Children of Bodom, by merely mentioning the name thoughts and images of brutality, precision, and rapid velocity run through the minds of all surrounding. Since the release of Something Wild
in 1998, Children of Bodom has taken the metal genre by storm, slaying all in their path. The future of metal quite possibly lies in the hands of COB, as they continue to progress album to album in their unique way. But lets take a venture back a few years; after releasing Something Wild
the band decided to record a live album. Your average band would fail miserably of producing a live album this caliber after releasing a mere two records, but Bodom is far from your average band. Throughout the night, the energy and passion Children of Bodom put into their music is heard. From the first growl to the final note, the power of the music is felt as the album puts a chokehold on the listener and does not let up or let go for a second.
From the first thumps of double bass in Silent Night, Bodom Night
the pace is set for the rest of the night. The overall mix is absolutely fantastic; nothing is extremely overpowered as both bass and keyboard are audible more than not. Playing wise, would one really expect Children of Bodom to be sloppy and to have difficulty with their solos; no. Between the shredding sweeps and beautiful melodies, everything is spot on. A little more of a raw feel is given off compared to the albums at some parts. The crowd noise and Alexi"s extra growls make Bodom seem almost like hurricane; their unrelenting power and speed are shown along with their precision. But do not be deceived, as there is no eye to this storm, it does not relax for a second. The calmest part about this record is found with the guitar and keyboard solo battle taking place a bit before the halfway part in the show, making up the track War of Razors
. Appreciation sure is shown by the crowd as screams are heard between every break in the dual solo action. Little bonus solos such as this that will not be found on the studio records are always welcome live, especially when the band possesses the amount of talent Bodom does.
As mentioned before, the superb mixing allows for the famous Bodom atmosphere to be in play. The ripping guitar solos, brutal vocals, slamming drums, and trademark keyboards all sound very reminiscent to the album. Now this can be taken as a pro or con, but there are sometimes entire songs where if you have lost a bit of focus you will forget they are playing live. Those expecting spot on and tight playing will not be disappointed in the least. However, if you are looking for something incredibly raw, this might not fulfill the craving. Regardless there is enough sheer brutality and rage to satisfy the majority desires. The set list chosen is a great representation of the first two albums. Considering they only had 16 songs to select from (7 from Something Wild and 9 from Hatebreeder) they in theory played over half of the songs they had released on previous albums. With that being said, the set list has a very nice flow to it, as nothing ever drags on or sounds overly repetitive. This is quite an incredible feat; as the band had not even entered their real sound experimental phase, yet was still able to keep the attention of listeners with distinctive and unique enough tracks. The middle of the set is laced with signature tracks. The classic Hatebreeder
proves to be a stick out performance of the night, as its intense nature is presented brilliantly. Alexi"s vocals sound absolutely fantastic, despite simultaneously performing his tricky leads. The closing solos are executed with nothing short of perfection and the harmonization is truly a treat.
Highlights continue to come as Downfall
marks a wonderful keyboard performance. The keys really stick out here and create possibly the most atmospheric track on the live record. While the verses have a heavier feel with the persistent double bass, the keyboard break before the first solo captures and produces a commendable mood. There is no shortage of shredding found here, but Laiho manages to balance out the speed with some great melodic playing. This is a prime example of the power the live songs can generate. Throughout the night, the only real sign of disappointment in the crowd is when Alexi announces there is only one more song. Towards Dead End
is a great way to finish off this record. The vocals here sound different at parts, more of an angry growl as opposed to a flat out scream. Guitars go to work quite early in the song with some magnificent sounding solo work. The tempo change is performed with superb smoothness as things slow down for a brief moment. Laiho"s yell on one of the pauses leading up the outro is something that should bring a smile on the face of one wanting the raw tone. This serves as the ideal build up for the closing solos. Guitar wise this could very well be the highlight as the blazing quick harmonization is performed with perfection. The ending proves to be quite strong, capping off one exceptionally remarkable live record and performance.
With only two albums under their belts, Children of Bodom had no doubts about releasing a live album and with good reason. The night was definitely one to remember for the fans and needed to be shared with many more than attended. Capturing exactly how much power and energy the band gives off is no easy task. However, the band"s tight playing and hefty force is experienced at new levels after listening to this album. For Bodom fans, especially those who enjoyed their early work, this is a must own. If you are a fan of metal and are unfamiliar to the band, this is actually as great way to get into them as it contains fantastic work from two early albums. Regardless of ones familiarity with the band, this truly magnificent live performance should hold a place in nearly all metal fans collection.
Final Rating: 4.5/5