Children Of Bodom - Chaos Ridden Years - Stockholm Knockout Live (DVD)
Spinefarm Records
Bodom Metal

Release year: 2006
Children Of Bodom, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
In the day and age when several bands from any given genre release a full-length DVD after the debut album, when there is by all sense very little material to give to the fans, Finland’s flagship of metal Children Of Bodom did a wise choice to wait almost ten years and five studio albums for the release of their first DVD. It is loaded with all kinds of goodies (and baddies) which will now be dismantled and analysed by yours truly.

The main focus of the disc is of course the full-blown concert filmed at The Arenan in Stockholm, Sweden on February 5th 2006. The visuals and audials are excellent. Several cameras from all different angles were used for a very clear and accurate picture and the production values leave little to be desired.
The musical side stays strong throughout. The countless days spent on the road have gelled the playing extremely tight and the Bodom boys are anything but shoe-gazers on stage as the mobility and stage-antics are very admirable. The solos rip, the audience (that shouts, bounces and bangs heads accordingly) is accordingly shouted along with anthemic drum beats. Laiho says fuck every five seconds in his between-songs-banter and makes his best Steve Vai-poses on the stage-car-prop while scorching on the fretboard. Classic metal riffs meld in perfectly into the intro of Downfall. Flames shoot out from oil barrels and the sweet C O B-sign formed of spotlights (a la KISS) on the background is a prime example how big the band has become from their formative days in small Finnish clubs.

The only clearly arguable point of quality is the one that holds true with every DVD-release of any band – the songs that were played. The old school fans of COBodom might be disappointed as this gig (as about every gig since the release of Hate Crew Deathroll), is very heavy on the latter years-Bodom, with only two songs making it from Something Wild and two from Hatebreeder. While admittedly I would go to near-fellating lengths to have Towards Dead End, Hatebreeder or Touch Like Angel Of Death on this DVD, I also like Hate Crew Deathroll and Are You Dead Yet? massively and dig the setlist presented here – the entirety of which is as follows:

Living Dead Beat
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Hate Me!
We're Not Gonna Fall
Angels Don't Kill
Deadbeats I (Drum Solo)
Bodom After Midnight / Bodom Beach Terror - medley
Follow the Reaper
Needled 24/7
Clash of the Booze Brothers (Laiho-Warman Solo Battle)
In Your Face
Hate Crew Deathroll
Are You Dead Yet?
Roope Latvala Guitar Solo
Lake Bodom
Everytime I Die

The documentary portion offers a lot of booty. The Chaos Ridden Years is a larger historical compilation: several personal video clips (The very young Alexi with the violin was especially quirky), bits off the road, interview bits from the band members, a few live songs and much more. You will find out, among other things, why Janne decided to put up an on-stage catering business, what the Helsinki city Police thought of Alexi’s ballads on the street corner and why Jaska just can’t drink as much as the other guys on tour.

While there is a lot of interesting trivia, the content and structuring of this part leaves quite a bit to be desired. It starts off chronologically back in the day when high school kids Laiho and Raatikainen put up a band to slam down metal covers, goes into the formation of Children Of Bodom, the record deal with Spinefarm and the release of their first album, Something Wild. Then it practically omits any similar info on Hatebreeder or Follow The Reaper and continues with the touring cycle for Hate Crew Deathroll, when Roope Latvala joined the band. Original guitarist Alexander Kuoppala only receives a few mentions. I don’t know the reason for his absence but it is a shame that he isn’t on the DVD in interview form.

The Behind The Scenes-bit is mainly a music video for Bastards Of Bodom. While that song plays in the background, they show the build-ups and preparations for a Bodom-gig with the road crew toiling on stage and the band warming up – and that’s it. A bit of an odd piece.

The Deleted Scenes contain the expected-yet-funny drunken and/or retarded shenanigans you would expect from a band like COB. The band members mumble all around the world, compare liquor brands and spew out profound philosophies of life. Especially the stream of consciousness of the Methusalem of Bodom, Roope, is very appealing. He introduces us to his collection of guitars (love that miniature Akira Takasaki-axe!) and shows pretty convincingly that Baileys must really taste better in the shower. But what on earth was Timo Kotipelto doing behind that couch serving what appeared to be White Russians? This section is appropriately concluded by Alexi and Janne making a special guest performance (on guitar and accordion respectively) with Finland’s premier Humppa-orchestra, Eläkeläiset.

The Video-section contains every promotional video from the bands history, with the incomprehensible exception of Needled 24/7. Why the video for that song isn’t here is any ones guess. Oh, the memories that the awesome hilarity of Everytime I Die’s promotional clip holds for me – my first touch with the Bodomites! The grim reaper running with his scythe through a frosty forest to promptly disembowel Laiho, who has been strapped on a bed, S/M-style – pure genius. Particularly adorable is the video to Deadnight Warrior. The guys, then barely in their twenties, are in the middle of some foggy forest set playing their instruments and moshing like madmen. Provided they added face-paint, this would be pretty close to an Immortal-flick. But I digress. The classic look of leatherjacketed dudes putting on their grimmest evil grins is very prominent, with the oddball exception of Warman, who fiddles the keyboards sporting a hoodie and sunglasses, looking like the Unabomber. Overall this section supports the picture of COBs progression very well and the production-values, the convincing-ability and the look of the band have evolved ever stronger all the way.

The photogallery can pretty much be summed up as a curiosity. They seem to stretch back from a very wide time range as Kuoppala is featured in many of them. More drunken poses, fan poses, sleeping, travelling, studio pics, childhood pics, it’s all there. Take a bunch of photos for what it is. My only question remains: In the middle of this set the guys were posing with a German-looking guy with a suave porno-mustache. Was that Hansi Kursch? I guess I’ll never know.

All in all, this DVD features a whole lot of stuff that every fan of Children Of Bodom should enjoy and acquire. If the documentary had been a bit more comprehensive and the starting menus wouldn’t be so grainy (I had some trouble reading them first ‘cause they are so small), I would easily shoot this package into the nineties. As it is now (and if we quoted DVDs at Metalreviews) I would give this set a score in the high eighties. Good-time metal, through and through.

Killing Songs :
Just about all of them, it almost serves as a best of to introduce the band
Aleksie quoted no quote
Other albums by Children Of Bodom that we have reviewed:
Children Of Bodom - I Worship Chaos reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Halo of Blood reviewed by Jared and quoted 82 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Holiday at Lake Bodom (15 Years of Wasted Youth) reviewed by Leah and quoted no quote
Children Of Bodom - Relentless Reckless Forever reviewed by Jake and quoted 80 / 100
Children Of Bodom - Blooddrunk reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 69 / 100
To see all 17 reviews click here
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