|Insomnium + Tribulation
|Orto Bar, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
It is time for our neighbour country Slovenia to host a pretty nice pair of acts: Insomnium and Tribulation, two Nordic bands with great appeal right now. The former because they're playing "Winter's Gate" in its entirety, the latter because well, their last album and their production in general is quite appreciated on these pages. The small venue, Orto Bar, which went sold out for this occasion, proved to be the perfect place for such event.
The ghouls from Arvika, lately, are under the spotlight almost everywhere thanks to their latest work "Down Below", which sums up everything that went on through their notable personal evolution. The band showed great confidence starting from the setlist itself: with stuff from "The Formulas Of Death" onwards, the songs were chosen equally from each of the last three albums, the ones which express more clearly their strong personality.
Starting with the big single "Lady Death", it's already a triumph made of gothic-esque atmospheres, androgynous attitude courtesy of Jonathan Hultén (and also some of his sweat, thank you very much) and so, so much class. Obviously, there were all the great pieces like "Melancholia" or "Strange Gateways Beckon" as the set closer, and between them the instrumental "Ultra Silvam" or the other big single "The Lament", which literally produced a lament in the audience due to a slight technical problem for Hultén. Despite this (and despite the not-so-good sounds) the Swedes carried on greatly and conquered the audience, still not that large but surely captured by Andersson and friends' bewitching mix. A band to be seen over and over again.
It's a whole different mood with the Finns on stage: icy blue lights and no introduction, with Niilo Sevänen and the others taking the Orto Bar through the forty minutes of "Winter's Gate", the epic piece/Viking saga played without almost any pause. Tons of epicness and an extremely tight and precise band, able to hypnotize every single person in the audience, are the main ingredients of this first set, which is impossible to move any critics to. The sound had definitely improved and soon the seven parts in which the opus is divided came to an end, making way to the second part of the gig.
Contrary to some other people here on Aristocrazia, my relationship with melodic death metal is not so good, so the catchy melodies and stuff in this second set weren't that exciting for me. It wouldn't be fair, though, to deny the strength and competence of the band and their songwriting qualities: they managed to keep everyone in the palm of their hands with songs like "Down With The Sun", "The Promethean Song" or "Only One Who Waits", unleashing the audience who even goes through unlikely circle pits, in a place so small it could be crossed with ten steps or so.
In conclusion, we witnessed two almost perfect performances, with very few weak points, all framed by an exemplary audience, something which is becoming more and more rare to find.