Insomnium at the Islington Assembly Hall

    Insomnium on stage at the Islington Assembly Hall

Insomnium are the pinnacle of modern death metal. Formed in 1997, now with eight studio albums and numerous tours under their belts, they show no sign of slowing down. This combined with a relatively stable lineup has brought the band a reasonably sized fan base that came to see them play music from their latest album ‘Heart From a Grave’ at the Islington Assembly hall this evening.

Supporting Insomnium on this tour are ‘Conjurer’. This was my first experience of them as I’d not previously heard of, or listened to the band. They were outwardly very metal, and very intense.

One of the lead singers did a section without a microphone where he just sort of screamed the lyrics into the audience, something that can only work in smaller indoor venues. It certainly felt very intimate that evening at the Assembly Hall in Islington!

The songs had great breakdowns, in which the audience seemed enthused, but not enough so to start a mosh pit unfortunately…

After Conjurer’s introductory set, Insomnium were up. While there was a focus on their latest release, Insomnium played a vast range of music from their back catalog, reaching to ‘Shadows of a Dying Sun’, ‘Above the Weeping World’, and more.

They started with ‘Valediction’, before moving further back in time with ‘Through the Shadows’ and ‘Into the Woods’.

The music was on point for the evening, but the show was mostly average. I was disappointed when they didn’t play the acoustic guitar parts of the songs live, but were just playing to a track. I guess it’s logistically one less thing to have to deal with while on tour, but enough other bands seem capable of implementing acoustic into their shows. And with two guitarists on stage, you think they’d be able to manage it for at least some parts of the evening.

A member of the audience makes the horns up hand signal with their hands in front of the stage.

It’s horns up from the audience in Islington

Other tracks from the evening included ‘Pale Morning Star’, ‘Change of Heart’, and ‘Mute is My Sorrow’. All very strong choices from this discography.

As Insomnium introduced the last song before the encore, they offered the chance for the audience to request a song. They were met with calls for ‘Winter’s Gate’, from their previous studio album. The joke of this being that ‘Winter’s Gate’ is just one 40 minute long progressive metal epic. It was also the record that first introduced me to the band.

However they played ‘In the Groves of Death’, which is on the setlist at the same point for the previous dates on this tour, so it’s most probable that this wasn’t a choice at all…

The encore continued the set with ‘The Primeval Dark’ and ‘While We Sleep’, before moving on to the final song ‘Heart Like a Grave’, the title track of their most recent release.

Whilst the mosh pit was pretty spread out for most of the concert, I did end up leaving with purple blisters on my feet which I’d say is a good thing.

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