Insomnium
Ephemeral


3.0
good

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
September 24th, 2013 | 25 replies


Release Date: 11/19/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An EP that shows both sides of a band in transition

There are a lot of things about Ephemeral that don’t make a whole lot of sense. The trio of acoustic instrumentals that are the core of this EP flow together in a cohesive procession, however that doesn’t distract listeners from the fact that Insomnium are not firing on all cylinders in a few critical areas. The barren wasteland that is the title track is an embodiment of melodic death metal mediocrity, cycling from catchy chorus to catchy chorus without so much as a single unexpected lick to make your ears perk up in delight. However, there are also the warm acoustic tracks that bring back memories of the melancholy that permeated Insomnium’s back catalogue – but memories these should not be. The band crafted a bit of a departure from the sorrow-soaked melodies of their early albums with One For Sorrow, and if anything Ephemeral broadens that gap a bit more due in large part to the title track. Sure, the instrumentals are reminiscent of their former selves, but “Ephemeral” is a pit of nothingness where all melodic death metal clichés are compressed as if in a spiraling black hole, sucking them all in. Wrapped up in a suffocating production is a useless, chugging riff that backs the verses while a half-hearted melody sings with a hollow voice behind Niilo Sevanen’s deep growls to comprise a chorus with about as much emotional and artistic merit as a Michael Bay film.

It is a good thing, then, that what Ephemeral is really about is not its title track. “The Emergence”, “The Swarm”, and “The Descent” are a trio of acoustic pieces that right the ship and show that maybe Insomnium do still have what it takes to craft true emotion in a genre so devoid of it. “The Swarm” rivals “Resonance” from Since The Day It All Came Down for Insomnium’s best instrumental piece, with mellow and hopeful acoustic notes falling like rain from the strings, woven in with simple melodies to create a delightful listen. There is a similarity to all three tracks that gives the music a distinct sense of movement – a progression and maturity of a small idea first shown in “The Emergence” that becomes full-blown by the time “The Descent” rolls around, giving the album a sense of fulfillment that is so desperately needed. The instrumentals on Ephemeral are just that: ephemeral. They come and go quickly, but shimmer brightly and represent the talent that Insomnium are capable of. However, if tracks like “Ephemeral” are to be representative of what is to come, they need to step back and take a good look at what path they are walking down. Whether that track is just a brief aside remains to be seen, but those who listen to Ephemeral are better off skipping the title track and viewing this as a purely acoustic EP, and an evocative one at that.




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user ratings (58)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Manqaness24 (3.5)
Insomnium looks at the past and incorporates new ideas with old ones. The result is something we exp...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2013


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A frustrating EP

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2013


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Didn't know these guys were about to release something. I'll check this out because your description of the acoustic tracks makes them sound real good.

Keyblade
September 24th 2013


15040 Comments


Excellent review. Tells me all I need to know and that last line of the first paragraph is really
poignant.

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Alium

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2013


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks guys

Wizard
September 24th 2013


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

hollow voice behind Niilo Sevanen’s deep growls to comprise a chorus with about as much emotional and artistic merit as a Michael Bay film.

This line alone should drop your rating to a 1. Any mention of Michael Bay and his holocaust to film only frightens me.

Ace review. I have no idea why I even give stuff like this a chance anymore.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2013


14752 Comments


Damn is this really that bad?

Digging: Off Minor - The Heat Death of the Universe

Wizard
September 24th 2013


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I hate this band (minus their debut) and this is just like bottom of the barrel accessible melo-death. Maybe a little bias thrown in there.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
September 24th 2013


14752 Comments


Maybe a lil :P

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 24th 2013


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This line alone should drop your rating to a 1.


That line is only referencing one song - just 1/4 - of the EP. The instrumentals I enjoy very much.
Have you heard them or did you just hear the title track?

Shogun
September 25th 2013


419 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wonder if the record label change a few years back has anything to do with their transition to a more generic and accessible sound? Incidentally I actually enjoyed 'One For Sorrow' more than I did 'Across The Dark'.

In regards to their best instrumental, by a far reaching distance it would be 'Beyond The Horzion' for me, has one of my favourite Insomnium riffs on it!

Wizard
September 25th 2013


19523 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

That line is only referencing one song - just 1/4 - of the EP. The instrumentals I enjoy very much.
Have you heard them or did you just hear the title track?


Heard the instrumentals too and I was itching to turn it off. These guys do nothing for me. I need my melodeath in the same vein with Carcass.

I wonder if the record label change a few years back has anything to do with their transition to a more generic and accessible sound? Incidentally I actually enjoyed 'One For Sorrow' more than I did 'Across The Dark'.

Century Media has been going down a steep hill for years. That should explain something.

Duckman118
September 27th 2013


311 Comments


I actually enjoyed Ephemeral. It didn't sound like every other song they have made. Don't get me wrong though, I loved One For Sorrow and Across The Dark, but damn do they get repetitive. This was a more simple sound that they much needed, imo.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2013


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It didn't sound like every other song they have made.


You're right, it doesn't. It sounds like every other song everyone else has made.

Tyrael
September 27th 2013


20901 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It pains me a lot to give this such a low rating as I love this band to death

man...

nice review tho kyle

p04bunyan
September 27th 2013


1 Comments


yes it sounds like every other song everyone else has made but i feel they perfect and deliver that particular melo death sound better than anyone else even if it does sound generic and the lyrics are cliche and cheesy, surely you have to give them credit for that... cant think of any melo death band that delivers better than these guys. I would love a recommendation

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2013


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Try Garden of Shadows.

The production on "Ephemeral" is way too loud.

Duckman118
September 29th 2013


311 Comments


I mean it's not like I don't like their older stuff, they're one of the few melo death bands I enjoy.
It's just It's kind of refreshing to hear something they haven't done yet. Simple and generic it may
be, but I enjoy it none the less.

Acanthus
October 1st 2013


9543 Comments


Really nice review, haven't heard these guys in a bit but, as everyone else is mentioning, the acoustic tracks sound pretty neat.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

Iconoclast666
October 11th 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The single is pretty good and the instumentals offer and nice touch.

Its nothing mind blowing but its nothing bad.



05insomnium
October 16th 2013


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it's as much a 'single' as Insomnium will ever make, gives me 'Mortal Share' vibes. I just can't deny how catchy it is. However I miss those interludes and build ups of the longer songs that Insomnium offer, hope this shift isn't representative of the whole new album, that would be a shame.



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