Release Date: April 23rd 2021
Label: Napalm Records
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In the wake of the sudden passing of frontman and band leader Alexi Laiho, the Bodom After Midnight project has taken on a tragic and somewhat ephemeral quality.
Born from the ashes of legendary Finnish metallers Children Of Bodom, Bodom After Midnight featured Laiho and Children Of Bodom guitarist Daniel Freyburg alongside a new rhythm section of bassist Mitja Toivonen (ex-Santa Cruz) and drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost). ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ holds the only recordings made by the group; three tracks destined for a full-length that was unfortunately scuppered due to the unexpected death of Laiho last year at age 41.
This new rhythm section provides admirably strong work on ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’. The original Bodom band never featured especially dynamic bass or drums, however, Toivonen‘s work on the title-track is turned up relatively high in the mix, and Väyrynen‘s crisp and terrifically produced drums do their best to keep up with Laiho‘s shredding on the excellent ‘Payback’s A Bitch’.
However, the real star of ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ is, of course, the incredible guitar work of Laiho. Since writing and releasing the first Children Of Bodom album at the tender age of just 18, Laiho was one of the finest neoclassical players in the metal world, and his presence will truly be missed. His slippery, elegant riffs on the middle section of ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ really are a joy to behold, as are his effortless signature solos that are, as per, among the highlights of both original tracks.
Bar an atmospheric but not especially memorable cover of Dissection‘s ‘Where Dead Angels Lie’, ‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ serves as a compelling testament to the genius of Alexi Laiho, as well as an effecting and melancholic reminder of what Bodom After Midnight could have become.