Wednesday night quickly turned loud and heavy as a large crowd piled into The Fillmore music venue in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fans were gathered to watch the heavy metal bands featured on the Halo of Blood Over North America 2014 tour, headlined by Children of Bodom.
Faroese metal band Týr brought a robustly melodic kick off to the evening, with songs inspired and based around Viking lore, history and Norse mythology. The band was formed in 1998 and signed a three album deal with Metal Blade Records in 2012. Týr performed as part of the Paganfest tour in 2008 and 2013, and were also included on the 2011 and 2013 lineups for the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise.
Five-piece band Death Angel continued the evening with a brutal, thrashing performance. Vocalist Mark Osegueda vigorously flitted from one side of the stage to the other. Rob Cavestany (guitar), Ted Aguilar (guitar) and Damien Sisson (bass) weren't to be missed either, constantly swapping stage positions and long hair flailing everywhere. By the time Death Angel's eight song set came to an end, the crowd had been sufficiently amped up to welcome Children of Bodom to the stage.
The Finnish melodic death metal band didn't give the crowd a second to let any energy dissipate, ravaging the room with "Sixpounder," "Living Dead Beat," and "Bodom Beach Terror" as the opening songs of their set. Children of Bodom released their eighth studio album last year and incorporated many of the new songs, including title track "Halo of Blood," for which the tour is in support of.
Vocalist and guitarist Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho and drummer Jaska Raatikainen formed Children of Bodom in 1993 and are now accompanied by Henkka Seppälä (bass), Janne Wirman (keyboard) and Roope Latvala (guitar). The quintet is one of Finland's best selling artists of all time and Laiho has been named "Best Metal Guitarist" by Guitar World magazine. After their third album Follow the Reaper achieved a Gold certification in Finland, every subsequent album to date has reached the same acclaim.
Crowd surfing was a constant throughout the show and only amplified further when Laiho prompted fans to form a mosh pit. The vehement horde made haste in fulfilling the request, nonchalantly pummeling into one another throughout songs such as "Blooddrunk" and "Hate Me!". After performing "Downfall," Children of Bodom left the stage for a terse moment before concluding the evening with an encore of "In Your Face." By the end of the set, headbangers and moshers appeared exhausted, leaving the venue drenched in sweat with shirts draped over their shoulders.
Children of Bodom will be playing several more dates on this tour until it comes to a close at the end of March. On the heels of the Halo of Blood Over North America tour, they have numerous shows and festivals lined up internationally.