2. Through the Shadows
3. Song of the Blackest Bird
4. Only One Who Waits
6. Every Hour Wounds
8. Lay the Ghost to Rest
9. Regain the Fire
10. One for Sorrow
Label: Century Media
Release: Finland October 12, Europe October 17, North America October 18
After the band’s previous success with “Across the Dark“, a title that was not at all overlooked, here they are with a new disc that is about to draw much metal crowd praise. Think about the most anticipated releases for 2011 and, again, you have INSOMNIUM. It is a constant band, faithful to the melodic death genre but not afraid to mingle around and incorporate with grace a few goodies from here and there, all well camouflaged.
The opener is very atmospheric but doesn’t reveal exactly the pace of what’s to follow. It builds up slowly, really slowly, starting from a doomish impression, eventually reaching the true colors of INSOMNIUM, with deep growls and pronounced yet cold melodicity. ‘Through the Shadows‘, the song that benefits of a nice video, has a chorus that sticks to the mind, fit for humming all throughout the day. It is very catchy and has a strong particularity… Like the band itself announced, the album is filled with darkened feelings and sad stories; however, the effect of this track (especially) is rather one of completed catharsis than of stirring the muddy waters. It sounds… soothing and subtly energizing. It is like something has already been released and purified, and the pale, reassuring light of the dawn sets in. This is not the case, however, of ‘Every Hour Wounds‘ – a true track of pain. ‘Only One Who Waits‘ and ‘Song of the Blackest Bird‘ seem to be the stormiest tracks, very dynamic and harsh enough to keep up the good reputation of the band. The latter one can easily unleash the dedicated headbangers.
In terms of down-to-earth, aggressive metal, the tracks from 3 to 6 are the best pieces of this disc. After the middle-album heaviness, ‘Decoherence‘ brings a different rhythm and sound. It’s a dreamy and breezy instrumental – the quiet place in the center of the storm.
The rest begins to feel repetitive, tiring. To me, the clean vocals over the growled ones don’t sound right – I would prefer just the growls, those two don’t match together here. The interesting part about Niilo Sevänen‘s voice, however, is that it is made to blend so well into the instrumentation – it means it doesn’t come in front, separating itself clearly; for example, watch how it almost dissolves in the aggressive riffing on ‘Unsung‘. The title track is slower and very atmospheric. Nice pace for headbanging though, I would love to hear it live. At times, the sound of this record reminds me a lot of BEFORE THE DAWN, and for some other times I sense some AMORPHIS in certain filling harmonies. INSOMNIUM, however, stays faithful to the melodic death metal. Great release time, must add: October’s mood is what this album inspires. November too. And definitely, as expected, we will be talking about this one at the end of the year…