INSOMNIUM

Melodic Death Metal • Finland
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Insomnium is a melodic death metal band from Joensuu, Finland. Their lyrics often deal with subjects such as sorrow, death, and loss.

Biography Insomnium began to take shape during the bleak spring of 1997. In a quiet town of Joensuu, located in the easternmost part of Finland, four young men were forming a fierce metal band. From the beginning it was clear that this band would make music that was brutal and yet melodic, full of contrasts and changing atmospheres. They took what they regarded as the best aspects of their favourite bands and molded these influences into a new kind of entity. The result was the marriage of melodic Scandinavian death metal and traditional Finnish tunes. Lyrics turned out to be sorrowful, dream-like tales of love and death that usually took place amidst the Finnish nature. Influences were taken from the Finnish folklore as well as the world
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Heart Like a GraveHeart Like a Grave
Century Media 2019
$13.98
Shadows of the Dying SunShadows of the Dying Sun
Century Media Records 2014
$23.00
$26.82 (used)
Winter's GateWinter's Gate
Century Media 2016
$9.58
$13.12 (used)
Across The DarkAcross The Dark
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
$9.78
$18.59 (used)
Above The Weeping WorldAbove The Weeping World
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
$9.45
$10.75 (used)
Above The Weeping World [2 LP][Translucent Orange]Above The Weeping World [2 LP][Translucent Orange]
Spinefarm 2018
$24.09
$30.97 (used)
Since The Day It All Came Down [2 LP][Clear]Since The Day It All Came Down [2 LP][Clear]
Spinefarm 2018
$24.32
$29.96 (used)
In The Halls Of Awaiting [2 LP][translucent Blue]In The Halls Of Awaiting [2 LP][translucent Blue]
Spinefarm 2018
$22.15
$30.97 (used)
One for SorrowOne for Sorrow
IMPORTS 2011
$13.84
$11.45 (used)
One for Sorrow (Re-issue 2018)One for Sorrow (Re-issue 2018)
Century Media 2018
$19.97
$32.69 (used)
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INSOMNIUM Discography

INSOMNIUM albums / top albums

INSOMNIUM In the Halls of Awaiting album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
In the Halls of Awaiting
Melodic Death Metal 2002
INSOMNIUM Since the Day It All Came Down album cover 4.42 | 6 ratings
Since the Day It All Came Down
Melodic Death Metal 2004
INSOMNIUM Above the Weeping World album cover 4.15 | 10 ratings
Above the Weeping World
Melodic Death Metal 2006
INSOMNIUM Across the Dark album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Across the Dark
Melodic Death Metal 2009
INSOMNIUM One For Sorrow album cover 4.14 | 14 ratings
One For Sorrow
Melodic Death Metal 2011
INSOMNIUM Shadows of the Dying Sun album cover 4.07 | 7 ratings
Shadows of the Dying Sun
Melodic Death Metal 2014
INSOMNIUM Winter's Gate album cover 4.38 | 9 ratings
Winter's Gate
Melodic Death Metal 2016

INSOMNIUM EPs & splits

INSOMNIUM Ephemeral album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Ephemeral
Melodic Death Metal 2013

INSOMNIUM live albums

INSOMNIUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

INSOMNIUM re-issues & compilations

INSOMNIUM singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Weather the Storm
Melodic Death Metal 2011

INSOMNIUM movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

INSOMNIUM Reviews

INSOMNIUM Winter's Gate

Album · 2016 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Winter's Gate" is the 7th full-length studio album by Finnish melodic death metal act Insomnium. The album was released through Century Media Records in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Shadows of the Dying Sun" from 2014 and features the same lineup as the predecessor. After releasing quite a few albums where the overall concept and songwriting formula have had a somewhat similar sound and structure, Insomnium have opted for a change on "Winter's Gate". The band were having a break while rehearsing and were listening to some music and someone put on "Crimson (1996)" by Edge of Sanity, which inspired the band to write a single 40 minutes long track, which ended up being "Winter's Gate".

While "Winter's Gate" is divided into seven different parts and there are clear song structures featured in the long epic track, it still feels very much like one long listening experience and the various parts of the album also seque into each other, which gives the track the right natural flow. Stylistically the track is less surprising than the structure and length of the track, as it´s in many ways Insomnium as we know them. That means melodic death metal with elements of ethnic Scandinavian folk, black- and progressive metal, which is packed in a majestic atmosphere. Artists like Omnium Gatherum and Amorphis are valid references. Guitarist Markus Vanhala has played in both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum since 2011, so that further strengthens the connection between those two acts.

The music is quite dynamic and varies from mellow acoustic guitar sections or keyboard interludes, to heavy melodic death metal parts and faster paced more aggressive blackened death metal parts. Always with a lot of focus on melody and catchiness. Atmosphere enhancing keyboards play a relatively big role in the soundscape along with guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. The vocals are deep intelligible growling, higher pitched blackened growling, and clean vocals (often layered with harmony vocals and choirs).

"Winter's Gate" is a very well written track, and the transitions between sections generally work really well. Add to that high level musicianship, and a clear, professional, and powerful sounding production, and you got a high quality release on your hands. The fact that Insomnium have chosen to step a bit out of their comfort zone and try something different means extra points in my book, and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

INSOMNIUM Shadows of the Dying Sun

Album · 2014 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Shadows of the Dying Sun" is the 6th full-length studio album by Finnish death metal act Insomnium. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2014. Insomnium were formed in 1997 and have with each new releas slowly but steadily build a reputation as one of the most prolific Finnish death metal acts and gained a dedicated fanbase in the process too. It´s been a few years since the release of their 5th full-length studio album "One for Sorrow (2011)", but Insomnium released the "Ephemeral" EP in 2013 to bridge the gap.

Stylistically the music on "Shadows of the Dying Sun" is an epic sounding type of melodic death metal. Artists like fellow countrymen in Amorphis and especially Omnium Gatherum are valid references. Guitarist Markus Vanhala has played in both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum since 2011, so that further strengthens the connection between those two acts.

The material on the album are well written, catchy and epic. The tempos vary between heavier mid-paced epic sections and faster paced melodeath sections. Always with strong lead guitar melodies and themes on top of the sharp riffs and heavy rhythm foundation. Acoustic/clean guitar sections also occur. The vocals are predominantly growling (delivered by bassist Niilo Sevänen), but there are occasional clean vocal sections on the album too (delivered by guitarist Ville Friman). Both growls and the male clean vocals are convincing and well delivered.

"Shadows of the Dying Sun" is also a well produced album, where power and epic atmospheres go hand and hand and all in all it´s another high quality melodic death metal release by Insomnium. I´m not sure I find it especially original sounding (and their similarities to Omnium Gatherum are almost eerie), but everything about the album just reeks high class and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

INSOMNIUM Shadows of the Dying Sun

Album · 2014 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Gallifrey
Ever Diminishing

I remember, a long time ago, Insomnium were once my favourite metal band.

And yes, I will praise them for their melodic and harmonic ability and thank them for allowing me to tolerate harsh vocals (still don’t really like them), but I will never really be able to praise them for their ingenuity.

Shadows of the Dying Sun is the latest in a string of records with ever-diminishing returns for Insomnium. After hitting their peak with 2006’s astonishing Above the Weeping World, Insomnium have essentially followed each album with an ever-so-slightly weaker one again and again. Oddly though, for all the bands who have gone with this repeat-the-same-thing-forever band plan, Insomnium’s diminishing talent has gone down a bit slower than most, since this record is only a sliver under One for Sorrow, which was only a sliver under Across the Dark. But regardless of Insomnium’s odd ability to still kinda get my feet tapping on each album, there is rarely a time when I’m in the mood to hear over-produced and cluttered melodeath, and if I do, then the record of choice is nearly always Above The Weeping World (although recently Omnium Gatherum’s New World Shadows has overtaken that as my favourite melodeath record).

Although these four records have played a pretty similar style of melodeath, Insomnium have been steadily bringing clean vocals more and more into the mix, a route that was definitely necessary to keep from being too stale. But ironically for me, I still don’t think this record is as strong as the ones with full harsh vocals, even though I have constantly wanted Insomnium to shut the fuck up with those goddamn growls. I like the idea of clean vocals in their music, but they just don’t do them well enough, and with Shadows of the Dying Sun being the most abundantly clean of all their albums, it’s more frustrating that enjoyable. Because nearly every time a clean sung melody comes in, they feel the weird need to layer it with a whole ton of singers, making it sound like a weak choir rather than an emotive vocalist. They’ve done this on previous albums before, and I always thought it was because they never trusted themselves as strong clean vocalists (although it also may be a bit to do with Insomnium’s obsession of hiding all their great melodies under a pile of mud). This album opens nearly straight up with a clean melody in “While We Sleep”, but with the chanting choir, it sounds cheesy and weak – I’d much rather a single strong voice come soaring over the instruments than a whole lot of them hide under them.

But it’s not as if they are incapable. 8-minute centerpiece “The River” features an acoustic guitar bridge that finally boasts a strong, single voice. And it’s fantastic. Although yes, the combination of clean guitar with the tonality of the vocals does point rather massively toward Mikael Åkerfeldt, but I’m not really minding, since the guitars still have that Insomnium vibe to them. But when I hear this, I can’t help but feel that a track like “Lost To Night” could be much better with these clean vocals, since the melody on that track’s chorus is amazing. This album also features a far more prominent use of some “whisper” vocals, particularly in the soft verses when death growling would feel wrong. But I can’t honestly say they’re a great inclusion, especially since I feel many of these verses would be heightened by fully clean vocals. To point back to “The River”, the song utilises these whispered vocals over some nice finger-picked gutiars, but the entire time I’m almost wishing for some strong and powerful vocals, when all I get is this ~deep~ poetic whispering.

Musically, this album borrows excessively from their own back catalogue – often too much for me to fully enjoy. I’m sure if you were new to this band, it wouldn’t be too much of an obstacle, but as a long-time fan, hearing the opening riff of “While We Sleep” just makes me go “sigh, Insomnium, you’ve used this one before”. Which song it was from I’d never be able to say (even on their great albums they’re hard to tell apart), but I’m nearly 90% certain that this particular riff, or at least that chord progression, has been prominent on at least one Insomnium song before. And then straight after, “Revelation” brings in that bloody 12/8 pattern they use in every song in the history of ever, to the point when it may as well be called ‘the Insomnium pattern’. I’m sure it wouldn’t irk me as much if I hadn’t heard this band before, but it’s certainly not going to show their brilliant ingenuity.

Although I have had a bit of a crap on Insomnium for not making their music progress, there are tiny little hints at a change on this record, the sort that would help the band convince themselves that they’re “redefining their sound”. Firstly, the production here is certainly better than on previous records, although it’s still not without fault. This album is essential headphone listening, since many of the sounds can get insanely buried, but even then, I had to really strain to hear that very distant trumpet melody on “Lost To Night”, that I’m sure would have made the song better if it were upfront. And the same goes for the strings on “Collapsing Worlds” – they’re just too buried. But overall, this album is less painful than their past records, and some of the tones and drum sounds are actually quite good, particularly the performance in “Black Heart Rebellion”. But the most prominent of new sounds on this record to me are the use of intense blast beats during this track and “The River”, complete with some great tremolo-guitar riffs floating on top, and honestly, these parts are just a few gargling screams away from atmospheric black metal, and they definitely make this album an easier ride in terms of breaking the generic doomy melodeath formula.

Shadows of the Dying Sun is a record that tries to push ever so slightly in a different direction, but the differences between it and its predecessors are so minute that it simply becomes forgettable. The riffs are not quite as strong, the songs aren’t quiet as emotional and so the album isn’t quite as good. I do enjoy it, and it’s by no means bad, but I can nearly guarantee that when this review is published I will likely never return to it again. There’s better stuff out there.

6.9

Originally written for my facebook page/blog: facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

INSOMNIUM One For Sorrow

Album · 2011 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Diogenes
The secret is out! Insomnium is one of the best melodic death metal bands of today-no, of all time-and it’s high time they started getting the recognition that they deserved all along. Hopefully joining Century Media (who made a damn fine decision in this signing, for once) will help get that ball rolling sometime soon, but in the meantime, there’s a new album to be heard. And oh, what an album it is…

If you’re new to Insomnium, here’s a little bit of what to expect: extremely melodic guitar work, guttural vocals, amazing lyrics, and hard-hitting drums, all tied together underneath a crushing, doomy atmosphere. While most of their works have followed that same formula, this is anything but repetitive; truly unique is a band that can have their albums listened to in a vacuum, knowing both what you’re going to hear and discovering something new to enjoy each time. This time around, it’s a layer of keyboards to add to the already thick sound, but they’re actually used properly, going straight into the final product rather than meddling around in territory owned by the guitars. Prominent synth leads are very rare. So, no Soilworking about on this album.

Being an avid fan of post-rock, I really appreciate it when guitars, you know, actually DO something, and do it for a reason. This is where One for Sorrow scores, and scores in bunches: the melodies here are beyond contagious, sticking in your head from the very first listen. It’s not like they’re simply slapped in there to make the music appealing, either; these melodies are genuine, telling all sorts of stories as they gracefully weave throughout the arrangements. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that Ville Friman and Ville Vanni make their instruments “talk,” although it’s cliché. Just listen to the last couple of minutes of “Song of the Blackest Bird” and tell me you don’t really feel each of those notes. Beautiful, simply put.

The other area in which Insomnium has always excelled is the vocal department, and things are no different this time around. Niilo Sevanen has a very distinctive growl, being very deep and broad while retaining emotion that only elite vocalists (Mikael Stanne comes to mind) can convey. Once again, he’s not growling just for kicks; he’s growling because it accents everything else perfectly. From the ending of “Lay the Ghost to Rest”:

“I'm in the thousand winds that blow In the circling flight of blackbird In the stars that shine at night In the last dying rays of light Be gone sorrow, leave your dead behind Stay away grief, lay the ghosts to rest”

Absolutely dripping with sorrow (great fit with the album title, too). While clean vocals are also employed on this album, they aren’t used in a way that recalls poppy song structures or “singing because we can”. The cleans aren’t great, especially in comparison to the growling, but what they bring to the overall feeling is certainly valued.

The final pieces to this masterful puzzle are the moments when Insomnium takes it down a few notches. The mellow passages scattered throughout are wonderfully done, giving the music that extra kick of power, but not nearly enough to a point where they get boring or tedious. Better yet, the clean guitar acts almost as a “second voice” for the despair-filled lyrics, adding a whole new dimension to the stories within the songs. Case in point, the instrumental: normally I hate these things, especially in the middle of an album where they kill momentum, but “Decoherence” works in conjunction with the mood almost flawlessly, building upon the journey so far rather than impeding it.

Songs? I don’t know. There really isn’t any filler on this album. While I wish that “Weather the Storm” (featuring the aforementioned Stanne) was included on the normal edition, it doesn’t make for a good closer, unlike the excellent title track. My favorite would have to be “Only One Who Waits,” which showcases pretty much everything I’ve outlined: infectious melodies, a killer voice spitting killer lyrics, and an acoustic passage that’s beyond tasteful. Other than that, it might be a good idea just to put this thing on shuffle and enjoy the hell out of it.

I don’t like giving out 5 star ratings. I like giving out 5 star ratings to newly released albums even less. But here, I feel that no less would be justified. One for Sorrow has very, very little that is actually wrong with it, and should be at the top of every metal fan’s wish list this coming holiday season. A must-have, certainly!

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more than 2 years ago
The new album ONE FOR SORROW is out-of-this-world, enjoy INSOMNIUM !!!!!

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