A travel in a frozen forest with INSOMNIUM at Le Petit Bain (english) - Paris, 15th January 2017

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On this Sunday, the 15th of January 2017, the rain which is falling on us starts to become snow, which creates a perfect atmosphere for tonight show: INSOMIUM’s concert.

As a big fan of the band, I really wanted to be there at 2 p.m, but after a few minutes in front of Le Petit Bain, I question my decision to come so early. Some fans join me around 5 p.m but people really start arriving at 6 p.m. The concert, as the one in Lyon, the day before, is sold-out, what we clearly understand by seeing the bands for tonight: WOLFHEART (which a friend advice me to see), BARREN EARTH (which I really don’t know anything about) and INSOMNIUM (which I am really waiting for)!

The doors just open when I run into the concert room to be on the first row. Once inside, a lot of people try to relax to get warmer quickly to try to get dry after the deluge that we endured outside for hours. We have thirty minutes before WOLFHEART arrives on stage and hits up the pit! The band comes on stage with coldness and sobriety. I am sad to know that they will only play during thirty minutes since they won’t have time to play a lot of songs but it doesn’t matter: the musicians are precise, violent and really charismatic! They start with the explosive The Hunt, immediately followed by Strength and Valor. We understand that the band decided to play as much as possible, and, logically, to communicate as less as possible, for the very short set they have, especially since they made three amazing albums in only four years of existence. Ghosts of Karelia offers the occasion for the public, finally ready, to start some circle pits which seems to be appreciated by the band, but it is mostly thanks to Boneyard that the pit will unite in an incredible chaos of headbang, pogo and screaming! Then it is time for the famous Zero Gravity which you must listen to if you don’t know it! If WOLFHEART still prove that they are melodically and technically excellent on their albums, they also show how good they can be on stage with a great stage presence. The songs are played with fluidity and energy in a perfectly organized set. The band ends its show with Routa Part. 2. This song goes with a little talk of Tuomas Saukkonen, the singer and guitar player. After such a concert, we could only regret that WOLFHEART didn’t have more time to play which would have allow them to communicate a bit more with us and to play more songs. However, they totally woke up the pit (which was a real challenge according to the weather we faced outside) and we can only wish to see them again soon in France!

WOLFHEART’s setlist:

The Hunt
Strength and Valor
Ghosts of Karelia
Zero Gravity
Routa Pt. 2

Really quickly, the musicians clean the stage and leave it free for BARREN EARTH. This band, which is, like the two other bands, from Finland, is totally unknown to me but I must admit that I am expecting something good because they are touring with WOLFHEART and INSOMNIUM, two amazing bands. The first thing which surprises me is the appearance of the band, which is really miscellaneous. The guitar player, Janne Perttilä, seems to be possessed by the devil, which is in complete opposition with the bass player, Olli-Pekka Laine (who played with AMORPHIS between 1990 and 2000), who makes me think of a European Visual Kei musician (such as SEREMEDY or HYBRIDS if you want to take a look at it) by his style and the fact that he is staying in the background, just as the keyboardist, Kasper Mårtenson (also member of AMORPHIS between 1993 and 1995). The other guitar player, Sami Yli-Sirniö (who plays with KREATOR since 2001) is really discrete too and the drummer, Marko Tarvonen, remains hidden behind his drum whereas the singer, Jón Aldará, seems to copy Nick Holms from PARADISE LOST… Well, you probably already understood it: I didn’t know that BARREN EARTH was a band of Doom Death Melodic Metal with some Progressive Rock influences. And I must admit that I was a bit musically disappointed, especially because of the gap between them and the two other bands of the concert. You may think that I am judging them too quickly but, except for a few fans who apparently did know the band since some times, the whole public barely enjoy their show. Their musical universe does not stick to what the public of tonight concert was expecting, but it is true that their singer does his best on stage and that the musical references of BARREN EARTH are underlined in their songs. No one can deny neither their mastery of music nor their desire to do well on stage, but the whole stuff is too heterogeneous. I might totally missed something with this band during the show so I just advice you to listen to what they do and see by yourself!

BARREN EARTH’s setlist:

The Leer
A Shapeless Derelict
Set Alight
Cold Earth Chamber
On Lonely Towers

Finally, it is time for INSOMNIUM to take possession of the boat (Le Petit Bain is a boat on the Seine for those who never been there) and to lead us right to the frozen lands of Finland! They begin with Winter’s Gate, the band’s last album in full! Just for you to know, it is composed of seven tracks which are making a full story altogether, written as a book by the singer, Niilo Sëvanen. The public enters almost instantaneity in a sort of trance during forty minutes of melodic music, sometimes ethereal and mystical, and sometimes brutal and nervous. After playing this album, the musicians go out of stage before coming back under our acclamations. The concert seems to be organized in two parts since INSOMNIUM’s members communicate more with us and even try to speak French to a public which really enjoys it and answers! Their set goes on with The Gale and Mortal Share which presents another aspect of the band’s universe. With While We Sleep and Bereavement, the pit awakes from the trance and starts to jump strongly enough to make the boat shakes! After this, the band offers us the magnificent Change Of Heart during which no one stops his/her efforts to show to the band how happy we are to welcome them in Paris! Everyone is headbanging in a fucking heat! Only One Who Waits if the last song that the band offers us before the show becomes calmer with the beautiful The Promethean Song, a really relaxing and magic song. The band leaves the stage a second time and a door somewhere on the boat is finally opened to let some fresh air running in a sweating pit. INSOMNIUM is back on stage to play Equivalence, followed by Down With The Sun! The band seems really pleased to see us so full of energy and the musicians give us some handshakes and guitar picks at the end of Weighed Down With Sorrow, the last song of the set. I don’t realize that the concert is over until I see the empty stage in front of me. This show was truly incredible and I am happy for waiting so long in the cold weather outside to be in the first row! The band plays some of my favorite song with talent and strength, so I just go out totally satisfied by this show, even if I regret a bit that they didn’t play songs from their first album.

INSOMNIUM’s setlist:

Winter's Gate, Part 1
Winter's Gate, Part 2
Winter's Gate, Part 3
Winter's Gate, Part 4
Winter's Gate, Part 5
Winter's Gate, Part 6
Winter's Gate, Part 7
The Gale
Mortal Share
While We Sleep
Change of Heart
Only One Who Waits
The Promethean Song

Down With the Sun
Weighed Down With Sorrow

For a second time, we wait outside, in the frozen night, but the musicians come out quickly. Only a few people are staying in front of the tour bus but INSOMNIUM’s members are really nice and friendly. They talk with us, sign CD’s and take pictures with us without any problem. The show was a pure success for WOLFHEART and INSOMNIUM! But it was hard for me, and for a lot of people in the pit, to enter BARREN EARTH’s musical universe. Their set was somehow a break for everyone and it allows us to be full of energy to welcome INSOMNIUM! I am super happy to finally had a chance to meet and see on stage my favorite band and I can only wish for one thing: see them once again very soon!

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