Led by the extremely talented Alexi Laiho, newly formed BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT was about to become the striking successor to legendary metal band CHILDREN OF BODOM. Their sonic plans were massive – including an EP release in the spring followed by a full-length album later in the year. The EP, Paint The Sky With Blood (out April 23 via Napalm Records) was meant to be the beginning of an exciting new chapter, that ended far to soon.
This three track EP packs a punch, to say the least. It does feel strange hearing these three tracks with the knowledge that more was planned to come in the future. I hope fans of Alexi Laiho can take some comfort in hearing this new release which stands as a powerful tribute to him.
It is a powerful melodic death sound that greets you – or should I say hits you like a wall of sound. Opening with the title track, ‘Paint the Sky with Blood’, intricate guitar melodies and shrill vocals deliver an incredible sound. It’s dramatic and dynamic from the off, with high levels of intensity. The atmosphere of the track is fully immersive with so much going on across the instrumentation and the vocals. The energy doesn’t let up; the change of tempo in the bridge plays with the dynamics of the track but without losing any power. The lead guitar solos are wonderfully intricate and ludicrously fast – not too surprising! The chord progressions in ‘Paint the Sky with Blood’ deliver a really great structure and sound to the track. The heaviness and sense of darkness is present, but there is also a sense of a gothic/ ethereal element. The chorus progression in particular has a drama uplifting feel to it. The following track, ‘Payback’s A Bitch’, has more of an aggressive feel to it whilst still retaining the iconic melodic style. The vocals feel more aggressive and somewhat demonic. The greater levels of vocal distortion and effects creates an interesting contrast with the guitars which are carrying the melodic aspects which cut through the guttural heaviness at times. The synths and orchestral parts in this track really pack an extra something into the theatrical dramatics of the music. ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ works well as a follow up to the opening track whilst also holding it’s own ground by exploring a different side to their sound.
The EP concludes with ‘Where Dead Angels Lie’. It again explores a different aspect of Bodom After Midnight’s sound. Opening with an intensely powerful build up of guitar melodies, orchestral instruments and a haunting choir layered in, it feels like the previous two tracks were a warm up for the grand event. Everything about this track works so well. The chord progression and riffs in the verse are fairly repetitive but deliver a fantastically dark atmosphere, and allow for the vocals to take centre stage. The alternating of vocal sections and guitar lead intervals creates a nice sense of balance. Once again, they play with the dynamics through a toned down bridge – whispered vocals introduce an intimate sensation that has some darkly disturbing undertones. ‘Where Dead Angels Lie’ has to be my favourite track on the EP, the way in which Bodom After Midnight have carefully composed this track, and perfectly placed developments in the instrumentation, as the piece progresses is wonderful.
‘Paint The Sky With Blood’ by Bodom After Midnight is an incredible EP. Despite only being three tracks in length there is so much to this release. Each track delivers a different aspect of Bodom After Midnight’s sound. The quality is absolutely fantastic. It is heart breaking knowing that this journey has come to an abrupt end, at least we are able to enjoy this small offering.
Release: April 23, 2021 via Napalm Records
Paint the Sky with Blood Tracklisting:
01. Paint the Sky with Blood
02. Payback’s a Bitch
03. Where Dead Angels Lie
Artwork by: Travis Smith
BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT are:
Alexi Laiho – vocals & guitar
Daniel Freyberg – guitar
Mitja Toivonen – bass
Waltteri Väyrynen – drums