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Iced Earth/Children of Bodom/Evergrey

Date: 04/29/04
Venue: B.B. Kings, NY, NY
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
I have been hoping for a package tour like this for a LONG time now, and who better than homegrown boys Iced Earth to lead the charge. Reason being, the Power/Prog Metal genre has been rather underground in the States until the emergence of the Progpower festival in Atlanta which has opened the door for this type of sound and artists in the states. Radio and television obviously have given it little to no support, and only until now even major market DJ’s have started to play it in drips and drabs.

This grouping of bands was the perfect package to blow the doors wide open for the American Metal scene.

EVERGREY - Evergrey was first, a band who has been gaining considerable ground over the course of their last two releases, and the size of the crowd at 7:00 to see them showed their growing popularity. Taking the stage they embodied their name by keeping the theme of darkness alive through their set. Frontman Tom has mastered the use of his voice and playing his guitar simultaneously. He can create many levels of mood with his tone evident on tracks like “Recreation Day” which received great crowd response as did newer track “A Touch of Blessing”. The band was thrilled to play for the NY audience stating that NY is one of the best places to perform Live. They proved to be more than a warm up band and obviously will return possibly headlining.

Evergrey Set: The Masterplan, Rulers Of The Mind, End Of Your Days, Blinded, Recreation Day, A Touch Of Blessing (new), Ambassador.

CHILDREN OF BODOM - Next in line came Children of Bodom from Finland whose popularity seems to be growing in leaps and bounds. Upon walking out they took command of the stage and audience immediately with energy and power. Alexi leads the band with their distinctive sound and style, both in voice and guitars. Constantly moving and not missing a lick he makes known who is in charge. They mixed up their set with fast, almost Neoclassical arrangements to a more mid paced onslaught that kept the audience in tune to their style. Keyboards add a twist to their brand of melodic death/thrash making them unlike the other bands on the bill. They won over many new fans along with their already sizeable following.

Set list: Needled 24/7, Hate Me, Chokehold (Cocked'N'Loaded), Silent Night Bodom Night, Your're Better Off Dead, Sixpounder, Angels Don't Kill, Everytime I Die, Hate Crew Deathroll, Downfall.

ICED EARTH – Before show time I was privileged to interview Tim Ripper Owens as he was preparing for the show. He informed me that the shows have been going great and they were pleased with the audience’s reaction to the new CD. Also, fans response to him singing the older material has been positive and warm and he is becoming more comfortable singing it, even stating Iced Earth is his band now. We asked him his expectations for the night, even though himself and Jon Schaffer were both under the weather they were ready to give NY their all. Tim is also finishing up work on his solo Cd and hopes to get it done before years end depending on Iced Earth schedule. They are also planning on coming back for more shows later in the year in the states with a different set list.

Showtime: Starting with the “Star Spangled Banner” and followed by “Declaration Day” Iced Earth immediately drew the crowds attention and unified band and audience as one. The monster riffs that their sound is known for is clearly the work of Jon Schaffer who instantly grabs the crowd with the first notes played and anchored by the rhythm and bass guitars. Ripper, like in Priest, morphed himself into the missing piece to Iced Earth’s puzzle, creating yet a new dimension to what is the band.

Songs like the classic ‘Angels Holocaust”, “Vengence is Mine”, to the newer “Greenface” all benefited from Tim’s ability and lost no ground actually having more balls. They performed to solid chants from the audience who also knew every word to all the songs new and old. There was even a European feel to their reactions and we looked out and saw raised fists, sweaty bodies pressed against the barricade. They included two epic pieces which were the classic “Something Wicked Trilogy” and off “The Glorious Burden” “Gettsyburg”. This new formation of the band has new life and has provided growth allowing Iced Earth become that much closer to Metal legends.

Iced Earth Set: Star Spangled Banner, Declaration Day, Burning Times, Vengeance Is Mine, Angels Holocaust, Violate, Melancholy, Greenface, Red Baron\Blue Max, Dracula, When The Eagle Cries, My Own Savior, Something Wicked (trilogy) Encore: Gettysburg, Iced Earth.

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