For obvious (and heartbreaking) reasons, it’s kind of en vogue to talk about the importance of Children of Bodom at the moment. But, with Bodom After Midnight releasing a track/video tomorrow, Children of Bodom’s legacy has been on my mind. It has to be them today.

Children of Bodom’s decidedly thrashier take on Finnish melodeath is important for a specific reason. For the average headbanger, the riffs and solos might’ve been familiar, but those blast beats, and Alexi’s snarls, that was something heavier.

This surreal pseudo-mainstream status has seen Children of Bodom become one of the most successful artists in history in their native Finland, on the list somewhere between Robbie Williams and Tina Turner.

But, in a way, it makes sense. There’s something undeniable about Children of Bodom. They’re everything beloved about the thrash wave of the late 80s, just turned up to 11, and with a sharper edge.

Because of this unique mix of accessible and extreme, Children of Bodom have served as a gateway to the much heavier subgenres for countless kids still finding their way. Because of this, the legacy of Children of Bodom and Alexi Laiho can never be understated.

I almost never got to see Children of Bodom live. Fortunately it ended up a trip to Finland lined up with a tour, so I grabbed a ticket without hesitation. Not only was I going to finally see Children of Bodom, I was going to see them in a hometown crowd, which is always ideal. Little did I know that show would end up being their 5th to last show.

A month before the tour started, Children of Bodom announced they were going their separate ways and that tour would be their last.

It made seeing them at last bittersweet, but I must confess, the second Alexi Laiho took the stage I completely fucking forgot. I was surrounded by wild Finnish fans giving it their all for their band. The crowd was chaotic and ecstatic. If this had to be the one and only time I saw the mighty Children of Bodom live, this was how it had to be – a celebration of an incredible and influential band that I’ll never forget.