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Live Report Insomnium + In Mourning + Kvaen @Machine du Moulin Rouge 7/11/2023

Hi !

Today I'm talking about an event dedicated to Scandinavian countries (rare, very rare in the metal world...). The line-up was Kvaen, In Mourning and, of course, Insomnium. Enough to put a little glitter in our metalhead eyes.

I'm glad to see that the audience was there. Indeed, competition was stiff that night: there were Wolfheart 10 metres away at Backstage By the Mill and Queens of the Stone Age at the Accor Arena.


The evening gets off to a flying start with black pagan metal band Kvaen. The Swedish band's trademark is a frenzied rhythm and relentless growl. The band is at the crossroads of genres. Compositionally, there are some good rhythmic ideas - particularly the BPM changes - but the band bets a lot to their guitar riffs.

The set begins with a fairly melodic song, but the tone quickly changes with the second track. It's much more aggressive, with angry drums from start to finish.

Technically, there is nothing to criticize. In my opinion, Funeral Pyre's riff is the catchiest. Necks are starting to shake in the audience. But it's especially on the final track, Revenge of Fire, that things really explode.

I've just discovered this band. I had trouble getting into it. I suspected that the sound of La Machine had something to do with it, and I was right: I listened to it again quietly at home to confirm my impression and I was hooked. Good discovery then.


– Sulphur Fire

– The Great below

– In Silence

– Funeral Pyre

– Revenge by Fire


Then came In Mourning, also from Sweden. They're a progressive death metal band, but their style is very different from that of Kvaen. Their sound is much more modern, which stands out a little better in these complicated acoustics.

The band alternated effectively between violence and gentleness, heavy slowness (with almost metalcore notes) and the velocity of death. The growled parts are taken up by a clearer guitar and polyphonic vocals. As someone who loves contrast, I was delighted. There are guitars, lots of guitars, as the line-up is made up of a singer-guitarist, two additional guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. They also leave plenty of room for instrumentals. If the tracks are long, it's because many minutes are dedicated to the expression of the instruments alone.

The best example is Colossus: the band's 'hit' was obviously the last track to be played. This track gives the instruments pride of place. It features a series of melodic themes, reminiscent of classical music. The drum parts are creative and groovy: they clearly favour musicality over technique (the musicians were still very technical). I just loved it!

Setlist :

– Thornwalker

– The Broken Orbit

– Sovereign

– Black Storm

– Colossus


They were finally here! The evening's headliners have arrived from Finland. The pillars of European melodeath are honouring us with their presence in France. They kicked things off with a punchy song from the Insomnium repertoire. The pit, which was much fuller, was ecstatic. The crowd went wild.

As with Kvaen, the sound wasn't ideal. The volume of the synth layers overpowered the rest of the music. While the guitar melodies, which mainly use mid-high notes, stand out well, it was hard to make out the rest.

We could feel the years of stage experience. The musicians were all in it together, they moved around a lot, they were dynamic, it made the show fun to watch. Better still, the replacement guitarist fitted in perfectly with the band and shared just as much camaraderie as the others (solo tapping face to face...). Technically, the show was impeccable. Niilo's growl was impressive, precise and with cavernous low notes.

On Pale of the Morning Star, one of my favourites, the first pogo of the evening finally got underway. I love the idea of playing an extract from The True Morning Star, their acoustic version (as a bonus track on the Heart Like a Grave album) as the intro to the song. The crowd had no intention of calming down. Pogos (and a wall of death) continued on the following tracks. Niilo communicated a lot with the audience. I really think that « Magnifique ! » became his favorite word.

What's more, he had the intelligence to provoke fervour in the pit by titillating the France-England rivalry. Well done!

During the break before the encore, Markus treated us to a little drum solo. It's not particularly rare but it's always appreciated.

Finally, the band were back to play two of their biggest hits: The Primeval Dark and While We Sleep. On the latter, the chaos in the pit is at its height - a little paradoxical given the name of the last track. I've always enjoyed seeing Insomnium live on stage, and once again they lived up to my expectations.

Setlist :

– 1696

– Ephemeral

– White Christ

– Pale Morning Star

– Only One Who Waits

– Change of Heart

– And Bells They Toll

– Lilian

– The Rapids

– The Day It All Came Down

– Song of the Dusk

– The Primeval Dark

– While We Sleep

And so the evening draws to a close. I really appreciated the quality of the line up. All the bands had very different styles, but all remained coherent. Although there were a few acoustic problems, the artists had presence, technique and a clear pleasure in being there. So that didn't stop me from having an excellent time. I'll be happy to go back and see each of these bands the next time they play in France. Thanks to Insomnium, In Mourning, Kvaen and Veryshow for this evening.

I'll be back soon to report on the Mvrkfest in Marseille and the Deathstars concert at La Maroquinerie. In the meantime, take a look at the other BGP Music Live publications.

Ciao !


Portofolio (crédits : Lucinda The Strange)


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