Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth Live Report
Band Photo: Children of Bodom (?)
Nights like this one only confirm that Euro-metal is steadily on the rise in New England. Judging by the number of excited fans attending the Palladium on Dec 16th, you would think that we were graced with not one but two headliners. It was a year ago, almost to the day that the two cohorts of Scandinavian merry men strolled through town and now they brought along France's beloved Gojira. Keeping chronological order, Sanctity took the stage first. They were greeted surprisingly well for an opening act. I haven't seen these guys before but kudos for their fervor on stage. Some of the fans were familiar with their stuff and even managed to form the beginnings of a mosh pit.
Highly acclaimed but alas, largely unknown in US, Gojira were up next. The quality of their music and the level of passion they played with were enchanting. This is a band that effortlessly fuses serene imagery with formidable riffs in an exceedingly refined manner. Grimacing vocalist Joe Deplaned was remarkably dynamic in his performance, interacting on stage and proving that Death metal bands can actually be eye-pleasing to watch. Mario's drum solo was an unexpected but gratifying treat. The set list revolved around their latest album: Ocean Planet, Heaviest Matter, Flying Whales and Backbone. The crowd looked a bit perplexed but displayed support with spontaneous cheers.
After a short wait, Johan Egg led his Viking mates in a pillaging live induction. Plenty of enthusiasts flocked the floor under the first chords of Valhalla Awaits Me. Almost instantaneously the wave of crowdsurfers charged the barrier. They were (literally) getting launched from the middle of the floor and floated for quite a while before being seized by the guards. Amon Amarth live up to their reputation of a killer live band; it's very hard to top their super high- energy show. Johan was wearing his drinking horn on his side again and this time not only he, but the bassist was shirtless too, revealing an amazing tattoo on his back. It was glorious and awe-inspiring watching the Viking front line headbang unanimously. Deafening cheers never subside throughout the entire set, which was leaning towards the last two albums. Runes To My Memory, Death In Fire, Ancient Sign, Cry Of The Black Birds and closer Pursuit Of Vikings bring the crowd to a state of exhilarated euphoria. The interludes were filled with the sounds of a Viking horn smuggled in by a fan. Nice one.
After AA's set, sweat laden fans retreated to let the diehard CoB devotees take their turn in the forthcoming mosh inferno. After a lengthy stage prep and reverberating chants of "Bo-dom", Finnish guitar prodigy Alexi Laiho & his crew emerged on stage with Hate Me and hammered through their set, including Sixpounder, Are You Dead Yet, Needled, Angels Don't Kill, In Your Face and Mask Of Sanity. This is the band at the top of the bill and they play like they know it. The guards were overwhelmed by the incessant stream of crowdsurfers. Frenzied teenage faces were the predominant part on the floor while the balcony was reserved for the tamer hearts. Alexi delivered superbly precise solos and the rest of the band matched up to his excellence. Loud and intense Were Not Going to Fall turned the floor into a furnace of amok fans.
CoB's stage setup was rather elaborate too. The multitude of colours and blinding lasers pointed into the crowd were cool but when three flashing COB signs came on halfway though the show, I thought it was over the top; way too glammy and not very metal. On a side note, ladies' man Janne had stretched a bra between the legs of his keyboard stand... cheeky.
I was a tad disappointed that the set was weighted towards newer material. I would have loved to see Bodom Night or Black Widow. But nonetheless it was an excellent night of metal. The closer of the night was Downfall which brought the set to a strong finish. Shortly after that happy and exhausted souls filled the streets around the Palladium. After the show my friend said this was the absolute best show he's been to. I don't know, I still keep this spot vacant for the first time I'm going to see My Dying Bride but tonight was definitely up there.
You can view the live photos in the Gallery section
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