Finland’s revered death metal scene honoured by Genelec at new Espoo bar

Located in Espoo, Finland, Bodom Bar and Sauna is the headquarters of melodic death metal band Children of Bodom. Complete with poster-strewn walls, red leather couches and band memorabilia, the venue recently collaborated with Genelec to create a sound system capable of handling the band’s back catalogue of chest-rattling riffs.

Espoo is the hometown of the pioneering five-piece that rose to fame in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Taking their name from one of the most intriguing cases in Finnish criminal history – the Lake Bodom murders – Children of Bodom released 10 studio albums across their career, gaining them a loyal long-haired following who travelled globally to see the band perform.

They continued to tour up until they split in 2019, which was shortly followed by the sad passing of lead guitarist Alexi Laiho in 2020. Bodom Bar and Sauna was opened to celebrate the legacy of the band and, in true Finnish fashion, houses three on-site saunas alongside the standard bar offering, plus tons of unique pieces of band memorabilia.

Sound was a big consideration for the project, given that it was to pay homage to one of Finland’s most influential death metal bands, and Children of Bodom already had an extensive history with Genelec – which made them the obvious loudspeaker choice.

“Eight of our studio albums were recorded in Finland and fully mixed and mastered on Genelec loudspeakers,” began Janne Wirman, Owner of Bodom Bar and Sauna and former keyboardist in the band. “It’s safe to say that about 90% of all the music we ever recorded was monitored on Genelec loudspeakers.”

“I’m a big audio geek, and I bought my first pair of 1030s after a visit to the Finnvox studio where our second album was mixed. I was sold on the quality of Genelec active studio loudspeakers and have been a user ever since,” Wirman continued.

Bodom Bar and Sauna is equipped with five Genelec 4030 installation loudspeakers and four of the more compact 4020 models all in the RAW aluminium finish, plus a 7050 subwoofer and an F One subwoofer, which Wirman and the Genelec team installed.

The system is mainly used for background music and to take guests on a nostalgic journey through Children of Bodom’s discography, but the bar has also recently launched weekly vinyl nights in which DJs play wax-only through the system. If Bodom Bar and Sauna ever wanted to accommodate live musicians, the set-up would also be ideal.

“The helpful team of specialists from Genelec visited us early on and recommended the 4020 and 4030 loudspeakers,” furthered Wirman. “I agreed that the size of the speakers was sufficient for the space, and we decided on the RAW finish as we knew that the rugged, industrial look would work well with the colour theme in the bar. It’s also a sustainable system, and that’s something very important to us.”

The loudspeaker system covers the whole main room at Bodom Bar, as well as the corridor that leads to the saunas. The main space houses five 4030 models and the 7050 subwoofer, and the corridor features two 4020 loudspeakers. A separate VIP lounge in the back is where the F One subwoofer can be found, alongside the other two 4020s.

“We opted for the F One so that the VIP guests can play their own music through the system if they want to,” explained Henri Ulmanen, sales engineer at Genelec.

“Customers can watch TV or listen to their own music via Smart TV apps, or they can listen to background music from the bar by changing the input using the subwoofer’s remote control. The lounge TV is connected to the F One’s optical input and the bar background music is on an analogue input.” Additionally, an Allen & Heath AHM16 matrix processor was chosen for its versatility and uncompromised processing capabilities.

“I feel that the guest experience is now sonically at the level where it’s supposed to be,” added Wirman. “I had so much fun unboxing the products, hanging them up on the walls and wiring them with the most awesome installation team from Genelec. The whole project was a real pleasure.”