On Wednesday, March 19 the “Halo Of Blood Over North America Tour” rolled into The Fillmore Charlotte featuring Children of Bodom, Death Angel and Týr. The purpose of this tour was to support Children Of Bodom’s (COB) latest album Halo of Blood. The tour kicked off in Quebec City, Quebec in Canada on Valentines Day and runs through March 29, concluding in New York City. On this fateful night in Charlotte, N.C though fans filled The Fillmore to worship at the proverbial musical altar of COB.
Týr opened up the night with their brand of Faroese folk metal that seemed to cascade across the crowd like waves of musical magic that worked to quickly enchant the crowd. Their music rolled across that venue like a call to arms for warriors going in to battle. The quick pace and complex string work of their compositions played like epic siren songs that seemed to be pulled straight from your best Viking fantasies. There was something enchanting and battle-born about their tunes that seemed to take over the room and create an ambiance of soldiers going into war. Songs like “Blood of Heroes” and “Hold the Heathen Hammer High” demonstrate this epic style and display characteristics of a warrior’s song. All of this goes hand in hand with their consistent theme of developing songs regarding Norse mythology and Nordic lore. Between the heroic guitars and thunderous drums, Týr managed to draw in a large number of the crowd members, enticing previous fans and inciting the curiosity of new ones.
Up next on the stage was the thrash metal antics of Death Angel and their stage prowling, guitar shredding throw down. Out in support of their latest album The Dream Calls For Blood that was released in October of 2013 Death Angel came packing their heavy duty game for The Fillmore. Opening with "Left For Dead,” Death Angel made sure the crowd had plenty of reason to whip up frenzy. The audience could be seen head banging and thrashing about wildly as the band ripped through the high speed track. Guitarists Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar tore at the strings in a wicked fury as vocalist Mark Osegueda goaded and revved up the crowd. This dynamic quintet shredded and thrashed their way through a riveting set list consisting of “Claws So Deep,” “Don’t Save Me,” and “Mistress of Pain,” to name a few. The heaving and dizzying horde went sailing with them as the band took them on a journey through the chugging, and at times, brutal thrash metal sonic landscape full of peaks and down drops. Full of unrelenting energy and vicious dedication, Death Angel managed to rile up hysteria in the crowd that carried them through the entire set leading right up to the main event: Children of Bodom.
Hailing from Espoo, Finland, Children of Bodom have had a lucrative with their brand of melodic metal that pairs thrash metal-esqe break-neck riffs with elements of doom and death metal that work to weigh and break down more complex melodies. Fans have long raved over the diversity and complexities in their work and tonight an ecstatic and fortunate gathering of the devoted would get the chance to see the Finnish metal masters at work in person. When COB took the stage there was moment of hush followed by the swell f the crowd as the uproarious cheers and screams began to fill the venue. Suddenly the room and the crowd felt twice as big as the exhilaration and perspiration pierced the air, making the senses tingle alive and electric. To the elation of the throng, frontman Alexi Laiho and company entered the stage and with a brief hello and introduction began to immediate soak the swarm in the tunes they’d waited all night to hear. COB wasted no time in commencing the night’s ceremonies with their single “Sixpounder” from the album Hate Crew Deathroll (2003) from which they also played the title track and “Bodom Beach Terror.”
Fans could be seen and heard moving as if possessed as they lashed, tossed and head banged themselves into a churning sea of moving parts. It didn’t take long for the smell of sweat to overpower the air as many among the horde clamored and crawled through, around and even over one another just be closer to their metal maestros. The band, especially Alexi, seemed to be having a good time as well as they worked to fully cover the stage so as to best see and interact with their fans, often taking time out between songs to talk to the crowd and involve or inform them of the song selections. They would go on to play an impressive 15 song set including “Bodom After Midnight,” “Halo of Blood,” and “Silent Night, Bodom Night,” among others, before leaving the stage. Despite a thoroughly satisfying display of metal prowess and technical distinction, the crowd wasn’t done with them yet as chants of “One more song!” and “Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!” could be heard throughout the venue. Not quite done with the audience either and giving it one last go before departing for good, COB re-entered the stage and started in on their encore performance of “In Your Face” from their 2005 release Are You Dead Yet? to which the whole place went wild with moshing and movement from all sides. By the time it was all said and done everyone was hot, sweaty, drenched and reeked of a good time. Nothing but smiles left the building that night with many expressing intentions of catching one or more of the performers again at some point down the line.
There are still a few dates left on the “Halo of Blood Over North America Tour” and you can still join in on the frenzy. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Týr, Death Angel, or Children of Bodom, make the time to do so. Each of these bands brings their own brand of epic-ness and energy to the stage that makes them both engaging and enticing to watch. There is never anything quite like live music to make you fully appreciate the work and ardor that goes into making the songs that fill our lives. No matter whether you speak Danish, Finnish or English, music is an international language that’s translatable by all who care to listen.