Alexi Laiho's passing in December 2020 was a shock to all, the metal world mourning an icon who had helped revitalize the scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with his enthusiasm and exceptional talent as the frontman and lead guitarist of Children Of Bodom.
So what better way to pay tribute to the icon than by taking one of his most beloved compositions and giving it a virtuosic cover?
Follow The Reaper - A Tribute To Alexi Laiho has done exactly that, bringing together musicians from Eluveitie, Amon Amarth, Epica and more to cover the title-track from Children Of Bodom's third album, released in 2000.
The dual guitars are to be expected (we're not entirely sure you could play Children Of Bodom without them), but we must say the hurdy gurdy (courtesy of Eluveitie's Michalina Malisz) is a very nice touch while vocalist Melissa Bonny (Ad Infinitum, The Dark Side Of The Moon) does a stellar job translating the imperious fury of the original.
Children Of Bodom formed in 1993, releasing their first album (Something Wild) in 1997. Though ostensibly melodeath, the band diverged from many of their peers who had formed in the shadow of Sweden's Gothenburg scene, establishing their own unique identity by bringing a sense of flair and classical composition into their music.
Alongside bands like HIM, Stratovarius and Nightwish, Children Of Bodom helped establish Finland as a hotbed of metallic activity in the late-90s and early 2000s. In the process, Alexi became a beloved fixture of the metal scene, tributes pouring in after his passing ranging from fellow Finns like Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish to Slayer's Kerry King.
Children Of Bodom released ten albums overall, their final release being 2019's Hexed. On December 15 that year, Children Of Bodom played their final show at Helsinki Ice Hall. Laiho expressed the intent to continue recording in a new guise however and formed Bodom After Midnight with former CoB guitarist Daniel Freyburg.
Their sole release, Paint The Sky With Blood was released posthumously in April 2021.