Their breakthrough was the album Follow the Reaper, which was the band's first album to receive a Gold certification in Finland. Since then, all six of the band's studio albums have reached the same status. In Finland, Children of Bodom has released three consecutive albums that debuted at number one on Finnish album charts, and has also seen chart positions on the United States Billboard 200.
The band is also known for its rather vague genre, which has caused much heated debate, but could best be described as a mix of death metal, elements of black metal in their early/later work, some groove metal elements, thrash metal in later works and (even though many will deny it) a bit of power metal.
In late 2019, Janne Wirman, Henri Seppälä, and Jaska Raatikainen all announced their departure after 25 years of uninterrupted membership, with their final show taking place on December 15, 2019. Alexi Laiho and Daniel Freyberg formed a new band called Bodom After Midnight along with Waltteri Väyrynen (drums, also in Paradise Lost) and Mitja Toivonen (bass, ex-Santa Cruz). Unfortunately, the new band ended up recording only three songs before Laiho's untimely death due to alcoholism-induced liver and pancreas failure in late 2020.
Members (final line-up in bold):
- Alexi Laiho - lead guitar, lead vocals (1993-2019)
- Alexander Kuoppala - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1993-2003)
- Samuli Miettinen - bass, backing vocals (1993-1995)
- Jaska Raatikainen – drums (1993-2019)
- Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä – bass, backing vocals (1995-2019)
- Jani Pirisjoki - keyboards, backing vocals (1995-1997)
- Janne Wirman – keyboards, backing vocals (1997-2019)
- Roope Latvala - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003-2015)
- Daniel Freyberg - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2015-2019)
- Something Wild, 1997
- Hatebreeder, 1999
- Follow the Reaper, 2000
- Hate Crew Deathroll, 2003
- Are You Dead Yet?, 2005
- Blooddrunk, 2008
- Skeletons in the Closet, 2009, a cover album
- Relentless Reckless Forever, 2011
- Halo Of Blood, 2013
- I Worship Chaos, 2015
- Hexed, 2019
Examples of tropes:
- Atomic F-Bomb: Heard in "You're Better Off Dead".Did I ever hurt you in any way? If I did then hear my apology: FUCK YOU!!!!
- Child Prodigy: Alexi played violin as a child, and picked up a mastery of guitar in his early teens.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Just look at the picture!
- Cluster F-Bomb: It would be a tall order to count how many times Alexi sings the word "Fuck" or any of its derivatives throughout their discography.
- Cover Version: A whole cover album, Skeletons in the Closet. They also covered "Oops I Did It Again" at an earlier date; the song was also included on the album. Halo of Blood features a Roxette cover, of all things.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Alexi tends to be mistaken for a girl at times.
- Genre-Busting: Happens frequently throughout their discography.
- Genre Mashup: Their style can be summed up as "Neo-Classical Progressive Blackened Melodic Death/Thrash Power Metal"... or something. Generally it's easiest to refer to them as "extreme power metal" (Note: Not to confuse them with DragonForce, who call themselves this, but have more Speed Metal than Extreme Metal in their sound), which is what people do. There's even some melodic black metal in their sound, though their later work mostly excised this.
- Gratuitous English: Alexi's English is not all that good.
- Guest-Star Party Member: During the interim between Roope Latvala leaving and Daniel Freyberg joining, Janne Wirman's brother Antti stepped in to fill the rhythm guitar spot.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: The band does not publish the lyrics to half their songs, and Alexi is famous for singing whatever he feels like live, in addition to having a thick accent, generally poor enunciation, and occasional slurring if he's hammered. The result: a fandom constantly trying to figure out what the hell they might be singing in each song.
- Lead Bassist: Henkka Seppälä was primarily Type C, as the band's most recognizable member alongside Alexi Laiho.
- Lead Singer Plays Lead Guitar: Lead singer Alex Laiho is also the band's lead guitarist.
- Long Runner Lineup: The Laiho-Raatikainen-Seppälä-Wirman-Latvala lineup lasted between 2003 and 2015.
- Meaningful Name
- Melodic Death Metal: Probably the easiest label for them, and they most definitely served as an Ur-Example and Trope Codifier for the heavily keyboard-laden, power metal-flavored side of the genre as played by Ensiferum (who actually predated them but had nothing but a demo out by the time Something Wild dropped), Norther, Kalmah, Wintersun, and similar bands from the same region.
- Metal Scream: Alexi uses type 3.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Skewered in "Cry Of The Nihilist" and, to an extent, "Pussyfoot Ms. Suicide".
- Older Than They Look: Alexi was 41 when he passed, but could pass for his mid-early 20's.
- Refuge in Audacity: The band name referencing the most infamous Finnish murder case ever is only the beginning.
- "The Nail", the penultimate track from the debut album, opens with audio samples from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Ben-Hur (1959) on top of each other.
- "Warheart" from Hatebreeder opens with a quote from Amadeus ("From now on we are enemies... you and I").
- The title track and "Taste of My Scythe" from Follow the Reaper have snippets of dialogue from The Exorcist III.
- "Bodom Beach Terror" from Hate Crew Deathroll ends with a quote from American Psycho, which continues into the next song on the album, "Angels Don't Kill".
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Alexi, through and through.
- Something Only They Would Say: Only an Espoo native will pronounce the band as "boo-dum". Everyone else will pronounce it "bow-dom" or "boddom".
- Trope Codifier: Along with Norther and Kalmah, they are this for the more bombastic, Europower-inflected style of melodeath.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Very, very often. This can largely be owed to Laiho's less-than-spectacular grasp of English.