Children Of Bodom

support Medeia + Insomnium
author MN date 28/09/13 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

The end of September has drawn to an end and what should be mid autumn starts to feel like the oncoming of winter. As I arrive early to the venue for a couple of beers in the open spaces before Amager Bio, the sunshine is quickly devoured by a menacing cold. Perhaps Children of Bodom and their fellow countrymen have brought an icy quality to this Saturday evening, contributing befittingly to the aura of what is to be witnessed. Eagerly anticipated, this is Children of Bodom’s third visit to the Danish capital, and with a well received 8th album, Halo Of Blood, the Finnish heavyweights are ready to be lunged back into the forefront of the melodeath scene. Personally, I have been waiting for the chance to see COB since I was an eager teenager. Unfortunately I missed out on the other chances of seeing the legendary quintet, so I find myself twitching with excitement as the night welcomes the first guests of the evening, Medea.

More photos available from Peter Troest

Medeia

My initial response to Medeia was generally positive, their sound is immense and cataclysmic, yet retains a rich level of dynamism, content and occasional melodic input. Their sound meets at the melting point of death and thrash metal, with certain metalcore sensibilities. The Finns clearly nod some admiration towards Meshuggah, but keep it a little bit more unrefined in their execution. Medeia enter the stage and propel into performance with sledgehammer force, but despite the contagious level of energy displayed by the sextet, it was not enough to overcome some serious sound problems in the first couple of tracks. Singer Keijo Niinimaa’s raw vocals were often drowned by the instruments, a real shame seeing as his voice is stupidly brutal on record. Back up vocalist and keyboard player Laura Dziadulewicz did however add a nice touch of interludes and clean melodies in her performance. They tally their marks up a bit more this time around with their epic performance of “The Unseen” and “Centurion” to the delight of the crowd.

Insomnium

Insomnium are an established melodic death metal band from the town of Joensuu, Finland and they are considered one of the most consistent metal bands of the cold north. Having 13 years on the scene, the Finns never changed line up, a sign of a band which is content with their sound, which has been moulded into an expression drawing on both doom metal and atmospheric dark metal. Opening with the melodic “Inertia”, Insomnium straddle the stage with determination to make their presence known, unfortunately technicalities riddle first couple of songs, but the sound is finally calibrated towards the high energy track “Through the Shadows” where the guitar duo Ville Friman and Markus Vanhala prove their prowess in some vicious dual guitar work. The atmospheric down-tempo song “One For Sorrow” finally has the set reach its highpoint, while “Mortal Share” seals the deal in a metal stomper. Unfortunately, neither Insomnium nor Medeia have managed to get a proper metal party going, as the audience remains static throughout both sets.

Children Of Bodom

At 22.05, Finlands biggest heavy metal band are ready to take the stage. As the lights dim, the silhouette of Jaska Raatikainen appears beyond the drumset, eventually the rest of the members walk on with devil horns raised high. Having garnered a reputation as one of the world’s absolute best guitarists, expectations always reach feverish heights when it comes to vocalist/lead guitarist Alexi Laiho. Despite the complete faith in his virtuoso skill on his ESP guitar, it will be interesting to see how Alexi performs as a showman on his mere third visit to the country.

As expected, COB opens with “Transference” of their latest release, Halo of Blood. A good choice in my opinion, as it is a perfect example of Children of Bodom synthesizing their neo-classical sounds of Pre “Are You Dead Yet?” days and the thrashier latter years. “Silent Night, Bodom Night” follows, and is a Children of Bodom classic, the audience immerses in their first singalong of the night. I also find myself dumbstruck by the coordination skills of both Alexi and Roope, as they perform tagteam arpeggio-style hooks upon galloping drumming by Jaska. In terms of stage presence, Alexi seems in high spirits as he communicates with the audience, but in an odd pirate like fashion, perhaps this is just “death metal” lingo. Despite seeming painfully rehearsed, Alexi seems happy to be performing to the Copenhagen Hate Crew this evening.

Featuring 4 songs from their newest album, one definitive highlight is “Halo Of Blood” which shows that Children of Bodom easily can pull-off flash beats in the best black metal style. The initial set is concluded with the immortal classics “Hate me” and the evenings highlight “Downfall”. Children of Bodom eventually return to perform one more song in the form “In Your Face”, sealing an hour and 25 minute long set.

Children of Bodom have reached a legendary status in the metal world, and in order to live up to that coronation, I expect bands to perform solid and inspiring sets of considerable length, so despite just reaching the bar on conventional set length, Children of Bodom could easily have provided a bit more. I stood slightly disappointed in the lack of songs from the “Follow the Reaper” era, but despite that little hiccup, Children of Bodom selected a nice mixture of songs spanning their long career. Well done Children of Bodom, come back and give us even more next time.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Transference
  • 2. Silent Night, Bodom Night
  • 3. Sixpounder
  • 4. Halo of Blood
  • 5. Scream for Silence
  • 6. Kissing the Shadows
  • 7. Lake Bodom
  • 8. Hate Crew Deathroll
  • 9. Shovel Knockout
  • 10. Dead Man's Hand on You
  • 11. Are You Dead Yet?
  • 12. Blooddrunk
  • 13. Everytime I Die
  • 14. Towards Dead End
  • 15. Hate Me!
  • 16. Downfall

--Encore--

  • 17. In Your Face

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