and knock the next record out of the park, or it could be where you get off the fan bus and become that guy who yells “play the old shit!” from the back of the club when they play. If nothing else, “Skeletons” proves that they still have the chops and the right attitude, so that’s gotta give us some hope for the future.

Essential? No, but a lotta fun.

Keith Bergman

Direct link is: COB/

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Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!

COB v1.pdf


October 21, 2009



#22 (From 35)

#17 (From 16)

Children Of Bodom, Skeletons in the Closet: (FONINT1764 / 602527131764 / C14) Available Now!

Children of Bodom title list.pdf