This show was a long time coming for me. Insomnium is one of those little bands that I latched onto with the release of their debut album back in 2002. I’ve been a big fan of their melodic and progressive style of death metal since my first listen. For whatever reason, I had never had the chance to see them perform live. There have been a couple of tours roll through Texas where they had an opening slot and I just wasn’t able to make it work. However, it all worked out this past Tuesday when they came to Houston as a part of their first headlining tour of the U.S. I’m really glad I waited to witness a full set rather than an abbreviated opening set.
The showcase of this tour is Insomium’s latest album, Winter’s Gate. This album is composed of one song that last a little over 40 minutes. So, obviously, they open the set by playing the whole damn thing all the way through. And it was awesome. The second half of the set was a good seven or eight additional songs from throughout their catalog.
So, I drove to Houston the afternoon of this show and then drove back to Austin immediately following the show. So, I had a lot of time to reflect during the drive (and also lots of time to realize that I may be getting a little old to pull a three-hour drive from midnight to 3am). Music is just amazing. Let me explain why. So, you have this group of hairy dudes (OK, one of them is bald) growing up in Finland. They get into metal. They learn how to play instruments. They all run into each other at some point and realize they all like the same kind of music and they decide to start a band. They start to gel and they get good enough to start composing their own songs. They start playing gigs and eventually get noticed by a record company who signs them to a contract. They release an album. This album is featured is some random metal magazine that a dorky metalhead in Texas reads. He thinks the album and band sound like something he would enjoy. He goes out and buys the record and becomes an immediate fan. 16 years later, this group of Finnish dudes have the opportunity to tour the U.S. and on a random Tuesday night in Texas, the dorky metalhead sees this band of Finnish dudes play an awesome set of their music. The lead guitarist for said band even fist bumps said dorky metalhead Texan while making his way on stage. It is a cool moment in time between people who have never met and grew up on different sides of the planet that is made entirely possible by the music being played. Metal brought us all together. It almost makes me want to tear up a bit.
Like I said, it was a long drive home.
Also, opening this show was Houston’s own, Oceans of Slumber. This is the third time I’ve seen these guys perform live. They have been in the midst of doing a lot of touring in Europe in support of their latest album and the touring is paying off. Their live set is getting more and more confident in its performance. It’s really cool to see this band starting to come into their own as a live entity. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.
Insomnium-The Primeval Dark
Insomnium-While We Sleep
Oceans of Slumber-The Decay of Disregard