If you haven’t heard of Insomnium before you have been living under Melo-Death rock. The group from Finland released their 6th album, ‘Shadows Of The Dying Sun’ at the end of April. Where with the previous album Insomnium was following the footsteps of the great bands in Melodic Death Metal, ‘Shadows Of the Dying Sun’ puts them squarely in the front row of the genre.
The latest album shows a mature Insomnium, both musically and execution wise. The songs are well thought through and production is nearly flawless. You can recognize the lineage from the previous albums, but it’s the execution that makes the new one stand out. The first thing you hear from the album is the massiveness of the sound. It’s heavy, nuanced and overall grand. The band sits steadily in melodeath pocket with courage to mix in new ideas. Insomnium plays with new guitar sounds, downplays keyboards and builds background sonic walls with simple guitar tricks layering crunching sounds with wailing solos. They also don’t shy away from tempo and dynamic changes in the songs and that makes the long, more than five minute on the average, songs fly by.
Niilo Sevänen has softened his vocals and where he used to spit the grunts on top of the music, he now has better control over his voice. Ville Friman still wrote the majority of the music but the new guitarist, Markus Vanhala also has his hand on few songs on the album. Even though the band members live in different cities and countries they managed to write a package that sounds very integrated. This music is written to be performed live, not just piecemailed for the album.
Lyrically the album continues the themes from their previous album ‘One for Sorrow’. There’s almost shamanic feeling to the lyrics with death, lost love, isolation, decept, moon and the sky appearing in several songs. Insomnium presents the not so bright parts of life in a package that makes them sound beautiful without adoring death or violence.
The album has been received with all around praise from critics and music lovers. It’s also been very successful in the music charts as the first week rankings from selected countries show.
Billboard’s Heatseekers #5