Children Of Bodom
w. Swallow The Sun, Wolfheart, Hollowcry and Dethgod
Calgary, March 25th, 2019
Story by JP
Photos courtesy of The Thrashmaster
It was a mild spring night to enjoy a Metal concert. This five band bill was playing at the Palace Theater, an old movie theater that was converted into a decent concert hall. The show started on time (for a rare change) and it was quite an early start as well.
Local Death Metal Power trio DETHGOD opened the show with a punchy four song set. I was pleased to see so many people there to see them. They only had time for four songs but they were ready to slay. They played ‘Exist In Isolation’ from their new album and a mosh pit open up! They also played ‘Like Flies to Flesh in their traditional wall of noise style to a good reception. Sadly, the guitarists rig went down right in the middle of the song and it just could not be salvaged. They were the heaviest band on the bill to be sure!
Up next was Hollowcry, a metal-core band from Spain. Although this is not my preferred style they were competent and energetic. They had the classic high/low dual vocal style and a nice guitar tone. The quartet were not terrible by any means. I’m not sure about the singers ‘man-bun and grandmothers sweater! They could have been a buy-on for the tour and were a bit out of place on the bill.
After a long ominous and atmospheric pre-recorded acoustic keyboard intro tape, Wolfheart took the stage right on time. The piano line was reminiscent of Savatage and sounded good. They opened with some nice synchronized, wind-mill, headbanging and played a nice mix of old and new songs. This was my second time seeing them and they were the second heaviest band on the bill. They are touring in support of CONSTELLATION OF THE BLACK LIGHT which came out in September of 2018. They finished off with ‘Boneyard’ from TYHJYYS (Meaning ‘void’ in English) and called it a night to many cheers.
Swallow The Sun one of the three Finnish bands on the bill. It was less than two years ago they were in Calgary touring with Amorphis but I was glad to see them again. By far the most diverse, dynamic and atmospheric band of the evening, Swallow The sun were touring in support of their album, WHEN A SHADOW IS FORCED INTO THE LIGHT which just came out in January of 2109.
With six members spread across the large stage, they looked good in the dark hoods and robes. I really enjoy the clean/harsh vocal juxtaposition, especially the baritone voice of Mikko Kotamaki, reminding me a bit of Fernando from Moonspell. The band has been going now 20 years and has seven albums, I need to buy more of their records. They made good use of the keyboards and shared lead vocals as well. They were probably the most melodic and musical band of the evening.
With everything running very smoothly, Children Of Bodom were ready to play to a full house. Due to some logistical issues the new album HEXED was not available at the merchandise booth!
It was with a bit of a heavy heart, that I want to report that I don’t feel it was their best show. I’ve seen the band six times previously dating back to 2004 and this was their weakest performance. That is not to say it was a bad show, but I have seen them better before. Not every concert by every band can be amazing and Alexi looked unhealthy. He looked very skinny, tired, pale and did not have too much energy that night. He has always been slender but he looked emaciated. His voice was not as powerful as other times. The lightshow was very mellow and the backdrop was also very plain.
On the positive side, they all played extremely well, Alexi can still shred and solo very well, as does Janne Warman. Henkka T. Blacksmith now has very short hair! The sound was very good and the crowd loved it fist-pumping, head-banging and many people crowd-surfing. AT one point Alexi said they were going to play a new song from the new album for the first time ever live, so we were treated to a ‘World Premier’ of Hecate’s Nightmare from HEXED. They played four songs from the new album. The only old song they played was their traditional closing song ‘Downfall’ from HATEBREEDER. The show was also very short, just 70 minutes, 14 quick songs.
I was surprised the band looked so tired so early in the tour but maybe they were just sick. I saw the same show the following night in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and they did look like they had a bit more energy with only three hours between the two cities. Even on maybe a bad night, like Calgary, they are still better than many, many bands.
Are You Dead Yet?
Under Grass and Clover
In Your Face
Bodom Beach Terror
Everytime I Die
Platitudes and Barren Words
Hecate’s Nightmare (World premiere)
We’re Not Gonna Fall
I Worship Chaos
Angels Don’t Kill
If You Want Peace… Prepare for War
It was a very satisfying night of Metal and I’m glad I got to see the tour two nights in a row, back-to-back!
Special Thanks to MRG Concerts.