at Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway, February 4, 2006

It’s been three years since Children of Bodom’s (CoB) last visit to Oslo, and they certainly didn’t choose a bad time for this one. Rockefeller Concert Hall is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2006, and is doing so by featuring a heap of great Metal gigs -– Kamelot, U.D.O., Mayhem, and In Flames, to name a few. Who better to start the celebration string of shows than these hyper-energetic Finnish hatemasters from CoB, with their intensely grooving Heavy Metal?

The Metal bomb of the evening was fused by the aptly named One Man Army And The Undead Quartet (OMAATUQ), who did a great job warming up the crowd with their groovy Death Metal. “Devil On The Red Carpet” was particularly impressive, and the Swedes proved in a big way that they mean to establish themselves firmly on the Metal scene.

So did Hungary’s Ektomorf, who gave the crowd a good walloping with their profound Slipknot-ish Trash-Punk. As a result, Rockefeller was left in suspense, waiting for the announced headliners for about half an hour before the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” started ringing from the speakers -– many young Metalheads and headesses may have suspected owls in the moss at this point, but there could be little doubt about the promised magnificence of the evening when the Finnish muthatruckas (yeah, whatever) took the stage with their trademark menacing brutality, accompanied by the front of a car (presumably the Hate Crew Death Roller).

CoB has a reputation for performing accomplished live sets with a fair share of tracks from all of their studio albums, and this occasion was no exception. The crowd were given signs of things to come, as the show embarked with the haunting synth intro of “Living Dead Beat” from the 2006 release Are You Dead Yet?, followed by the über-heavy “Sixpounder” from Hate Crew Deathroll – a track that is indeed dependant on very precise sound engineering to avoid sounding messy.

Luckily, the sound was great and remained so throughout the show, which continued with Hatebreeder‘s “Silent Night, Bodom Night” (containing a really gnarly guitar duel between Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala) and Follow The Reaper‘s “Hate Me!” The crowd were in a good whack this evening, benefitting certainly by this track. The level of atmosphere was at this point rising rapidly, unlike the stagediver plummeting into the mob during the next number, timely enough being “We’re Not Gonna Fall.” Countering the late trends, he also seemed to make it without seriously hampering himself (unlike famed Norwegian R’n’B hotshot Mira Craig).

CoB’s increasingly impressive collection of great live songs continued with a mind-blowingly tough “Angels Don’t Kill”. Alexi posing on top of the car during his solo is probably one of the coolest feats performed in Norway ever. Totally awesome. Then, Jaska Raatikainen was let loose on his own -– proving his level of skill yet again. There even seemed to be a faint amount of progressivity inside the cascade of beats and explosions, but whether or not they were voluntary will probably remain a mystery. As the rhythms faded, the band continued from strength to strength -– this time presenting a mini-medley with “Bodom After Midnight” and “Bodom Beach Terror” blended together to great effect.

This made the atmosphere almost go through the roof -– such brilliant songs played with such flair and skill, and with such passion and inexhaustible energy — a formula doomed to succeed. Alexi Laiho certainly has the ability to write material fierce enough to make live performances one of CoB’s greatest assets (apart from a great musical sense and ditto virtuosity, of course). Further examples of this came via “Follow The Reaper” and “Needled 24/7,” both benefiting from the same excellent sound engineering before the evening’s contemporary climax –- a keyboard/guitar duel between Alexi Laiho and Janne Warman, the latter making the best impression by far. Laiho has rightfully earned his reputation for being able to do almost anything with a guitar (and making absolutely everything sound cool), but Janne’s skill is simply breathtaking. Even if he looks kind of goofy while he’s not playing (failing to catch Jaska’s thrown sticks twice, for example), his wicked prowess has to be right up top in the Metal world these days.

After far too few minutes of delightful shredding, the other 60% of the Hate Crew returned to perform the 2006 single “In Your Face” (yet another great live track) before the epitomes of crowd sing-alongs ended the main set – “Hate Crew Deathroll” and “Are You Dead Yet?”

The band had decided to strip “Hate Crew…” down to just the keyboards and percussion, about half-way accompanied by Laiho and the crowd, proving too that they are proficient in playing beautifully as well as in rocking hard, in addition to showing Janne Warman’s true musical self: he may have the most nimble fingers since Art Tatum was alive and kicking, but he CAN’T BLEEDIN’ COUNT TO FOUR! Still, Janne’s wee-blunder didn’t manage to remove the impression of total superiority surrounding the band at this moment, and the great selection of encores (“Lake Bodom,” “Every Time I Die,” a public announcement of Janne sucking dick followed by “Downfall” – the last containing excerpts of classics like “Breaking the Law” and “Holy Diver,” cunningly woven into the song. Catchy.) made the evening a fully attained success indeed.
The band also seemed happy with the gig -– Alexi, as mentioned, being high and low all over the stage –- mostly high and low and roundabout around Janne, though (perhaps the rumors may prove to be true after all? Ordinary muthatruckas don’t pat each other’s heads like that without reason). Henkka, apart from keeping the groove continually throughout the entire gig, seemed to make his usual impression of what Ashton Kutcher would look like if he’d been Metal’d instead of Punk’d. Roope unquestionably justified his reputation as «the (second) fucking best guitarist in Finland», and Jaska didn’t seem at all inconvenienced by his rib injury – all in all, ye olde cutthroat performance from a band destined to continue making their mark on Finnish Metal for many, many years to come. Happy anniversary, Rockefeller!


Living Dead Beat
Silent Night, Bodom Night
Hate Me!
We’re Not Gonna Fall
Angels Don’t Kill
Drum Solo
Bodom After Midnight/Bodom Beach Terror
Follow The Reaper
Needled 24/7
Totally Awesome Keyboard/Guitar Solo
In Your Face
Hate Crew Deathroll
Are You Dead Yet?
Lake Bodom
Every Time I Die


  • Eirik P. Krokfjord

    Eirik was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway. He was introduced to music through marching bands and classical piano lessons. Still, he developed some sort of ear, and is now a more or less fully fledged Metal/Jazz/Big Band/Opera vocalist prodigy v6.66 AWESOME. This secured him the vocalist slot in the Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon, a band in which his brother plays guitar. Eirik's favorite bands include Shadow Gallery, Symphony X, Savatage, Nevermore, Children of Bodom, W.A.S.P., Muse, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Arch Enemy, Judas Priest, Evergrey, Kamelot, Conception, and Tower of Power.

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