It is the second-to-last day of March, with the last stretches of this atipycal Winter still surrounding us despite Spring arrived officially a few days ago. Maybe it’s also Insomnium’s fault: the four Finns are still promoting their latest effort “Winter’s Gate”, surely more adapt to this climate than to colourful springtime stuff. The tour, bringing together two great acts such as them and Tribulation (also with their freshly published work “Down Below”), makes a short detour to the East in between the Italian dates, with a stop in Slovenia at Orto Bar, a pretty small venue in the capital city, sold out for an event which maybe exceeded our expectations.

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Having appreciated Tribulation‘s latest work, as well as their creative path, the anticipation for the Swedes was almost unbearable: one of those events to put on the calendar as soon as they are announced. The tiny place is already quite full, the stage is flooded with green lights, the mood is intimate and it’s like attending to some sort of ritual, as the smell of incense reaches our nostrils: without much preamble, the quartet from Arvika starts with a bang with “Lady Death“, one of the latest singles, followed by a setlist which spans their whole discography except for “The Horror”, which is a fairly isolated record in terms of style.

Slight step behind with “Melancholia” and “In The Dreams Of The Dead” (from “Children Of The Night”) and another one with “Rånda” and the instrumental “Ultra Silvam“, from “The Formulas Of Death”: the band navigates perfectly between the bends of their pretty personal death metal with gothic shades, with bassist/singer Johannes Andersson’s solidity and the androgin Jonathan Hultén who literally dances without rest, assuring a great show and an enviable stage attitude. The audience is captivated and delighted, hit by the quality of the compositions and the performance (and also by Hultén’s sweat drops), proceeding with “Nightbound” and the mandatory “The Lament” before “Strange Gateways Beckon“, a great way to close a show which, despite the sound not being perfect, wouldn’t have been out of place as the headlining show. We hope to see them soon again.

Setlist

Lady Death
Melancholia
In The Dreams Of The Dead
Rånda
Ultra Silvam
Nightbound
The Lament
Strange Gateways Beckon

TRIBULATION

The relationship between Insomnium and Yours Truly wasn’t a very good one before this evening: a show at Brutal Assault two years ago and some listenings to the studio albums didn’t catch my attention, already fairly lacking when it comes to melodic death metal. But all of this happened before the release of “Winter’s Gate”, the great 40-minute tale about Vikings reaching an island west of Ireland, brought around by the Finns for some time now, resulting in basically two sets: the latest work in its entirety and then a mix of older songs. My doubts about their quality are easily swept away during the first half of the show, with Niilo Sevänen and his mates proceeding almost seamlessly through the seven parts of the work, immersed in a blue light and captivating the full house without hardly any interaction.

After the end of “Winter’s Gate“, a few seconds of stop and the guys come back on stage, this time way more talkative and in touch with the bystanders who, in turn, don’t lose a chance to widely express their appreciation for each and every song played: from the recent “The Primeval Dark” or “Ephemeral” to the older “Mortal Share“, up to the closer “Only One Who Waits“, Insomnium proved to be a perfectly oiled machine, not a single note or hit out of place, able to hold the audience with embarassing ease. They might not have earned a new all-around fan, but to recognise the merit and quality of these guys from the land of the thousand lakes really is the least one could do.

Setlist

Winter’s Gate, Part 1
Winter’s Gate, Part 2
Winter’s Gate, Part 3
Winter’s Gate, Part 4
Winter’s Gate, Part 5
Winter’s Gate, Part 6
Winter’s Gate, Part 7
The Primeval Dark
While We Sleep
Mortal Share
Down With The Sun
Weather The Storm
Ephemeral
The Promethean Song

Only One Who Waits

INSOMNIUM