Insomnium are the first to fly the flag for Finland tonight, their melodic death metal is a little more traditional than the headliners but it goes down just as well. They smash through a set full of power and Markus Vanhala has even been shopping locally as he’s wearing a While She Sleeps vest.
The chief support slot is held by Napalm Death. There’s not much you can say about Napalm Death that hasn’t already been said, but it would be rude not to say anything…
They are one of the most ferocious live bands out there. The music is phenomenally heavy, lightning fast and certainly at the extreme end of the spectrum; yet seeing the Birmingham grind legends in action is truly delightful.
You can’t help but smile at the ferocious music laced with political statements and protests mixed with the almost comic book character of Barney Greenway. His warm brummie accent, his standard P.E. kit uniform mixed with his tornado like presence onstage make for a breath taking show every time. Tonight is no different and Napalm Death batter us with 45 minutes of pure Grindcore aggression.
There’s plenty from latest album ‘Utilitarian’ as you’d expect. Barney warns “This will part your eyebrows” before launching into ‘Errors in the Signal’ and he’s not wrong either, there’s not a mono-brow in sight after that. The grind classic ‘Scum’ and that massive churning intro are given an airing before the set is closed by the band’s favourite Dead Kennedys cover. ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ sees one final mini mosh-pit break out before the band depart the stage with all the fuss of a Post Office queue.
It’s fair to point out that by the time Children Of Bodom hit the stage at around half past eight, the Academy isn’t exactly packed to the rafters. Those who are in attendance are evidently the C.O.B. hardcore (or hatecrew of course) as there is hardly a straggler wandering the building, nobody at the bar or perusing the merchandise. Everyone is packed on the dance floor ready for the show.
After the sirens and flashing light show of the intro, C.O.B. launch into new song ‘Transference’ and then ‘Needled 24/7’. Alexi looks focussed and takes a bit of time to get into major interaction with the crowd but as the show warms up he lets rip and starts to look a bit happier. Roope looks at home from the start, throwing some classic guitar stances at every opportunity.
The title track from the new album ‘Halo of Blood’ gets a well-deserved spot on the setlist but it is on the whole a greatest hits set. ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’ and ‘Are You Dead Yet’ get the crowd swirling where-as ‘Dead Man’s Hand on You’ is a perfect slow one to throw in to prove there more than one trick to C.O.B.
After a few Coronas Alexi kicks into gear and goes about undertaking his duties with class. His trademark stance gets some hammer as he peels off solos from his upright guitar resting on his thigh in between providing the vocals.
‘In Your Face’ provides the short but sweet encore and the predominantly C.O.B. clad audience look pretty satisfied with the nights work; as are CackBlabbath!