Insomnium in Birmingham, January 2020

Insomnium – 17.01.2020 @ O2 Academy Birmingham, UK

While the winter colds and greys were dominating the mood for the post festive season, Finnish melodeath powerhouse Insomnium were packing their gear and setting out on the road for “Heart Like a Grave” UK and Ireland tour in support for their eponymous album and Birmingham was their first stop.

First on stage ware Conjurer – still a relatively young band, needing however no introduction whatsoever. Their mix of extreme, doomy and progressive metal is very appealing. Straight to the point with their bestial roars and heavy riffs, dark and dynamic, the four- piece did not waste any time with chatting around and the bassist Conor Marshall was continuously flicking and windmilling his hair. I can easily see why this band has found fame in a short time and after blowing the world away with their 2018 release Mire have been branded as British metal’s brightest new acts.

And then it was time for the Finns Insomnium to take stage.  Birmingham fans were really excited to see live these rare guests (it has been 3 years since UK shores have welcomed Insomnium ) and greeted them with loud cheers.

As expected, the band’s latest – eighth – studio album “Heart Like a Grave” was dominating the setlist, however, we did have the chance to hear few older pieces like “While We Sleep” or “Through the Shadows” amongst others too.  The crowd was fully enjoying the show- singing along and headbanging and the moshpit in the middle of the 600 capacity room did not stop. Great atmosphere was in the air.

After several years of touring with Insomnium as ocasional replacement for Ville Friman it was great to see guitarist Jani Liimatainen (The Dark Element, Cain’s Offering, ex. Sonata Arctica) finally playing with the band as a full time official member.

Sticking to the same base formula Insomnium has created a loyal fan following across the globe and this band continues to impress us with every new album.

Melodic death metal, in my opinion, sounds way too generic describing these Finns, we could here easily talk about a whole new “sorrow metal” subgenre. All the characteristic elements for this band- fast riffs, epic melodies, aggression, grandeur combined with the lyrical themes that portray death, sorrow, loneliness, regret, loss, pain, hope are key for delivering emotional atmospherics that we know Insomnium for.

The night finished with eponymous track from the band’s latest album and the crowd was left wanting more.  I have to say, that was a great start of the tour and a wonderful evening with two amazing bands, each with something different to bring to stage.  I can only hope we will see Insomnium more often on these shores.



Through the Shadows

Into the Woods


Pale Morning Star

Change of Heart

And Bells They Toll

Mute Is My Sorrow


In the Groves of Death


The Primeval Dark

While We Sleep

Heart Like a Grave

Metalhead travel junkie and a geek.