When matchless vocalist/guitarist Alexi Laiho and guitarist Daniel Freyberg joined forces with Waltteri Väyrynen, Mitja Toivonen and live keyboardist Vili Itäpelto to form the explosive new metal pillar BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, it was meant to mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
Their sonic plans were massive – including an EP release in the spring followed by a full-length album later in the year. But this promising force ended far too soon in very late 2020.
The aforementioned EP, Paint the Sky with Blood (out April 23 via Napalm Records), was recorded in Finland back in 2020, and now, the three-track piece embodies a whole new meaning. Paint the Sky with Blood is an overwhelming tribute to an outstanding artist and an exceptional sonic heritage and at the same time, a modern homage to the genre itself.
Today, Napalm Records has released the EP’s opening title track alongside an official video. A storm of raging guitars and blaring drums rise, merging with the late Alexi Laiho’s versatile vocal power and leading up to a heavy attack, conjuring fond memories of the virtuosic musician. “Paint the Sky with Blood” demonstrates the unbridled passion and virtuosity of an legendary artist who set new standards in metal and became a role model for a whole generation of fans.
“Like ourselves, Alexi was beyond stoked about these songs and anxious to get these out, so we are happy that we can fulfill his wish. Needless to say, we are honored and proud to be a part of his very last creative work and to unleash it the way he wanted it. It’s time to let the beast out of the cage one more time as a celebration of Alexi’s music, legacy and the man himself.”
– BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT
Heavy title track “Paint the Sky with Blood” sets the stage for the 14 minute EP of the same name and is strikingly reminiscent of early-CHILDREN OF BODOM elements, while also adding exciting modern influences into the fold. Second stunner “Payback’s A Bitch” and its massive riffing are on a quest for retribution, delivering a hard-hitting, second to none offense. The interplay of Alexi Laiho, guitarist Daniel Freyberg, drummer Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost), bassist Mitja Toivonen (ex-Santa Cruz) and live keyboardist Vili Itäpelto is not only a testament to the band’s extraordinary musical ability, but also showcases their skill in deftly incorporating a variety of genre influences.
Closing cover track “Where Dead Angels Lie” is an absolute triumph – originally performed by Swedish extreme metal formation Dissection, the track shines as a timeless classic with a new edge. Eerie riffs and vocals alternating between menacing murmurs and characteristic guttural, distorted vocals stay faithful to the original while branding this version with an undeniable BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT punch.
Paint the Sky with Blood Tracklisting:
01. Paint the Sky with Blood
02. Payback’s A Bitch
03. Where Dead Angels Lie (Dissection Cover)
photo credit: Terhi Ylimäinen