Insomnium
In the Halls of Awaiting


4.5
superb

Review

by Kyle Ward STAFF
November 28th, 2006 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


These days, real metal is harder and harder to come by. However, along comes Insomnium; my oxygen while I am drowning in a sea of hardcore and metalcore. These 4 men from Finland just come out shooting, and never let their finger off the trigger. The music which these guys play is so pure, so uninfluenced by trends or whats cool, its liberating. I find Insomnium's first release, "In The Halls Of Awaiting" to be one of the peaks of metal in an age where there are so many posers. Let us start by introducing the 4 members of Insomnium.

Who They Are
Ville Friman â€" Guitar
Markus Hirvonen â€" Drums
Niilo Sevänen â€" Vocals, Bass
Ville Vänni â€" Guitar

Im really not sure if I have ever heard a debut album this mind-blowing, this unexpected. Insomnium made me wonder how I ever could have loved Melodic Death without hearing them. Really though, any person who enjoys Melodic Death Metal or similar genres will have to take a serious look at this one. I believe this album to be slightly stronger than their second album, "Since The Day It All Came Down", because of the originality. Before hearing this, I never heard this kind of metal played this way, with fierce, growling death vocals on top of highly melodic, intricate riffing. The vocals are lower, more unrefined, and perhaps even better than bands like Dark Tranquillity or In Flames. I know I personally enjoy them more.

The CD opens with "Ill Starred Son". It will take you no more than one listen to know exactly what In the Halls of the Awaiting is all about. If you don't figure it out on "Ill Starred Son," you will for sure on the next mind blower, "Song Of The Storm". This song has a beautiful, yet heavy riff to open it, before being torn open my Niilo's crushing vocals. There are also riff changes aplenty, with enough different leads to make even the pickiest of metalheads rejoice.

"Medeia" begins with 45 seconds of awesome guitar work before we are yet again ambushed by the inhuman shout of Niilo, but this track, along with many others, incorporate a haunting whisper for a few verses, which adds a brooding and melancholic feel to the entire CD, and the lonely and ominous album artwork (which I must say I absolutely love) just packs some more punch. Only a band from the swamps of Finland can do it this way.

"The Elder" is also another highlight of the CD, with overpowering riffs and the chugging growl Insomnium is widley known for. "Black Water" continues the furious pace, and "Shades of Deep Green" has easily the best outro I've heard.

The closure of this CD is not to be forgotten, with the 11 minute epic of "In The Halls Of Awaiting". I've never heard a band nail the long songs with such relentless force, the only one which even comes close is Opeth. This song should be a model for almost all metal bands to use, on how to master the long player. If you are going to do an 11 minute song, you have to keep it varied and interesting, without losing the heaviness throughout the entire song, which Insomnium has done without flaw in this track.

Sure, some people may be turned off by the death-like growls of Niilo, but I thought that just added to the originality of this album, one which shouldn't be overlooked by any fan of the genre. I'd recommend starting off your trek into the world of Insomnium with this CD, because if you enjoy this one, you will no doubt enjoy the other 2. This one is easily in my top favorite CD's, and there is no excuse not to give this a listen.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Eakflanderyof
November 28th 2006


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is a pretty good review. You could have gone a little more in depth about the songs, but I think you described the album pretty well with this fairly short review. Also, I must say that this album is amazing. Definitely a must-have for melo-death fans. Niilo's vocals are powerful and all the riffs are awesome. The acoustic passages are almost even better than the electric riffs.

loathed
November 29th 2006


174 Comments


Insomnium is incredible, they have some really tear jerking melodies...I might want to check this album out. I have their 2nd and latest album.

wikuk
November 29th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your opening paragraph was very awesome. Decent review however, as some more information of the overall sound and songs would be nice. I only know The Elder from this album, but I have their second, which is brilliant.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2006


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the comments, I had a limited time frame to write this review so I kept it short, sweet and to the point. I'll go back and add more details soon.

(I love my first paragraph also =D)

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

freudianslipknot
December 7th 2006


803 Comments


I am listening to Dark Tranquillity's "The Gallery" for the third time in two days as I write, and I noticed you'd reviewed this so I jumped over - I tend to follow reviewers around. Well your review is good enough to convince me to try and get a hold of this. That 11 minute plus song sounds intriguing.

Allalows
December 7th 2006


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep, you are right. In the Halls of Awaiting is an awesome track.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2006


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh yeah, its probably one of my favorite, if not my favorite, track on this CD. There is nothing I like more than a well executed long player. Opeth can do it but sometimes they tend to get slow and repetitive. Insomnium nail that song, they keep changing vocal styles and riffs throughout the song, going from electric to acoustic guitar, and just keep you guess whats next. Fabulous song.

freudianslipknot
December 8th 2006


803 Comments


Couldn't find this - ended up buying above the weeping world - excellent album - which basically means I'm going to have to keep looking for this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2006


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im gonna buy Above The Weeping world in the next few weeks, I can't wait, I hear its really really good.

Yazz_Flute
March 2nd 2007


18786 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It is, though it's the own album of theirs I own so far

I just downloaed the song "The day it all Came Down" on itunes and it really kicks ass. I've listened to it 10 times in one day so far.

Digging: Finch (US) - Say Hello to Sunshine

Mikesn
Emeritus
March 2nd 2007


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Since The Day It All Came Down is the only album I've got from them. But it's really good.

Aeksis8745
August 22nd 2007


448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just got this and have to say its unbelivable. Right now i'm really into song of the storm, black waters, and the title track.

Yazz_Flute
November 27th 2007


18786 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fantastic album, especially for a debut. However, i think the two albums following this are slightly better, because there are a few tracks here that don't seem up to insomnium's capabilities. (namely "Dying Chant")

That being said, the rest of the album is so damn solid, im having trouble picking out highlights, other than the title track of course.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2007


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Everything, every song, Insomnium has done is fantastic.

rasputin
November 27th 2007


14546 Comments


I've been wanting to get into this band. Is this album a good place to start?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2007


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, you could choose any of their albums and it would be a good place to begin. Just get your hands on anything by this band you can.

rasputin
November 27th 2007


14546 Comments


cheers, i'll do that

Zoo
November 27th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In my eyes, they are the kings of melodeath. And yes, over DT, too.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2007


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im inclined to agree with you.

botb
November 27th 2007


9686 Comments


I don't think I've ever heard this record and considering I love most melodeath stuff I need to.



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