Insomnium @ The Agora Ballroom

By Matt Moser, Moser Photoworks

Insomnium opened “Winter’s Gate” in its entirety upon Cleveland, Ohio last night as the Finnish melodic death metal band kick-started the tour last night at the Agora Ballroom. I marked this show on my calendar since its announcement back in late November and snatched a couple of VIP passes and tagged my girlfriend for the ride. I got a whiff of their music last spring when my girlfriend introduced me to “Shadows of the Dying Sun” and instantly peaked as one of my favorites. Directly supporting Insomnium on this tour is the metal/progressive band, Oceans of Slumber who reigns from Houston, Texas. Both of whom associated with Century Media Records.

I had a slow uphill approach reaching anything I liked from Oceans of Slumber. Their sound is unconventional, very dark, and tranquil at most. After listening to a few of their songs last night, I began to realize the name Oceans of Slumber makes perfect sense. Much of their songs dwell in the shadows. The heaviness isn’t what you’d expect from a metal band on the same bill of Insomnium. Their “heaviness” resides deep in the soul. Pain, sorrow, heartache, and shattered dreams are what comes to mind. Towards the last song of their set entitled, “No Color, No Light,” Vocalist, Cassie Gilbert shows her emotions running down her face that left an empty pit in my stomach just because of the somber sadness in her voice. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed at a show. Now that I know what to expect, I would like to give this band another chance and certainly would appreciate them more.

Full Oceans of Slumber slide show below:

I can’t say enough about Insomnium. A melodic death metal band from Finland, the group, has curbed my appetite in every shape and still refuse to change their formula. Insomnium has created a recipe, and their method hasn’t changed for the 10+ years they have been around. All the ingredients that fall down the list have checked off of what I come to ever love in a metal group. Harmonious guitar scores accompanied with solos that genuinely speak the feelings of each ballad. Niilo Sevanen’s throaty growls rumble the underbelly of the beast leaving viewers anxious to raise their horns as if the whole Insomnium army is about to rush the field of battle. It’s a blazing hearth-fire storm that gets your adrenaline pumping.

The “Winter’s Gate North American Tour” kicked off here in Cleveland on May 24 at the Agora. The band is still celebrating their 7th studio album, Winter’s Gate, released in September 2016 by playing the album in its entirety followed with a second set of fan favorites. Now, this show since its announcement back in later November has been marked in my calendar, and this time, I immediately decided to meet the band and finally get one of my prints I photographed when they were here in September with Lacuna Coil. It was a surreal experience to talk with them and get props on the metal print of the band performing on the Agora Theatre stage.

Insomnium Setlist – 5/23/18
1. Winter’s Gate, Part 1
2. Winter’s Gate, Part 2
3. Winter’s Gate, Part 3
4. Winter’s Gate, Part 4
5. Winter’s Gate, Part 5
6. Winter’s Gate, Part 6
7. Winter’s Gate, Part 7
Encore 1:
8. The Primeval Dark
9. While We Sleep
10. Revelation
11. The Killjoy
12. Weather the Storm
13. Ephemeral
14. The Promethean Song
Encore 2:
15. Only One Who Waits

Full Insomnium slide show below:

Hands down the best show I’ve been to this year and probably entering the Top 10 of the best shows I’ve attended. At this time, I would like to thank the band’s tour manager, Sami, the whole crew of Insomnium, Uncivil Revolt Magazine, and Right Angle PR for getting all this set up!

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