Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth

Children Of Bodom

CHILDREN OF BODOM (or COB), the esteemed Finnish Heavy Metal band that features frontman and modern day guitar hero Alexi Laiho releases its new album Relentless Reckless Forever in March via Universal Music / Spinefarm Records. COB's enthralling mix of modern heavy metal, melodic hooks and the guitar acrobatics of Laiho have solidified the critically acclaimed quintet as one of the most revered hard rock acts in the world and one of the leading voices of metal’s new generation.

Formed in 1993 in Espoo, Finland, CHILDREN OF BODOM has built a rock solid reputation as a one of the best pure metal bands in the world. The band's name is derived from the infamous Lake Bodom murders, which took place in Finland in 1960. Originally named Inearthed (with a series of demos to their name), COB can be as downright brutal as any metal band when the situation demands. But what places this band at the pinnacle of the pack is the way it can suddenly dish up huge swathes of melody and instantly memorable choruses with an unmatched degree of musicianship that has seen vocalist / guitarist Alexi “Wildchild” Laiho and his cohorts grace the covers of musician magazines around the globe.

In the time since its formation, CHILDREN OF BODOM has recorded and released six full length studio albums (Something Wild (1997), Hatebreeder (1999), Follow the Reaper (2000) Hate Crew Deathroll (2003), Are You Dead Yet? (2005) and Blooddrunk (2008) as well as a full album of the band’s favorite cover tunes (2009’s Skeletons in the Closet). With each subsequent album, the band has honed and perfected its unique sound and today stand tall in metal’s pantheon. Long known for employing a lighthearted musical modus operandi, a weighty work ethic and a no joke dedication to its craft, CHILDREN OF BODOM has joined the ranks of the world’s finest heavy music acts.

Laiho has been named “Best Metal Guitarist” by the readers of Guitar World, besting well known players such as Kirk Hammett of Metallica to win the coveted award. No wonder, CHILDREN OF BODOM has been called "technically dazzling" by the New York Times and “One of the most talented metal bands of our time” by contemporary media conglomerate VICE. COB’s popular songs "Was It Worth It?", "Living Dead Beat", "Blooddrunk" and “If You Want Peace...Prepare for War” are currently featured in the smash hit music video game series Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

Recorded in Finland’s Petrax Studios with famed rock producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Monster Magnet), Relentless Reckless Forever’s high-energy hooks and electric energy forge stadium-sized heavy metal anthems that seethe with both marvelous musicianship and a phenomenal pop prowess. The quintet’s unique union of haunting melodies, rhythmic sensibility, guitar-and-keyboard interplay and king-size solos is supercharged to the maximum, and the resulting record is poised to push the band to an altogether new pinnacle.

It is not mere precision, but a metal-mad passion that makes COB the standout band that it is today.

In addition to Laiho, CHILDREN OF BODOM features Roope Latvala (guitar), Jaska Raatikainen (drums), Henkka Seppälä (bass) and Janne Warman (keyboards).

Amon Amarth

It was nearly two decades ago when an unlikely collective from Tumba, Sweden affectionately known as Scum reared its callow head upon an unsuspecting underground. Initially a death/grind group made of jagged riffs, dark atmospheres, untethered vitriol and copious amounts of mead, Scum prowled the burgeoning Stockholm metal scene unnoticed before enlisting vocalist Johan Hegg to their ranks in 1992. Little did the young warriors know that Hegg's imposing stature, Thor-like growl and treasure-trove of Viking-related lyrical themes would inevitably help shape the very core of their sound.

The band later changed their name to Amon Amarth — "mount doom” in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium — and unleashed the five-song Thor Arise demo. Though raw and uneven in sound and execution — it was their first demo, after all — their infectious brand of epic-sounding brutality and unadorned conviction caught the attention of vigilant metallers searching for a new variety of extreme. Amon Amarth continued to sharpen their warring death metal skills with The Arrival Of The Fimbul Winter demo and subsequent Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds EP and by 1997 found themselves on Metal Blade Records, where they remain to this day.

A compelling fusion of buzzsaw riff work, melodic harmonies and soul-crushing rhythms punctuated by Hegg's callous black/death roar and accounts of Norse battles and treachery, Amon Amarth's 1998 Metal Blade debut, Once Sent From The Golden Hall, earned the band international accolades by critics and fans alike. For the next ten years and an astounding six full-lengths, Amon Amarth marched on, longswords in hand, pillaging their way through countless tours and festival appearances stateside and abroad. With each passing recording came a discernable growth in musicianship and a deeper connection with the Nordic myths that make their already brutalic sound all the more absorbing.

A record Metal Hammer called "the biggest and most powerful" the band had ever recorded, 2008's heroic Twilight Of The Thunder God was applauded around the globe. The record landed at position #6 in the official German album Charts as well as #10 in Finland, #11 in Sweden, #14 in Austria, #21 in Switzerland, and #48 in the difficult to crack US. Time Out New York commended the Swedes for playing "some of the most unabashedly epic metal you're likely to find these days," while The Village Voice agreed stating, "the Viking war metal Of Amon Amarth is limitless." Twilight Of The Thunder God earned the #7 position in Revolver Magazine's Top 20 Albums that year and was met with numerous European tours/fest appearances as well as a victorious North American headlining tour in October 2008. In 2009 the band returned to the states for another successful stretch of headline dates with Goatwhore, Skeleton Witch and Lazarus AD and again in 2010 with Holy Grail and Eluveitie! In addition, Amon Amarth was crowned "Best Breakthrough Act" at Metal Hammer's prestigious Golden Gods Awards and earned a support slot on the European leg of the Unholy Alliance Chapter III tour featuring Slayer. The band even made their way to India for the first time, headlining the Deccan Rock Festival in Bangalore as well as tours in China and Taiwan!

Released in 2011, the eighth long-player in Amon Amarth's winding discography, Surtur Rising offered ten tracks of fist-raising, peck-flexing, hyper climactic fight anthems led by the fiery lungs of Hegg, searing rhythms and a volatile twin riff assault with a courser, more organic-sounding production to add more depth to their already consuming tone. PopMatters.com exclaimed "Surtur Rising is just the latest step of Amon Amarth’s quest for legendary status, and it’s a big step in the right direction, too. Packed with technical riffs, mind-blowing solos, and enough Viking imagery to burn a small village, Surtur Rising raises the bar once again” while major UK music magazine Kerrang stated that "every moment is charged with the perfect balance of power, melody and muscle." The album landed the #34 spot on the Billboard Top 200, #6 on the Billboard Top Independent Album, #1 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums and #10 on the Indy/Small Chain Core Store Chart. The record entered Austria's Top 40 Chart at #12 and Switzerland's Top 100 at #20. In Germany, Surtur Rising sold over 14,000 units, entered the Top 100 Chart at #8 and is in the official Media Mark charts at #14 in its second week. In addition, Surtur Rising came in at #19 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart, #5 on the Independent Charts and #2 on Hard Charts. The record is #1 in Canada on Itunes' Top Metal albums, and also charted on the following: #16 Top 200, #3 Top Rock and #1 Top Metal. In the U.S., the record ranked in at #2 on iTunes' Rock Album chart and #20 in the Top 200 (overallalbum chart).

In support of Surtur Rising, Amon Amarth decided to play a US tour on their own giving fans what they had been screaming for—An Evening with Amon Amarth—and it was so successful the band returned to the states to do it a second time around. Each tour featured double sets from the band who played Surtur Rising in its entirety followed by a second set that was a “Best Of” the band’s catalog.

The band is currently preparing for the release of their ninth full-length album, which will be out this June as the band tours across the United States with the likes of Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, and Behemoth, just to name a few, on 2013’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.

Huntress was birthed in the underground of Highland Park, California, clawing at the roots of heavy metal. Lead singer Jill Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of Huntress. In 2009 she met underground metal band Professor. The universe spread her legs and delivered Huntress to Janus, combining former members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch.

The powerful pentad signed to Napalm Records in November 2011. They unleashed their first music video for "Eight of Swords" in October 2011, directed by Simon Chan of Artificial Army. The song was produced and engineered by Chris Rakestraw of Sunset Lodge Recording in Silverlake, CA. Rakestraw will also produce their debut album, slated for release Spring/Summer 2012 on Napalm Records.

Vocals: Jill Janus
Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
Rhythm Guitar: Ian Alden
Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
Bass: Eric Harris

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Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth with Huntress, Battlecross

Thursday, August 8 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM at Marathon Music Works

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