Bodom After Midnight
Paint the Sky With Blood


3.5
great

Review

by Brendan Schroer CONTRIBUTOR (159 Reviews)
April 26th, 2021 | 87 replies


Release Date: 04/23/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fitting, if disappointingly brief, farewell to one of modern metal's most celebrated guitarists.

A lot of great musicians left us over the past year, but Alexi Laiho’s death hit me harder than the others. Growing up as a classical pianist, Children of Bodom’s second record Hatebreeder was the album that showed me just how well music theory could be integrated into metal. Amidst the soaring guitar solos and harsh vocals, there lay a goldmine of tightly performed melodies and intricate riffs that almost seemed progressive at times. Laiho was at the heart of it all, of course, and was just as influenced by the classical greats such as Mozart and Beethoven as he was by neo-classical guitar heroes like Yngwie Malmsteen. But it’s also important to remember how hook-laden these songs were (and are); despite the complexity and craftsmanship, albums like Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper were anything but mere riff salad. Somehow the songs were just as catchy as they were technically impressive, and the gothic atmosphere definitely played into this as well. And while the band hit a rough patch of declining quality, 2013’s Halo of Blood and 2019’s Hexed gave me plenty of hope for their future. But alas, it wasn’t meant to last.

With that said, what we have here is the sole EP by Laiho’s newly formed band Bodom After Midnight, who understandably disbanded after his passing. Despite the change in band name, Paint the Sky With Blood is exactly what you would expect from a latter-day Children of Bodom offering. Power metal with harsh vocals, catchy but aggressive. The tracklist is very small, only featuring two originals and one Dissection cover; however, the material is still of a reasonably high quality throughout. The opening title track is a fun - if pretty standard - melo-death anthem with all the stuff you’d expect from a Laiho project: blazing solos, anthemic “FIGHT” chants, and a nice layer of synth action to cap things off. In fact, the slow bridge in the middle is quite reminiscent of the bridge in Follow the Reaper’s title track, which can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned. Meanwhile, “Payback’s a Bitch” is more in the thrashy vein of Children of Bodom’s middle-era albums, but with a healthy dose of melodicism that saves it from being just a boring chugfest. The guitar and keyboard solos absolutely tear it up, and sound absolutely wicked when performed over the rapid-fire drumming. Finally, we have the cover of Dissection’s “Where Dead Angels Lie”, which manages to be a worthy cover while retaining the classic “Bodom” style. The dark and frigid atmosphere works especially well, especially during the whispered parts in the middle section; the song as a whole doesn’t do away with the sinister edge of the original track, instead expanding upon it with a more touched-up production and dark echo-swathed clean guitars.

Paint the Sky With Blood provides an interesting look into what kind of music we could have gotten if Alexi Laiho had lived longer. There’s some really solid stuff here, even if we didn’t get a whole lot of material to listen to. Fans of Children of Bodom will feel right at home with these fun melodic death metal tunes, and the accessible songwriting might just draw in some new fans as well. If you have 15 minutes to spare and want to hear some solid metal tunes with some neo-classic elements and a melodic edge, you can’t really go wrong with this album.

R.I.P. Alexi Laiho - 1979-2020



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user ratings (36)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2021


9493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

R.I.P. Alexi

parksungjoon
April 26th 2021


31347 Comments


R.I.P.

Digging: Make a Change...Kill Yourself - II

rockarollacola
April 26th 2021


729 Comments


RIP Alexi. Still not over his death; we missed out on so much awesome music.

NordicNorth
April 26th 2021


22 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Reading this has brought back the feeling I felt reading the news he had passed. A really tragic loss, the fact we will never hear another album from this man nor see him live doing the thing he loved, it kills me.

Digging: Greenleaf - Echoes From a Mass

manosg
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2021


12235 Comments


R.I.P. Alexi

Digging: Steelbourne - A Tale As Old As Time

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2021


9493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"A really tragic loss, the fact we will never hear another album from this man nor see him live doing the thing he loved, it kills me."



Agreed man. I saw CoB once back in 2011, and despite having food poisoning, the show was a fucking blast nonetheless. Alexi was a monster live \m/

WretchedCacophony
April 26th 2021


2123 Comments


Alexi's performance greatly varied. Saw them about 10 years ago and really enjoyed them. Saw Abbath open for them, and Abbath played a way better set. It took Bodom about half the set time to sound right

rodrigo90
April 26th 2021


6785 Comments


I have to criticize the lack of compromise of his former bandmates for dealing with Alexi's health. They were like

Bandmates: Stop drinking

Alexi: No, I wont

Bandmate: Deal. This band is done.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

rodrigo90
April 26th 2021


6785 Comments


And don't give me the fucking "you have no idea what an addiction it is" bullshit speech. If you receive the proper treatment you will absolutely overcome it.


rodrigo90
April 26th 2021


6785 Comments


Jerry Cantrell was as irresponsible as these guys when dealing with Layne's addiction.

ChaoticVortex
April 26th 2021


1156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

R.I.P. Alexi. A short, sad but very quality ending to a great career.

normaloctagon
April 26th 2021


5628 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great and sincere review man, i'm touched. will check this ofc and thx for giving it a write-up. rest in peace alexi

FabiusPictor202
April 26th 2021


941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

rodrigo comin in hot with the worst take on alcoholism of all time, especially egregious since Alexi, you know, died from it.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2021


13960 Comments


Great review man, admittedly not familiar with Alexi’s work but I have no doubt he has a legacy for a good reason.

edit: fixed

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 26th 2021


9493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys.



@YoYo: fixed 😊

heck
April 26th 2021


5807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hey rodrigo go fuck yourself

Digging: Gojira - Fortitude

Eakflanderyof
April 26th 2021


3334 Comments


Yeah let's not get into a debate about dealing with alcoholism. Let's celebrate the last material this man put out

Dissection cover rules even though I was hoping he'd shred it up a little harder

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2021


9493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Regarding the Dissection cover, I liked the choice of replacing the acoustic guitar with a reverbed electric guitar... it gives so much atmosphere to the intro

TheSpirit
April 27th 2021


27689 Comments


itt: people without addiction/alcohol issues explaining how easy it is to recover

Digging: Gonemage - Mystical Extraction

DivergentThinking
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2021


9493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just one person, but yeah



I already explained my piece on all of that in the Dirt thread, so I won't be repeating myself here. Besides, I want to make this review and thread a celebration of what Alexi did while he was here with us



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