Fresh off the 4-date Japan leg of their ‘The Ugly World Tour’, Children of Bodom were ready for Taipei and blasted the faithful accordingly. CoB were in fine form, tight, energetic and enjoying themselves at Legacy, in what might seem an intimate space on the international touring circuit. All the better for us. Awesome in fact.
COB gave us a 60-minute set, thankfully returning to add a 3-song encore, stretching out this fairly quick affair. New material from ‘Relentless, Reckless Forever’ was presented but CoB led us back in time too – title tracks from ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’, ‘Follow the Reaper’ and ‘Are You Dead Yet?’ featured, along with ‘Downfall’ and ‘Children of Bodom’ from ‘99’s ‘Hatebreeder’, and I could have sworn ‘Deadnight Warrior’ from ‘97’s ‘Something Wild’ was slipped in there.
(At the door ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ and ‘Hatebreeder’ were being sold, a nice touch and a good bargain at 550NT for both. Fill in those back catalogue holes Taipei Hate Crew!)
If Alexi Laiho gets paid per note, he is one rich Finn. Laiho’s guitar solos dropped into songs and woven round his lyrics were spot on. Always a highlight of CoB gigs are when Laiho takes his solos up to Warman on keyboards, both players taking the same solo (same notes and all) at the same time. Impressive. Nice moments of double lead came through in later songs when the two guitars of Laiho and Latvala let loose. The rest of the rhythm section never lagged either, Blacksmith on bass thundering away in perfect ensemble with Raatikainen’s battery of destruction.
The sound at Legacy was good, well balanced except Laiho's guitar work needed to be up just a shade - he was lost in the middle/low registers when soloing and the keyboard would overpower him. (Interestingly a friend who saw CoB a year or so back, in a similar sized venue, mentioned the opposite problem - the guitar solos overpowered the keyboard).
Amorphis completed its 5-date support duties for CoB in Taipei. Sadly I missed them, arriving late but hearing the good vibrations that signalled the end of their set. Punters popping out for a between-band ‘breath of fresh air’ were ‘air drumming’ and ‘air shredding’, so that bodes well for Amorphis.
Next stop for CoB is California and month of touring through North America – give it your all boys, the Hate Crew salute you!