We caught Finnish melodic death metal heroes Insomnium on their headlining UK and Ireland tour in early 2020, with the support of Conjurer who joined following last year’s successful headline tour.
Given as the only support, Conjurer gave a lengthy performance, establishing themselves a compelling presence, and a powerful performance primarily focused on songs from their debut LP ‘Mire’ (2018). As they are one of the UK’s hottest live bands-to-watch, I was expecting a performance that packed a punch – and it surely did. The dual contrasting vocals of Brady Deeprose and Dan Nightingale balanced each side of the stage, with bassist Conor Marshall taking the centre with his tenacious windmills, showcasing the band’s dynamic sonic range.
There was a hair-raising moment when Dan Nightingale stepped away from the mic taking centre-stage with a single spotlight, and continuing to project lyrics to the audience, thus really drawing attention to the anguished reflection and heaviness of their music.
One thing I would’ve liked to see more of from the band would be talking – I wanted to hear some introductions, naming of albums and the next songs, or some reference towards the audience, of which there was little to none, lacking in artist-audience relationship/communication. This, I believe, would have helped hype the crowd up even more and get them more engaged in the band and their powerful performance.
Insomnium’s ‘Tour Like A Grave’ tour set off to promote their latest record ‘Heart Like A Grave’ (2019). The setlist was mainly packed with newer songs but did not shy away from favourites of previous albums, such as ‘Shadows of the Dying Sun’ (2014) and ‘Across the Dark’ (2009). Old favourites were incorporated throughout the new set – A perfect blend of introducing the new stuff and bringing back the favourites that the fans were looking forward to.
Insomnium seemed to be in great spirits and frequently addressed the audience, which was highly appreciated by the fans, who let themselves be taken away by the music. I really must give the band a shout-out for not only posing for the photographers, but also for often changing their standing points on stage, so everyone could see them. I also appreciated the band’s interaction with each other, really driving the force of their live presence.
Jani Liimatainen‘s clean vocals cut through the mix effectively, countering perfectly Niilo Sevänen‘s growls. The guitars switched from resonant riffing to escalating twin harmonies effortlessly and were supported by Markus Hirvonen‘s drums that packed a punch.
There were, however, moments when I felt like the sound was quite lacklustre, which was a shame, considering we didn’t get to hear the band’s mighty melodic sound at its full potential. The guitars seemed quiet in the mix, with too much low-end covering the vocals up especially, which sounded muffled because of it and almost like a whisper between everything else. I recognise this as being a matter of venue mix and acoustics, which was a shame considering Insomnium‘s performance which I found to be of head-banging quality.
Catch the rest of their Europe, USA and Canada tour dates and tickets here!