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Bodom after MidnightTavastia, Helsinki, Finland
25th October 2020
Bodom After Midnight

BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT was founded by CHILDREN OF BODOM ex-members Alexi Laiho and Daniel Freyberg after CHILDREN OF BODOM went on hiatus in December 2019. On March 16th they released a clip on the internet showing Alexi driving a car and picking up the members of his new project BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT. The guys joining were Daniel Freyberg (guitar), drummer Walterri Väyrynen (VALENFYRE, PARADISE LOST) and Mitja Toivonen (SANTA CRUZ) on bass. https://www.facebook.com/bodomaftermidnightofficial

Music & Performance
I had witnessed “A chapter called CHILDREN OF BODOM” being closed in Helsinki Icehall back in 2019 and I was curious, if ALEXI LAIHO would come up with something new, any time soon. In March there was released a short clip showing Alexi Laiho and Daniel Freyberg in a car picking up Waltteri Väyrynen who would be on drums and Mitja Toivonen who took over duties on bass. When I arrived at Tavastia to see BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT live on stage, the floor was already full of people and many familiar faces from CHILDREN OF BODOM gigs, securing places with the best view. The fact that the media pit was full of photographers showed that interest in Alexi Laihos new project is really high. The stage was full of Amps and Walterri’s enormous and fully equipped drum set was on a high platform, so it looked more like a drum tower than a drum set but it’s not a mere decoration, he really makes frequent use of all the gear.

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I spotted a keyboard on a platform on the right and remembered that I had read somewhere that Lauri Salomaa that joined the band as a touring keyboarder. I really had to think hard, where I had read his name previously and came to ‘Locals Only’. THE LOCAL BAND’s debut album. So he already has ties to Alexis side projects and he LOCAL BAND’s album has brilliant Synth parts, so it see Lauri knows his keys. As soon as the lights went dark, the stage was covered with fog and literally out if the blue (lights) Walterri appeared greeted by a loud cheering of the fans. The cheering got even louder when Alexi and Daniel appeared with the rest of the guys and all hell broke loose when the show started with ‘Needled 24/7’.

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The setlist consisted only of CHILDREN OF BODOM songs, so you might have the idea that this would have been an “Alexi and the background band one man show“ gig. This was not the case, it was rather the contrary. You saw and heard 4 brilliant musicians who delivered a flawless killer performance. Four? Yes... four... because the keyboards were clearly overlaid by the guitars and only fully audible in bridges or in- and outros. Lauri somehow didn‘t fit in, his rather passive attitude did not merge with the 4 energetic and head-banging guys that dominated the stage. If Lauri wants to become a permanent member of the band, he will have to work a lot on his stage presence and attitude. Looking at the band members faces during the show, you could see how happy and excited they were live on stage and obviously celebrated by the fans. Something that always fascinates me is, Walterri Väyryrnen’s “love my job-smile” while he performs the heaviest and most wicked drum parts.

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It seemed that Alexi had tuned some of the songs higher than during the CHILDREN OF BODOM time, maybe to avoid a too gloomy attitude. Something that really caught my attention was the fact, that Alexi frequently posed with Daniel or Mitja or stood directly in front of Walterri’s drum tower. This might be a coincidence, but I‘m pretty sure it was to make clear that this band is a tight and equal one and not a one-man show. Watching the performance you wouldn’t get the idea that BOAM was only founded recently. It seemed the guys have used the lockdown to rehearse together quite often and I‘m sure they already have enough material for a record. The label that will sign them gets a band with highly talented musicians who know the business for a while and how to drive the crowds while, even during a show that had a limited capacity and some safety restrictions.

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The songs sounded like CHILDREN OF BODOM but Waltteri on drums gave them a harder and more powerful edge with his unique drumming style. On stage there was an enormous amount of energy and the source definitely was Mitja Toivonen, who has a very artistic style of playing bass while roaming the stage. Changing sides with Daniel frequently and interacting with the audience he contributed a great deal to the fact that Tavastia became a boiling venue that was the perfect example, that you can have an energetic Metal show in a safe environment. You had the head-bangers and everybody’s hands in the air and there would have been a mosh-pit for sure, if it would have been allowed. Alexi has found one of the best drummers of the genre and one that knows how to write powerful and complex drumlines as you can hear on the latest Paradise Lost album. So you can be curious how the new Bodom will sound like if they start releasing music and touring.

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We witnessed fantastic solo parts by Daniel and Alexi who often stood close together and posed for the fans. For me it was one of their best performances in a long time, as if they had broken free from invisible ties that had chained them in the past CHILDREN OF BODOM years. After every song the audience cheered and when the band left the stage, the whole venue demanded them back immediately. When BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT came back on stage for the encore, MT had lost his shirt and I asked myself how hot it must be on stage, since it was already really hot down in the pit. BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT saw us off with ‘Are You Dead Yet?’, well the audience was obviously not since the whole place rocked out and ‘In Your Face’ and if you ask me, I’d say, that there are great things to come, soon for I had witnessed a fantastic show of a newly founded band that will conquer the stages all over Europe for sure.

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Setlist
01. Needled 24/7
02. Silent Night, Bodom Night
03. Bodom After Midnight
04. Sixpounder
05. Platitudes And Barren Words
06. Living Dead Beat
07. Knuckleduster
08. Angels Don’t Kill
09. Hate Me
10. Deadnight Warrior
11. Hatebreeder
12. Everytime I Die
13. Warheart
14. Downfall
15. Hate Crew Deathtroll
16. Are You Dead Yet?
17. In Your Face

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5/ 10

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All pictures by Munich Vampire

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