No surprise, then, when Laiho mentioned the artist the combo listened to for inspiration when recording its groundbreaking early albums: "Mozart."
Children of Bodom's new Blooddrunk (Spinefarm) certainly cites the ax-master's love of booze and is a more memorable effort than 2005's Are You Dead Yet? (Spinefarm). The solos are as incendiary as ever, and the band's embrace of progressive-rock tendencies has yet to blunt the Vivaldi-style virtuosity of its songs.
Speaking with two bands that have ascended to the metal mountaintop and gotten a look at the downward slope on the other side, it seemed important to ask if this new period of prosperity, exemplified by Gigantour, had a catch. After all, metal has fallen on hard times before, even when it seemed poised to conquer the world for good.
Surprisingly, Strömblad and Laiho provided nearly identical answers. "You always see different styles [of metal]," said the In Flames guitarist. "The genre of metal will always be popular. The different styles can grow big for a while and then go away." Laiho concurred: "Because the metal scene is so big and wide, and has different categories, it's never going to implode on itself. It's always going to be evolving." As long as people in Sweden, Finland, and America are willing to forge the next In Flames or Children of Bodom, these two six-string titans will be proven right.
With Megadeth, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Job for a Cowboy, and High on Fire
Mon/19, 5:30 p.m., $37.50
San Jose State University, Event Center Arena
290 S. Seventh St., San Jose