[Live Review + Photography] Children of Bodom – Live in Hong Kong

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(中文版本在下)

Life is full of unexpectation and tonight it’s proven to be true again. Renowned Finnish melodic death metal giants Children of Bodom are here in Hong Kong for the 2nd time in 5 years. Their 1st visit to our city was in 2009; until now you’d still hear metal fans saying “Do’h can’t believe I miss it!” or “Wish I were their fans way back then!” And tonight, with a relatively short wait, the Hate Crew are coming back for their sold-out show on 14 May.

人生充滿意外,今晚再次證明這是真實的。著名芬蘭旋律死亡金屬巨頭 Children of Bodom 竟在5年內第二次到港獻技。他們第一次到訪要數到2009年;直到現在為止,你還會聽到金屬樂迷說:“ 無法相信我錯過了!” 或 “真希望當年我已是他們的歌迷!” 今晚,在相對較短的等待,Hate Crew 於5月14日回歸香港作 sold-out 的演出。

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Photo Recap – Children of Bodom – Live in Hong Kong
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The band take over this full-house, theater-size venue and kicked off around 9pm. This is rare in Hong Kong ’cause unless it’s a show hosted by easy-listening / pop-oriented musicians, it’s almost impossible to have a fully-occupied rock show. Children of Bodom descend like gothic spirits in clouds of smoke under mysterious red light. While the whole band are undoubtedly skillful at their own niche, most of the spotlight is fallen on frontman / lead guitarist Alexi Laiho.

樂隊於9點左右正式為是晚拉開序幕,準備好在餘下個多小時接管這全院滿座的場地。在香港這是頗為罕見的;通常只有容易入耳 / 流行化的音樂會才會有此迴響,以極端金屬音樂來說更幾乎是不可能的。Children of Bodom 像哥德幽靈般在迷濛煙霧和神秘紅光下降臨。雖然樂隊各人的技術都達到爐火純青的境界,但大部分聚焦都落在主唱/結他手 Alexi Laiho 身上。

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Being named as the “50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time” by Total Guitar Magazine, Laiho’s brilliant talent on guitar is unquestionable. And clearly he knows it better than anybody else. The way he presents himself when playing his guitar is more like a showcase than simply getting the notes out from the strings. By putting the V-shaped Alexi-signature ESP guitar on his thigh with knee bent at 90 degrees, Laiho  allows the audience to see his gracefully rapid finger movement on the fretboard. Every solo of his precise plucking and light-speed chord-switching can tighten up your heart.

既然被權威雜誌 Total Guitar Magazine 選為 “世界最快的五十大結他手”,Alexi 輝煌的結他天賦是毋庸置疑的。事實上他比任何人都更清楚。Alexi 彈奏結他的方式像是一個技術展示多於單純地把音符演奏出來。他將 ESP 為自己度身訂造的V型結他放在大腿上,膝蓋彎曲,讓觀眾可以看到他手指在指板上快速而優雅的移動。他獨奏中每個精確的彈撥和光速的轉弦準能使你的心臟停頓。

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Having said that, the rest of COB have their own ways to go beyond the barrier and get the cheering from the throng of diehard fans. Not sure if you have caught up the moments when Janne Wirman (keyboard), Henkka Seppälä (guitar) and Alexi Laiho (vocal) were chatting on stage during their musical solo without missing a note, but I bet  most of you have already swirled into the mosh pit along their flawless works.

話雖如此,COB 其餘成員亦不甘示弱,各自有吸引死忠樂迷歡呼聲的方法。不知道你有否留意 Janne Wirman (鍵盤)、 Henkka Seppala (結他) 和 Alexi Laiho (主唱) 在獨奏期間互相打趣,卻不會跳過一個音符;但我想大多數人都錯失了這一幕,因為觀眾們都隨著其完美無瑕的作品被捲入 circle pit 中。

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Behind their faux aggression filed with heavy-hearted riffs and hoarse growls, these Finnish metalheads show big joyous smile and express some sort of enjoyments  unconsciously. Their easiness is contradicted to the darkness they try to convey; if you could mute the sound from the stereo output, you’d probably assume it was just 5 long-haired dudes playing simple tunes portraying hard rockers.

在他們充滿沈重音域和嘶咧咆哮的人造侵略背後,這些芬蘭金屬狂人在台上卻掛著歡樂的笑容,不自覺地流露出享受的情感。他們的神態自若與 Children of Bodom 音樂中傳達的黑暗訊息產生有趣的矛盾;假如你可以把現場系統調到靜音,你極有可能會以為只是五個長髮玩着簡單曲調的男生在扮演重型搖滾樂隊。

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Regarding the song choice, it’s a mix of celebratory anthems throughout their 20-year career jumping back and forth with newbies and oldies – from Lake Bodom off Something Wild to title track off their latest release Halo of Blood and everything in between. With all the highs and lows, we are immensely infected by the ones with intensive involvement of keys, like Blooddrunk, Downfall and Hate Crew Deathroll,  where its magic is fully delivered with the dramatic effect brought to the highest.

關於歌曲的選擇,這是個總結了 COB 二十年職業生涯中名曲的組合,在新作與老歌來回穿插 —- 從首張專輯 Something Wild 中的 Lake Bodom 到最新發布的 Halo of Blood 的點題作,還有中間的不同創作。在高潮跌起的 setlist 中,小編覺得最有感染力的要數到含大量鍵琴原素的歌曲,像 Blooddrunk、 Downfall 和 Hate Crew Deathroll,其電子音調的魔法把 melodic metal 的戲劇效果帶到最高。

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Although there were not much surprises or anything out of expectation, Children of Bodom still give Hong Kong a musically-compelling and crowd-pleasing performance. This is one good example of highly-trained, experienced musicianship presentation. From what we hear after the show, these Children have assuredly won the hearts of the headbangers with their bone-crashing death metal set.

雖然整個演出沒有超預期的意外驚喜,Children of Bodom 還是給香港帶來一個引人入勝、目不轉睛的演出。這是個訓練有素、經驗豐富的音樂修養演示的好例子。從我們演出後聽到的回應,這些 Children 無疑已在這九十分鐘裏利用他們令人粉身碎骨似的死亡音樂贏得了香港金屬音樂愛好者的心靈。

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現場相片 – Children of Bodom – Live in Hong Kong
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