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Children Of Bodom + Ensiferum + Machinae Supremacy - 3/22/2011 - Jäähalli - Helsinki

This was the second time within a week at the Ice Hall, last time being Slayer + Megadeth. This gig didn’t have quite as many people, but the place was still packed.

The equation SID (the sound chip from the 80’s computer Commodore 64) plus metal equals a lot of win. Machinae Supremacy have a very distinct sound because of this marriage of retro gaming and extreme music. Sadly, I’ve always had one complaint with this band: the vocals. I just can’t get over the over-the-top power metal singing. It just isn’t to my taste at all. I decide to give the band a chance, however, since I haven’t seen them live before.
The floor was surprisingly full already as the band started, though the seats were still empty. After the intro the band launched into an awesome synth riff which got the crowd jamming. One thing which is peculiar to me is the fact that even though the synths at times even dominate the soundscape, they still don’t have a synth player but use playback.
The sound wasn’t that clear, and because of the mix the guitar riffs were drowned out by the vocals and synths. The vocals weren’t any more to my liking live, which was a shame. Machinae Supremacy plays grooving modern metal, which at best is quite catchy. At its worst it is mostly radio rock. On top of the vocals, also the background tracks of the sung parts are really bland, at least compared to the far more interesting instrumental parts. The crowd enjoyed the set, but they weren’t ecstatic. An okay performance but nothing to remember.

Right at the start I have to come clear. Back in the day, Ensiferum was my favorite band, period. The first two records (the self-titled and “Iron”) are amongst my all time top records, and I learned to play guitar along to those tunes. When Jari Mäenpää, the main songwriter/lead guitarist/lead vocalist left the band, I lost interest. Most of the band have since then been replaced, and only my name-sake remains from the original line-up. Bands and line-ups evolve, however, that’s life. Let’s put it like this: a long grueling journey is behind them, some have fallen in the process but the name and the music go on.
The stage decorations were fancy; screens with the Finnish folk hero Väinämöinen on them and a metal band logo as a synth stand set the mood for some ancient war waging. The illusion was slightly broken by the ghastly kilts worn by the band members, not a very striking stage appearance, to be frank.
The floor was already half full and the pit was going at it. They played equal shares old (first two records) and new songs which was a good thing, at least to me. The old songs like “Into Battle” and “Token of Time” still have the magic. Whether it’s a question of nostalgia on my part or a difference in quality, I really can’t say. Some highlights were the sweet accelerando ending on “Twilight Tavern” and the Wall of Death and huuuuge circle pit in “Lai Lai Hei”. Not even the annoying ’tättäräTÄÄ’ chants in “Iron” could ruin the gig. Before the gig I bought their newest record finally after two years, thus completing my collection and I’m glad I did, fight on Ensiferum!

Finally, it was time for the main act, Children of f*cking Bodom, as Mr. Laiho would put it. The stage was decorated in the Halloween-style of the new record, “Relentless Reckless Forever”. As the first song, the opening track of the new record, started, it was evident that there were pyro lines in front AND behind the stage. The ten meter high flames looked fantastic. The floor was jam packed, but the seats were still mostly empty. Songs like “Bodom Beach Terror” and “Needled 24/7” were received with a roar and the most perfect wall of horns from the fans, a sight for sore eyes.
The sounds were surprisingly good, everyones playing could be heard nice and clear. The playing itself was of course guaranteed Bodom-quality, perfect and flashy. The guys had played in Oulu and Tampere and next up is rest of the world and it’s good to see that the rock band gestures of Alexi and the rest are still fine tuned, from the throwing of Alexi’s guitar and the synth mastery of Warman.
Overall the show was the most visual I’ve ever seen in the Ice Hall. “In you Face” began with a HUGE pyro explosion completely without warning, I wonder how many had to check their briefs after that one. “Shovel Knockout” was the clear high point of the gig, with actual rockets that hit the ceiling on top of a furious blast beat, just heavenly. The set list was a great cross section of the band’s back catalog, with classics like “Follow the Reaper”, “Angels don’t Kill” and “Hate Me”. A nice bonus was their self-titled song, I haven’t heard that one live in a while.
The only glitch in the otherwise perfect gig was the slight snag in the solo for the newest single song, “Was it Worth it?” which was something I was looking forward to hear live because of the intricate whammy bar use needed. Maybe next time. The show ended with an award ceremony where the band were handed gold records for “Relentless Reckless Forever”. The final song “Hatecrew Deathroll” ended with the traditional sing-a-long and everyone left with all their Bodom needs satisfied. A really memorable gig and a sublime show. JAUJAU!

Children Of Bodom


Machinae Supremacy

Report a cura di Markus Karppinen

Archivio Foto


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