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Children of Bodom to Undergo Major Line-Up Change

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Whoa: Children of Bodom have announced the impending departure of drummer Jaska Raatikainen, bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith, and keyboardist Janne Wirman. All three are original members of the band who have played on every Bodom release to date. This iteration of the group’s final show, which they’ve dubbed ‘A Chapter Called Children of Bodom,’ will take place at the Black Box in Helsinki Ice Hall on December 15. A previously announced appearance at the 2020 Tuska Open Air festival in June, during which the group was to play their 2003 album Hate Crew Deathroll in its entirety, has been cancelled.

Why the mass exodus? CoB’s statement on the matter is vague, saying only that “it is time for” the trio “to step back and change direction within their lives”:

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that 2019 will be the last for Children of Bodom with this line-up.

“After almost 25 years with Bodom, thousands of shows and 10 albums, it is time for Henkka, Janne and Jaska to step back and change direction within their lives. All three will miss the fans and supporters in every city in every country the band ever played.  

“The last show of this line-up will be on the 15th of December at Helsinki Ice Hall. Tickets still remain for some of the Finnish shows in December.

“Alexi [Laiho, guitars/vocals] and Daniel [Freyberg, guitars] will have further announcements about their plans to keep creating new music in the future.

“Thanks again for everything – Children Of Bodom”

Freyberg joined Children of Bodom in 2016 and made his recording debut with the band on Hexed, which was released earlier this year. So the departures of Raatikainen, Blacksmith, and Wirman leave Laiho as the sole remaining original Child of Bodom.

Whenever multiple members of a band all up and leave at once, fans tend to assume, understandably, that something is amiss behind-the-scenes. But I doubt any of the soon-to-be-former Bodomites will spill the beans until after their final show, for obvious reasons. And who knows? All of these guys are now entering their 40s. Maybe they really did just wanna “change direction within their lives.”

The version of Children of Bodom’s final shows

05.12.2019 Finland – Seinäjoki, Rytmikorjaamo
06.12.2019 Finland – Oulu, Teatria
07.12.2019 Finland – Tornio, Teatria
10.12.2019 Finland – Helsinki, Tavastia (Sold Out)
11.12.2019 Finland – Tampere, Pakkahuone
12.12.2019 Finland – Turku, Logomo
13.12.2019 Finland – Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
14.12.2019 Finland – Jyväskylä, Lutakko (Sold Out)
15.12.2019 Finland – Helsinki, Black Box

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