Report by: Samuli Keskitalo
When we’re talking about big Finnish heavy metal bands, which are certainly going to be in the top of the charts in the world everytime they put out a new record, you can name Children Of Bodom on your list. Playing at the biggest festivals, selling many records and many sold-out shows and tours. Now again is the time for another tour with a brand new record, called I Worship Chaos. And yes, it is at the top of the charts in many countries of the world, again. This time the situation about the tour was a little different on the guitar sections, because Roope Latvala, who has been part of the band more than ten years, suddenly left the band. Children Of Bodom made the new album as a four-piece-group and for the tour they took Antti Wirman to play the guitar parts. I have always been a fan of Roope, so the decision they made felt at first a little sad to me, but it’s part of the music business that sometimes groups break up and there’s a new member to replace them. And now, when I saw Antti insted of Roope on the stage, I was fine and good with it. Antti is a brother of Janne Wirman, so it is a good choice for a replacement, because this guy is well-known to the band.
Children Of Bodom made is on tour with Lamb Of God and Sylosis, but for the Finnish part of the tour there was a couple different support acts, Ensiferum and Medeia. Both very popular in Finland, so the line-up was a pretty good-selling one for a metal night. Medeia started the night. I wasn’t so familiar with this one and this was my first time to see them on stage, but they sounded pretty good. They sounded a little bit like a alternative death metal band and there was handful of nice drum compings and riffs. The group definitely showed their best on the stage with their professional style. The negative part was, that the singer Frans Aalto sounded like he was speaking at the some voice, that he was singing – reminded me of Christian Bale in a role of Batman. A little over 30 minutes of death metal blasts and that was it. I think I should take their albums and check them out. Maybe you will see me at their gigs in the future.
First act out, second in. And now we have Ensiferum to come. Ensiferum has been touring with Bodom in Finland before, so for me this wasn’t surprising. But like I said at the beginning: good combo and good-selling strategy. Also Ensiferum put out their new album this year, called One Man Army and on their setlist there were good selection of these songs. Only downside is, I didn’t like the new album very much. I think I am a ”normal” Ensiferum fan, who likes the former singer and guitarrist Jari Mäenpää’s era the most and after the Iron CD, Ensiferum has only been making bad, or mediocre records. Anyway there’s always tours and those nice old songs with them, so there’s nothing to worry about. New songs, but of course a handful of old ones. And it’s always funny and entertaining to see how Sami Hinkka (bass & backing vocals) makes his basslines with his six-string-axe and how he is acting like a crazy person on the stage. All the other musicians seemed to be as they normally are, so no major surprises this time.
Last of the three acts, Children Of Bodom. They started on time and when they did Rytmikorjaamo was full, which was good. I was excited about this show, because I have always liked Bodom gigs and this time was a first time to for me to see without Roope with them, so I was very curious to see how Antti takes his place. Nowadays I always check the setlists when the bands start their tours, so I did this time also, and have to say there were some big negatives, they weren’t playing much from I Worship Chaos. Pretty sad thing, because I finally found that the album is a good one after all. About two weeks ago they seemed to start their shows with the I Hurt song, which is the opening track from the new one, but that was replaced with Are You Dead Yet song. Nothing to whine about actually, but normally in my opinion I think the band should start with the starter song from the newest album – like now, because this is the I Worship Chaos Tour.
Right after Are You Dead Yet they throw in the, In Your Face hit-single. One of my most beloved COB-songs. After those two songs Alexi made a little speech and welcomed Seinäjoki Hate Crew to the show, of course with his well-known speaking style which is mostly based on the f*uck word. After those songs we got something new and it was Morrigan. Not a big surprise, because they just released a music video to that song and it was the first single from that new record. It was also the first one, which opened for me very quickly and at the live-situation it worked also very good. I hope they keep that one in the future.
Interesting to note, that to my ears it sounded like they have rearranged some songs with time signatures, especially Bodom Beach Terror. I don’t know if this is true, but it seemed so this night.
We all know Roope is no longer part of the band and there’s a lot of rumors how Antti Wirman is going to replace his boots and is he going to be part of Bodom in the future too. I would be fine with that, if he’s going to be – he played his ESP with a good touch and my ears didn’t noticed any mistakes in playing. Of course his face was almost all the time on the fretboard.
There were lot of old songs on the setlist, which is a good thing, if you haven’t seen Children Of Bodom before, or just a couple of times now is a good time to check them out. I have seen them a little over ten times by now, so that was the main reason why I wanted more material from I Worship Chaos. Or something which were not so often played. Anyway every time when I have been seeing COB on stage I’ve got a bunch of nice riffs, cool guitar licks, and most important a very good style of playing together.