"The thing about Finnish bands is that they don't have anything in common… maybe melody is the one thing we have in common."
"We're excited!" says Henkka Seppälä, bassist of Finnish metal band Children Of Bodom down the line from his home in Espoo. He has to speak up to outmatch the sound of kids playing in the background. "It's quite recent news so I haven't quite adapted to that thought but yeah, we're all super-excited."
The particular morning of this interview, the country woke up the news that the two trans-continental titans had joined forces for a last-minute dress rehearsal for their UK tour in November. "We've been there before a few times but before we've only ever played shows in small clubs as the headliner — which is great because you know how many fans are there just to see you but, also, I've always been hoping that we could come down for a festival or open for someone big. Now we get to tour with Megadeth. I'm super excited."
"We've managed to pick up a few fans along the way. It's our sound."
The two bands toured together before in 2008 as part of the North American Gigantour. While a tad removed sonically, they share a few common traits; most notably they both feature transcendent guitarist/vocalists in Alexi Laiho and Dave Mustaine, and also that they've been remarkably hit or miss with their albums over their respective careers. The tour marks the release of Children Of Bodom's ninth full-length album, I Worship Chaos, with early-bird critics earmarking a return to form.
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"Everyone is really happy with the new album." Seppälä admits. "Everyone seems to be more excited for this album than anything we've done in years so that is a really good sign. Who knows what the people will like, how other people will take it — that's usually another story but it's a new sound that the band is super-excited about." The "new sound" is, rather, a blending of their initial blazing neo-Nordic thrash with their trashier modern sound. Seppälä bristles at the age-old 'return to the old sound' call. "We heard from a lot of people that we had changed something but we never did. We wrote the songs as we felt them at the time and we tried to keep the same energy that we always had. I remember when the first album came out it was really weird music and everyone back home was like, 'Whoa, man! That's some weird stuff,' and we didn't know if anyone would like it. We stuck with it, produced, played it live and it would seem that everyone did like it so we've been doing everything the same way since. We've managed to pick up a few fans along the way. It's our sound."
It's hard to argue the case. Since their 1993 formation as Inearthed and their 1997 debut, Something Wild, Children Of Bodom have led a thunderous Finnish charge into the global metal scene, leading the league in just about every sub-genre. "The thing about Finnish bands is that they don't have anything in common, they don't all sound the same, there are all kinds — our biggest bands. Nightwish, Amorphis, Stratovarius, Lordi, you have us, you have Sonata Arctica —all completely different... oh no, wait... maybe melody is the one thing we have in common. We must love melody."