Insomnium is one of those bands that should be on your radar. If you’re a good metalhead you will already know that they just came out with a new album, One For Sorrow. If you’re not a good metalhead, get the fuck out. Why are you even reading this blog? Go. Go away now. We’re going to talk about things you wouldn’t possibly be interested in. Goodbye.
If you’re familiar with Above the Weeping World, an album rich in melody, dark and sinister, you will love One For Sorrow. Insomnium took everything they learned from their experiments in Across the Dark and combined that with the best aspects of Above the Weeping World to create this new album. The result is a dark and mean melodic death metal sound that is equally tranquil and rich.
Insomnium does come dangerously close to being on the folk side of the melodic death metal spectrum, but after their experimental Across the Darkness experience that’s not too surprising. Give a listen to “Decoherence” to see what I’m talking about. They bring in some acoustic guitar work and what sounds like a keyboard string symphony with some light drums and atmospheric effects to make a really quiet bridge from the heavy “Every Hour Wounds” to “Lay the Ghost to Rest”, a blasting bit of metal that sounds like a throwback to Above the Weeping World.
Some have said the change in pace in songs is annoying, but I find it enjoyable, especially since the songs are generally on the longer side, as is typical with melodic death metal. This is a very dark album with a depressing mood. It matches a rainy day in winter perfectly, so don’t break it out for any victory marches. It has a very different mood from Across the Dark which was very energetic and heroic.
“Meandering Through the Shadows” reminds me quite a bit of “Mortal Share” from Above the Weeping World, but with a much slower rhythm. Skip ahead to “Every Hour Wounds”, their most energetic song on the album. It has a strong beat with good guitar work and a backing by Niilo Sevänen’s growling lyrics. Finish off with “Lay the Ghost to Rest” which has some good breaks that remind me a lot of Opeth’s meandering guitar work.
More than anything it seems Insomnium is really going through some dark places right now. It’s inspiring to hear them share their own suffering with the world in their music. If you’re in a really shitty place right now I would recommend giving this a few spins. On the other hand, don’t spin this if you’re in a good mood. It will bring you down. Minor chords galore, this album puts the bleak in black metal, but they do so masterfully.
Since their breakout album, Above the Weeping World, we’ve come to expect a certain level of polish from this band. With One For Sorrow you will not be disappointed. It is a testament to why I believe this Finnish melodic death metal band has made it this far. Darlings of the college music scene, destroyers of metal festivals worldwide, Insomnium is a band Finland can be proud to have given birth to.
RIYL: Omnium Gatherum, Dark Tranquillity, Swallow The Sun, Amon Amarth (to some extent), all those other melodic death metal bands in the arctic north.