March 11, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Mike Diquinzio
Children of Bodom
The Hammer Falls Hard At The HOB
Having seen Children of Bodom several times, I knew even before the show started what this review was going to say: they were amazing. Attribute it to the top-notch musicianship as well as the quality of their catalog because Children of Bodom are one of the most consistently amazing metal bands out there right now.
The Dallas stop of their Halo of Blood Over North America could not have started on a stronger note. Hitting the stage with my personal favorite "Sixpounder" and following it with "Living Dead Beat" and "Bodom Beach Terror," it was clear that this was going to be an adrenaline-fueled performance. After a three-in-a-row opening sequence that strong, their new material would have to be nothing short of pulverizing to follow it.
Not to worry, because Halo of Blood has been almost universally hailed as a return to form for the band. Its selections for the night- "Scream for Silence," the sludgy "Dead Man's Hand on You" and the title track- were three excellent choices that were welcomed by the crowd as enthusiastically as the older songs.
Speaking of their older songs, the setlist reached all the way back to 1997's Something Wild for "Lake Bodom" and spanned the better part of their career by including an average of three songs per album- from 1999's Hatebreeder through 2005's Are You Dead Yet? The omission of anything from 2008's BloodDrunk and 2011's Relentless, Reckless Forever was glaringly obvious though, especially since Children of Bodom never toured the latter album in this part of the country and at least two songs from BloodDrunk, "Hellhounds on my Trail" and the title track, have become live staples since their release.
Omissions aside, no one seemed to leave the show disappointed after hearing rarities like "Towards Dead End" and "Everytime I Die" or the show-closing standards "Hate Me!," "Downfall" and encore "In Your Face". However, seeing Children of Bodom live is less about what songs are in the setlist and more about witnessing firsthand the musical abilities of the band, namely lead vocalist/ guitarist Alexi Laiho and keyboardist Janne Warman trading and double each other's solos with remarkable ease.
If you have never seen Children of Bodom, you absolutely need to. Their live show is not to be missed. Their latest CD Halo of Blood is on Nuclear Blast and is the latest in a string of excellent albums from this premiere metal band.