Hate Crew ’til I Die!

Children of Bodom have announced that their seventh album is due to arrive sometime in early 2011 and I for one am very excited. However, I can’t help but feel as though I stand completely alone in eagerly anticipating its release. I can imagine my friends now, rolling their eyes as they do so often when I begin to express my love of the band, my favourite band. They look at me as if to say “Sarah, alright the earlier albums were OK, but they’ve had their time now and they aren’t actually as amazing as you seem to think they are. So why are you in such denial?”

I get the impression that many people (if they didn’t dislike the band already) currently hold the opinion that Bodom are old news, that Are You Dead Yet? was the beginning of the end and now they simply have nothing exciting left to offer. But I disagree! The fact is, is that I do realise that their last two efforts have been slightly below par. Yes, Blooddrunk was especially disappointing. And YES I am aware that there are numerous guitarists out there who are more talented than Alexi Laiho. But these factors do not prevent me in the slightest from remaining as optimistic as ever in regards to what they have in store for us next year. Does that make me slightly delusional?

Call it wishful thinking from a slightly obsessive fan, but I hold a strong conviction that Bodom’s new album will be a leap back to good form. It will echo the sounds of earlier beauties such as Hatebreeder, Hate Crew Deathroll and maybe even Follow The Reaper; reminding many of how, once upon a time, they openly admitted to loving Children Of Bodom.

Or perhaps it is just plain denial… I do hate the idea that this album will signal the end of the road for Bodom. I wonder if every avid metal fan experiences a similar phase of refutation at the possibility of their favourite band’s gradual downfall? For years now, while my overall tastes have varied and developed I have continued to love Children of Bodom throughout. I can remember the first time I ever heard one of their songs – how I fell in love with their sound immediately. I was hooked. If I wasn’t listening to Bodom, I was either talking about them or thinking about them and this was before I had seen Alexi! I think it’s safe to say the Finnish five-piece have had a great impact on my life, musically at least.

It is difficult to pin-point the defining ingredient which put me under their spell and indeed it is unclear whether this album will be a success (on my terms at least)…or a failure. But for now my duty as one of their biggest fans is to remain hopeful and continue to defend them, even if I’m mocked for doing so!

Live Review: DevilDriver at O2 Academy Bournemouth

“It’s my job to get you through Monday to Friday”, jokes Dez Fafara; frontman of DevilDriver. Indeed, it’s not often that your working week is split with dose of Californian heavy metal here at the O2 Academy Bournemouth.

After two support acts and a successful performance by touring partners 36 Crazyfists, the anticipation was reaching its peak as the lights went down and finally DevilDriver graced the stage. Firing into ‘I Could Care Less’ from their self titled album of 2003, immediately followed by crowd pleaser ‘Hold Back The Day’ and newest single ‘Prey For Villains’ it became clear that DevilDriver had all guns blazing and were set to tear the place up.

Despite the crowd being relatively sparse, the intensity created by remaining fans only increased. The band themselves were on top form and their relentless energy was reciprocated as they supplied an array of DevilDriver hits, both old and new. There was no doubt that Bournemouth metallers were lapping up every riff.

By the time ‘Meet The Wretched’ began another gap in the crowd emerged in seconds, yet this time for one of the band’s legendary circle pits and while short-lived; it proved to be the climax of the night. As Dez and his bandmates were called back on stage for an encore of ‘These Fighting Words’ it was evident that, all in all, a well-chosen set list and powerful execution had been one to satisfy any DevilDriver fan.

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