April 11, 2014 Children of Bodom Opening Night of Two in NYC 3-28-14 with Týr & Death Angel
On the beginning of a busy weekend of heavy metal in New York City, Children of Bodom’s headlining tour with Death Angel and Týr came to town. With the tour starting off all the way back on February 14th in Quebec City, the long trek was ending in the city that never sleeps with two consecutive shows at Irving Plaza on March 28th and 29th. The opening night of this two night stand was competing directly with Dream Theater playing across town, but that did not phase these loyal packed crowd one bit.
Opening up the evening were Northern European folk metal act Týr. Coming off the success of the band’s seventh studio album titled Valkyrja in 2013, this tour would be their first appearance in support of the new material.
Coming out strong with opposing stage presence, Týr seemed energized to play in front of New York City for the first time since September 2012. Heri Joensen’s vocals were clean and pronounced, so much so you could understand every single word he belted out, opening with “Hold the Heathen Hammer High”. Filled with impressive guitar riff by Terji Skibenæs the band stormed through “Blood of Heroes”, “Another Fallen Brother”, “Mare of My Night”, and “Lady of the Slain”. With all the songs being off Valkyrja there was a sense of intrigue in the crowd; this being the first time everyone heard the material live. While everyone chanted along through each song, the set closed out with “Shadow of the Swastika”. As a crowd pleasing band with an established track record in the metal scene, it will be welcomed to see Týr back for a longer set next touring cycle.
Next up were bay area thrash metal legends Death Angel. After the band broke-up in 1991, many thought that would be the last they saw of them. Thankfully, a decade later the band returned with vengeance and are perhaps stronger than ever. That was never more evident than with their powerful newest album The Dream Calls for Blood (2013).
Taking the stage with such a force, mayhem ignited right away on the floor. The opening of “Left for Dead” had the majority of the audience head banging with sheer intensity. Rob Cavestany’s guitar chops were unbelievable to watch and by the time “Son of the Morning” began, the crowd surfing took off with fans flying toward the front of the stage. Taking over every inch of the stage, Mark Osegueda and company did not let the size of platform hinder their ability to dominate this crowd.
After “Succubus” and “Execution – Don’t Save Me”, Osegueda was so appreciative of the fans enthusiasm he said, “I love your energy tonight, you guys are in-your-face kind of people and we are an in-your-face type of band..I love it..follow your own fucking path, don’t follow anyone else but your own heart, what I’m saying to you beautiful NY mother fuckers is be you!” With that they lead into the thrashing of “The Dream Calls for Blood”. The set closed out like a volcano erupting with old thrash metal classics “Mistress of Pain” and instrumental “The Ultra-Violence”, leading into the song that resurrected the band, “Thrown to the Wolves”. As the performance concluded, the cheers were at a maximum and there is no doubt Death Angel are one of American thrash metal’s elite.
All the way from Espoo, Finland, Children of Bodom are a band which has earned their place in the metal genre. After taking the underground scene by storm with Something Wild (1997) and Hatebreeder (1999), it was just a matter of time before the rest of the world caught on to the band’s talent. While the band has remained consistent over the years and satisfied their loyal fan base, 2013’s Halo of Blood is one of their highest rated albums in a decade. Irving Plaza was wound-up and ready to rock with the kings of melodeath.
As Alexi Laiho (lead vocals, lead guitar), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass guitar), Janne Warman (keyboards), Roope Latvala (guitar) took the stage, there was an impassioned vibe feeding off as they blasted into “Sixpounder”, “Living Dead Beat”, and “Bodom Beach Terror”. Every note and ever lyric bellowed was like a punch to chest of pure metal fury. Judging by the band’s excitement, there was no sign of fatigue from their long journey across America over the past month.
New songs like “Halo of Blood”, “Scream for Silence”, and “Dead Man’s Hand on You” received a genuine reaction of joy from the fans and the crowd surfing was at its height during Bodom’s set. Of course the classics kept the whirlwind going with tracks like “Hate Crew Deathroll”, “Lake Bodom”, and “Follow The Reaper”. Laiho and company’s facial expressions looked of “lets tear the roof off this place”, taking every note they played seriously. At the same time the band was having a spectacular time on stage as they played one electrifying song after another. By the time the key-work of Warman combined with Laiho’s steady-handed guitar picking began “Downfall” you knew this was a Children of Bodom performance for the books. The band has always put on lively performances, but this one really hit harder than in recent history. With the set concluding, the Hate Crew screamed for more and they received the crunching mosh pit pleasing “In Your Face”.
Children of Bodom no doubt brought everything they had to the stage of Irving Plaza, and excelled in doing so. Their heart bled through the music, and each song in the set did not let down at any point. With the tour concluding the following night, with another show at Irving Plaza, this can wind up being one of the band’s strongest headlining showcases ever in North America.