Children of Bodom Bring 20 Year Celebration To NYC 11-24-17

For many, the Friday after Thanksgiving signifies Black Friday – a day meant for shopping and hitting the mall. An annual consumer tradition, thankfully for New York City Metal disciples, on Friday, November 24, 2017, it was more about hitting the mosh pit as the Children of Bodom’s 20 Years Down and Dirty Tour slammed into the Playstation Theater off W44th St. in New York City’s Times Square. In the spirit of the holidays, an amped-up, near capacity crowd gathered inside the venue to give thanks for the precious gift of Heavy Metal. A tour 2o years in-the-making, back in December of 2016, Alexi Laiho of COB foreshadowed the anniversary of Something Wild telling CrypticRock, “It’s going to be interesting for sure, not just for us, but for the audience to see us playing those songs.

A run which kicked off on Halloween in Dallas, Texas, with plans to conclude on December 1st up in Montreal, Québec, along for the wild ride with Children of Bodom are Uncured, Lost Society, and Carach Angren. That night at Playstation Theater, the first of three opening bands were New York City natives, the aforementioned Uncured taking the stage to serve their own recipe of Progressive Death Metal and open the night in brutal fashion.

For those unfamiliar, Uncured is made up of brothers Zak and Rex Cox – both providing guitar and vocals- Drummer Liam Manley, and Bassist Jon Kita to round out this quartet. On the scene since 2015, these young headbangers have quickly garnered a buzz among fans and critics, especially since releasing their first album Medusa in 2017. Bear in mind, Uncured are no outsiders to opening big shows as they recently toured with notable acts DevilDriver and Katatonia.

Getting the ball rolling, Uncured provided this crowd a rabid dose of heavy riffs mixed into the dark growl vocals of Zak and Rex. By the third song it was time to get heavier, as the band insisted the crowd join them in a dizzying moment of head-banging fit to hold the energy of the room. Uncured closed their set by praising Children of Bodom for bringing them on tour. That said, Uncured are worth showing up early to check out.

Resurrecting 1980’s Thrash Metal and hailing out of Finland, Lost Society was next on the bill to melt some faces. Overflowing with energy, Lost Society members – Samy Elbanna (guitar/lead vocals), Arttu Lesonen (guitar), Mirko Lehtinen (bass), and Ossi Paananen (drum) – hit the stage like a pack of wild dogs. A breathe of fresh air, Lost Society’s music was very reminiscent to Thrash legends Metallica and Overkill, exciting the crowd beyond belief. Song after song the band tore it up, as Elbanna’s screaming vocals pierced ears while he and Lesonen absolutely shredded on guitar.

Simply put, Lost Society totally rocked the night, igniting a fire under an already wild crowd. A super-charged up-and-coming band, Lost Society proudly created a strong buzz for themselves worldwide while previously touring with Overkill and two additional outings with Children of Bodom. Well worth a metalhead’s time, be sure to check out the music of Lost Society – 2012’s Fast Loud Death, 2014’s Terror Hungry, and 2016’s Braindead.

Acting as direct support, the award for most terrifying performance of the night goes to Dutch Horror/Black Metal band Carach Angren. Hailing straight outta The Netherlands – and your worse nightmares – Carach Angren deliver dark and evil music comparable to the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, as heard on their five studio albums, including their latest release – 2017’s Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten. Over the last decade, Carach Angren have built a solid following throughout Europe and presently all over the world.

So, how does one even begin to describe such a hellish musical and visual performance? Well, the faint and evocative lighting illuminated the haunting features of Carach Angen’s stage set. Next, the drums stood behind a creepy iron fence that may or may not have been from an old graveyard, there was a spinal cord for a mic stand, and the set would not have been complete without the ghost hologram who would scream bloody murder at unexpected points in the show.

Ready to blacken the night, the souls of Carach Angren – Seregor (vocals/guitar), Ardek (keyboards), Bastiaan Boh (guitar), and Namtar (drums) – appeared before the crowd, bearing villainous face paint in true Black Metal form. An impressive symphonic and barbarous force, Carach Angren mercilessly tore through a set-list of savage cuts including “Charlie,” “Pitch Black Box,” and “Blood Queen.” The crowd ate up Seregor’s rampant energy and inhuman vocals that sliced like a cold steel blade. Not to be forgotten, Ardek’s execution on the keyboards was masterful to say the least. Ending with “In De Naam Van De Duivel,” when it was all said and done, Carach Angren had annihilated the crowd and truly put the black in Black Friday.

Finally, to a spirited ovation, the most anticipated moment of the night arrived as Children of Bodom hit the stage ready to slay an unglued audience jam-packed with crazed members of the Hate Crew faithful.  Suddenly, set to pound an assortment of their most classic material, Children of Bodom erupted in volcanic bliss with “Deadnight Warrior” and “In The Shadows,” setting off massive roars from the crowd before chants of ‘Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!’ filled the room.

Excitingly, core Bodom members – Alexi Laiho (vocals/guitar), Daniel Freyberg (guitar), Janne Wirman (keyboards), Henkka Seppälä (bass), and Jaska Raatikainen (drums) – were on top of their game as they blasted through crowd favorite “Needled 24/7,” before smashing the place with “Hatebreeder,” “Lake Bodom,” and “Warheart.” Showing no sign of being worn down from such speedy and intense music, Children of Bodom proved 20 years has not slowed them one iota.

Channeling their adrenaline from the crowd, Children of Bodom continued on, tearing through insanely fast and heavy licks “Hate Me,” “Red Light In My Eyes, Part 2,” “Downfall,” and “Everytime I Die.” Through it all, as usual, Laiho was ruthless on guitar and as the band’s leader, engaging the crowd who happily moshed in an uncivilized manner. Moving right along, Children of Bodom would pay tribute to their legion of fans for two decades of support with “Hatecrew Death Roll,” followed by “Kissing The Shadows.” Sadly, the night was coming to a close, and it was so in-your-face it was hard to even notice the lapse in time. Grateful for the decades of support, the band said thank you to New York and walked off stage.

Returning only moments later, Laiho and company raised the question if everyone wanted more to which they received a unified yes! Geared up for one last go-round, the encore consisted of two more classic Bodom cuts – “Children of Bodom” and “Towards Dead End” – capping off a tremendous night of earth-shaking Metal. Again, Children of Bodom expressed appreciation for fans’ loyalty over the last 20 years as the Hate Crew put up the devil horns as if they were pledging allegiance.

Amazingly, 20 years have passed since Children of Bodom released their rucks debut of Something Wild. Wonderful to reflect on the past, in the time since they have topped the charts releasing eight more studio albums including their latest, 2015’s I Worship Chaos. More importantly, they have done it all while gaining a massive fan-base around the globe and playing on the biggest stages. All that said, Children of Bodom are, and will continue to be, a rising force in Heavy Metal, and fans are anxious to see what the next 20 years will bring!

Photos by: Aintellin Photography

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