with Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium
O2 Academy, Islington, London
March 21 2015
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Michelle Murphy
The masters of Epic Folk Metal flew in from Finland to promote their sixth studio album One Man Army on Tuesday 21 March.
London was set for another good serving of great epic tales of fantasy battles and Scandinavian mythologies, as I witnessed at the O2 Academy Islington.
First on the bill were fellow Finns, Omnium Gatherum. Their melodic death metal certainly had a lot of drive to it and flowed like a mighty river into the crowds.
If you like your metal with a nice classic rock structure, then Omnium Gatherum did not disappoint.
It was fast, headbanging worthy, and didn’t always rely on blast beats. Plus vocalist Jukka Pelkonen exhibited a very deep and widely projected growl which reached into the widest realms of the venue.
You know you’re watching a good band when the vocals and notes played bounce of the walls and ceilings giving an impression of a classic music hall where an orchestra would enjoy a good symphony.
Omnium Gatherum did just that – well done fellas for giving us such an epic start to a night to remember.
2. New Dynamic
4. Sonic Sign
6. New World Shadows
Then we were greeted by another Finnish outfit: Insomnium – in town promoting their sixth studio album released last April.
Now Insomnium were OK at most. I was a little irritated at how vocalist Niilo Sevanen felt the need to tell the crowd that every song is about headbanging.
If you’re a fun loving metal band who’ve been on the road for over 18 years then you don’t need to introduce the topics of your tracks all the time.
With that aside, I couldn’t quite match Insomnium’s delivery with the powerful charisma exhibited by the first band.
It wasn’t a terrible set, but they had a lot to give to impress the crowd and I didn’t quite get that vibe.
That said, the band certainly knew what they were doing so I wouldn’t bash Insomnium for doing their job they way they know best. Good job, but needs improvement.
2. While We Sleep
3. Every Hour Wounds
4. Daughter of the Moon
5. Black Heart Rebellion
6. Where the Last Wave Broke
7. The Promethean Song
8. Drawn to Black
10. Weighed Down With Sorrow
And finally we were met with the band who took Folk Metal to a whole new territory: Ensiferum.
It had been five years since I’d last seen the Finnish warriors at Bloodstock and have many good memories of singing along to their tunes, and it seems the two albums since that performance have just made the group better and better.
They crashed through a good healthy number of tunes from the new album and were accompanied by a guest accordion player, Netta, who really made the classic instrument sound as extreme as the others.
One thing I always look for in a band is a good sense of humour, and Ensiferum did not disappoint when they did a complete role reversal of the line up and gave us a good rendition of ‘Breaking the Law’.
Netta is a good vocalist, I have to say, and Petri did good as a drummer.
Musicians who have mastered a wide range of instruments and appear to be having an amazing time on stage just like their audience always bodes well for a concert.
This one was upbeat and refreshing and made me want to listen to Ensiferum more as I still need to listen to several of their earliest albums.
Please come back to England soon.