Living in New York City has its perks including seeing a show nearly every night. However, these advantages do have setbacks with the inevitable scheduling conflicts. On April 19th, 2019, you could say the metal community had a difficult decision to make. On the same evening, there was Hatebreed and Obituary at Playstation Theater, Veil of Maya at Gramercy Theatre, and Children of Bodom headlining Irving Plaza. With all three significant shows happening, it made it difficult to predict each turnout. For those who believe metal and rock is a dying scene would have been in for a surprise seeing how packed all three venues were. While we wish we could have been split into three, we decided to attend Children of Bodom’s final night of their North American tour with Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart, and Summoner’s Circle.
Summoner’s Circle opened up the dimly lit evening as they brought a theatrical performance mixed with doom, black, and progressive metal. It was a unique spin and introduction for the entire night. However, they paired well performing before Finland’s Wolfheart.
When we spoke to guitarist/vocalist Tuomas Saukkonen of Wolfheart last fall during their first-ever North American tour, we knew the group was planning to return. The venue was already packed at this point, and it was evident the crowd were eager to see them. This time around, the lighting was much darker, but it still fit the mood of the band’s latest effort, 2018’s Constellation of the Black Light via Napalm Records. Songs included: “Everlasting Fall,” “Aeon of Cold,” “Breakwater,” “The Hunt,” “Unbreakable (Before the Dawn cover),” and “Boneyard.”
Swallow the Sun
Swallow the Sun released their new album When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light (read our review here) this past January via Century Media Records and we haven’t stopped listening to it. The follow-up to 2015’s ambitious triple LP, Songs From The North I, II & III, is arguably the most depressing and one of the best albums of the year thus far. Between the group’s new material and ultimate return to NYC, we were eager to see these Finnish doom metallers rip our hearts to shreds most beautifully and poetically possible. As the night’s low-light theme continued, things went exceptionally dark during their set as they performed songs “These Woods Breathe Evil,” “Upon the Water,” “Firelights,” “New Moon,” “Stone Wings,” “Deadly Nightshade,” and “Swallow (Horror Pt.1)”
Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom’s overall tenth studio album Hexed ( read our review here and check out the interview with bassist Henkka T. Blacksmith here) has led the group to return to New York City’s Irving Plaza in nearly three years. A lot has changed within this timeframe, which was more visible in the crowd than the group. Fans appeared re-energized as the audience included fans from all walks of life. Regardless, it was clear that everyone was eager to see these Finnish extreme metal titans perform. They fueled the concertgoers from the get-go as the crowd-surfers flew by during their first song, “Are You Dead Yet?” and continued throughout the set.
Despite the night being marked as the final stop of the tour, the group’s unstoppable energy didn’t show any signs of exhaustion. Additionally, the band’s set didn’t just feature their new material, and it also included classic COB tunes including “Angels Don’t Kill,” “Bodom Beach Terror,” and more. Set included: “Are You Dead Yet?,” “In Your Face,” “Platitudes and Barren Words,” “Bodom Beach Terror,” “This Road,” “Everytime I Die,” “Under Grass and Clover,” “Hecate’s Nightmare,” “I Worship Chaos,” “Angels Don’t Kill,” “If You Want Peace… Prepare for War,” “Hate Me!,” and “Downfall.”
With the competition that circled NYC this night, it was beautiful to see such a great turnout. Irving Plaza was packed from the very beginning as fans had a great taste of Finnish metal.