Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, March 24, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

When a heavy metal bands comes through Columbus, OH, there is already an uphill battle to get a quality crowd out to witness it. When that band then screams out, "We are from Helsinki, Finland, motherfuckers," it them becomes almost surreal. But Children of Bodom, the Finnish metal band that has been breaking down barriers all across Europe, definitely had the talent and music to back it all up.

 

Although it seems COB is becoming more synonymous with singer/guitarist Alexi Laiho, there is definitely more to this band than his brutal lyrics, demonic voice and shredded guitar riffs. COB, especially on their newest record, Are You Dead Yet?, have proven that serious metal can also include quality rhythm and subtle precision and thoughtfulness. Both of those qualities were brought out live on stage at the Newport in front of a worthy 500+ audience. The audience itself was made up of fans from all ages, but one thing in common was the over-worn black concert shirts and ripped jeans. As was expected, the crowd was rowdy and into the show from the moment Laiho and crew took the stage and they didn't let up until the last note trailed off into the night air.

 

Since the release of its new DVD In Your Face, it seemed that most in the crowd had already experienced some of COB live, whether from an earlier US tour stint or through the DVD. But even so, COB comes to play hard and fast every time the band walks on stage, and each show played is played like it may be the band's last. Every chord and drumbeat is intensified by the total concentrated efforts of the band, but at no time does the band find itself more into the music than the live experience.

The band formed in 1993, and even 13 years later, act as if they are a new band still trying to make their way into the music business. Perhaps it is the band's drive to become accepted outside their native Europe and become a mainstay metal band for Americans, but more likely, this is a band that loves its music as much as, if not more, than becoming an arena headliner. COB plays each show and puts out records that are fresh and tend to bend the rules of a lot of metalheads. Sure, there is the typical shredding and insane double bass, but there are also beautiful keyboard sounds and harmonies. COB is a band that finds their release in metal music, but should never have their musical talent overlooked for the style of music it chooses to play.

 

COB continues to influence new bands and win over fans with each record produced and live performance played. Although most mainstream metal heads may not put COB high on their list of favorites, extremists know better and musicians swear by this band that continues to take heavy metal in a new direction, which is something not easily accomplished.

Janne Wirman
Alexi Laiho
Alexi Laiho
Alexi Laiho
Alexi Laiho
Jaska W. Raatikainen