Apr 13, 2019

Children of Bodom / Swallow The Sun - Soundstage

By Bob Suehs

SWALLOW THE SUN / CHILDREN OF BODOM

4/13/19

Baltimore, Maryland

Soundstage

 

Swallow The Sun Set List:  These Woods Breathe Evil, Upon The Water, Firelights, New Moon, Stone Wings, Deadly Nightshade, Swallow

Children of Bodom Set List: Are You Dead Yet, In Your Face, Platitudes and Barren Words, Bodom Beach Terror, This Road, Everytime I Die, Under Grass and Clover, We’re Not Gonna Fall, Hecate’s Nightmare, I Worship Chaos, Angels Don’t Kill, If You Want Peace…, ENCORE:  Hate Me, Downfall

 Swallow The Sun are direct support for Children of Bodom on this tour and their set was a sullen, dark, ambient journey which took the audience to a dreary place.   The band created elements of doom and death with unique melodies and artsy heaviness.  Three of the six bands members donned cloaks onstage which gave the band a druid vibe.

 Swallow The Sun took the stage at 8:25 PM and delivered a strong 40 minute set.

 Formed in 2000 by guitarist Juha Raivo, Finnish based Swallow The Sun are currently on tour in support of their latest release, “When A Shadow is Forced Into The Light” released on Century Media Records in January of 2019.

 Despite having seven full length releases and one EP Swallow The Sun remain relatively unknown in the USA but with help from Children of Bodom the band are gaining fans in the USA very fast via their dynamic stage show which brings gloom and doom to the stage with elegance and flavor.

 Lead singer Mikko is an interesting character and his face was occasionally seen but remained mostly hidden under his feared cloak/hood which added to his dark stage presence.

 Children of Bodom brought pure metal mayhem to the stage while Swallow The Sun delivered a semblance of powerful riffs, ominous song structure, and uncanny gloom.

 When Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho took the stage he looked like a skeleton with sparse amounts of tattooed skin wrapped on bone.  The once healthy Finnish guitarist appears to be suffering from an illness/addiction which has given him an un-healthy look that’s best described as “meth-anorexic”.

 Children of Bodom took the stage at 9:30 PM and their set was finished at 11 PM.

 Children of Bodom opened their set with “Are You Dead Yet” which sounded amazing but Alexi’s appearance was hard to overlook; he seems frail and sickly onstage and at times it felt like he was struggling to perform.

 The new songs in the set were strong and new guitarist Daniel Freyberg added alot to the Bodom live show.  Bassist Henkka Blacksmith has been in Bodom for 23 years and his interaction with the crowd was fun to watch.  At times Henkka would grab beers from crowd members who offered him a swig; his smiles throughout the night prove he was having a blast onstage.

 Keyboardist Janne Wirman is the secret to Bodom’s sound; his keyboard solos and intricate parts add a slightly prog element to the Bodom sound and offer dual moments where Alexi and Wirman play solos at the same time in harmony.

Hexed is the tenth studio album from Children of Bodom and was released on March 8, 2019 via Nuclear Blast.  This is only the second record from the band to not have a song with the word "Bodom" in it.  This is also the first album to feature guitarist Daniel Freyberg on it.

 Between songs Alexi would walk off stage while the rest of the band set up the next song and kept the show rolling.  This Children of Bodom show was good but the overall appearance of Alexi was shocking; he does not look healthy and when you compare older photos of him to present day photos it’s obvious that there seems to be something wrong with Mr. Laiho.  We wish the Bodom crew well and hope that Alexi is in good health.