Friday, December 22, 2006 @ 5:35 PM
Finishing out the year with a
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Devil horns and Viking horns – either way you look at it the metal is going to be fierce tonight.
Bringing the Scandinavian metal to Tempe on a windy December night was Finland’s Children of Bodom and the Swedish vikings Amon Amarth. The temperature was about to hit the boiling point.
Hitting the stage first with “Valhalla Awaits Me” and “Runes to My Memory” from the new With Oden on Our Side (released in October), the band began their onslaught. Singer Johan Hegg, shirtless and hairy, gave the perfect presence of a pissed off Viking. Peremptorily controlling the stage, Johan was letting it be known that his crew was here to conquer. Together with Ted Lundström – bass, Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg – guitars, Fredrik Andersson – drums, the pillaging continued with “Death in Fire”, as well as a strong show from Fate of Norns – songs included “Fate of Norns”, “An Ancient Sign of Coming Storms”, and “Pursuit of Vikings” (which ended the set with crowd participation). The set also included “Asator” and “Cry of the Black Birds”, both of the new one as well, leaving “Death by Fire” the oldest song in their set.
The band pummeled the crowd from start to finish, leaving them a sweaty and satisfied bunch.
The slight chill in the winter air (OK so it was only 60 - 65 or so but that’s our winter) was enough to cool down the slamming masses and prepare them for Children of Bodom.
The chanting of “BO-DOM! BO-DOM!” from the impatient crowd grew in volume. This may have been the band’s third or fourth time through the desert this year, but the eager crowd acted as if it were their first.
The intensity began as soon as the band launched in to “Hate Me!”, and the entire floor began to gyrate. While CoB emitted sheer volume from the stage, it appeared as if the mix wasn’t quite on tonight. The overall flow of the sound seemed muddled.
It didn’t dampen the energy of either the band or the crowd, so the band continued to blast away with such tunes as “Chokehold”, “Sixpounder”, “Living Dead Beat”, “Are You Dead Yet?” and “Children of Bodom”.
While the band continually puts on one of the most brutal and flawless performances at each tour stop, I couldn’t help but notice how much younger tonight’s crowd was. Most notably were the 10 – 14 year olds. It’s nice to see the youngsters sharpening their horns so early. There was this extremely attractive girl in a miniskirt who walked through the center of the bar area and as she got closer I saw a CoB backstage pass on her shirt, complete with some serious NHO’s. I couldn’t help but think Man - I hope Finland doesn’t extradite.
The band finished out their set with “Needled 24/7”, “Angel’s Don’t Kill”, “We’re Not Gonna Fall”, “Mask of Sanity/Deadnight Warrior”, “Bodom Beach Terror”, “In Your Face” and the closer “Downfall”. There may have been a few that I missed.
This was an awesome metal ending to a year that is beginning to fade away.
All Photos (c) 2006 David Svendsen www.crpndeth.com Click on any image to enlarge