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4.25 | 18 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2011


1. Inertia (3:43)
2. Through The Shadows (4:31)
3. Song of the Blackest Bird (7:29)
4. Only One Who Waits (5:17)
5. Unsung (5:04)
6. Every Hour Wounds (5:25)
7. Decoherence (3:18)
8. Lay the Ghost to Rest (7:46)
9. Regain the Fire (4:27)
10. One For Sorrow (6:07)

Total Time 53:07


- Markus Hirvonen / Drums
- Ville Friman / Guitars
- Niilo Sevänen / Vocals, bass
- Ville Vänni / Guitars

About this release

Century Media Records, October 17th, 2011

Thanks to UMUR for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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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