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Finally, some Finnish Metal has reached the shores of New Zealand in live form! Considering it’s a relatively small country Finland offers a multitude of outstanding Metal artists and CHILDREN OF BODOM are one of them. For myself and I’m sure many others as well this was the most anticipated show of 2008 and it didn’t fail to deliver as CHILDREN OF BODOM totally slayed!

It didn’t start from there however. SUBTRACT were one of the two opening New Zealand Metal bands at this event and if you were lucky enough to be at the front of the queue to this show then you would’ve got the chance to check them out, if you were at the back then you probably didn’t so better luck next time! Usually the support bands get an ok run at a show but the crowd is saving their energy for the main act. That wasn’t the case here, the support bands were getting all the support they could want from a crowd that was amping from the start. You could physically feel the atmosphere was all good. Speaking to SUBTRACT drummer Mark Rees after the show, the band had been joking that if their guitarists raised their instruments to a pose at the end of each song, they’d get a good reaction from the crowd. They were right! I’m sure the heavy riffage they bulldozed the crowd with also helped out though.

DAWN OF AZAZEL took the stage second and we were all obliterated by brutal blast beats from one of NZ’s finest Black/Death Metal bands on offer at present. By this point the crowd was getting fairly intense and already there was plenty of broken glass crunching under foot – very Metal! Frontman Rigel Walsh unfortunately put his foot in it when he mistakenly said that CHILDREN OF BODOM were from Sweden, opps. But that was quickly drowned out by several hundered die hard C.O.B fans screaming “FINLAND!!!”

There was a bit of a wait between the support bands and the main act but it was 100% worth it. When CHILDREN OF BODOM walked out onto the stage they must’ve been knocked back a step by the volume of cheering generated by the audience at one extremely packed out Transmission Room. It only got louder as CHILDREN OF BODOM busted out track after track of heavy, melodic metal mayhem with lashings of speedy guitar shreds from the star of the show, Alexi Laiho. It’s awesome to hear on CD but live, it’s just unbelievable to watch this music being played. They didn’t miss a note either! You could tell the whole band was really buzzing about the audience response with members exchanging smiles after each applause.

The heat generated from the crowd was incredible and you could see that on stage it was pretty intense as well because everyone in CHILDREN OF BODOM was visibly swealtering. I mentioned packed out earlier. Well packed out was an understatement, we were in there tighter than sardines in a tin. Towards the end of the show the only body parts moving were peoples heads and arms – if they were lucky enough to have got their arms raised in the air earlier on.

I honestly couldn’t believe how many songs CHILDREN OF BODOM cranked out. Just to name a few ‘Follow The Reaper’, ‘Needled 24/7′, ‘Blooddrunk’ etc. But by far the coolest of all was the encore when they played ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ and basically the entire crowd sang along.

We’re hate crew, we stand and we wont fall…
we’re all for none and none for all.
Fuck you we’ll fight till the last hit!
And we sure as hell, ain’t takin no shit!

The after party held at Oblivion was a great chance to catch up with mates and make a few new ones as well. All CHILDREN OF BODOM band members were expected to attend but from what I could see the only one game enough was a Roppe who showed up in a state of pure inebriation, Viva Finlandia! He was a real hard case, I think he would’ve been hard pressed to autograph anything legibly though.

So in all, AWESOME SHOW! I don’t think anyone left that performance dissappointed. I just hope we get some more Finnish Metal through soon. How about some AMORPHIS, FINNTROLL or POISONBLACK? Or how about a SENTENCED reunion here? I’ll keep dreaming about that last one!

Review by Dave Borgioli-Jones