How many albums have you listened to which gives you so much intense feelings and emotions it feels like the music was almost written for you? Having listened to alot of Melodic Death Metal, i can tell you that almost none have for me. Having gone through from Legendary Bands such as At the Gates to newer bands such as Scar Symmetry, although i love both of these bands, they don't connect with me emotionally. Only Dark Tranquillity's album 'The Gallery' ever got close to what i had been missing with intense speed, brutal melodic riffing, emotional solos and bridges with Stanne's finest vocal performance, with so much passion and emotion driven into the music. But even then something was missing, whilst classic's such as Lethe and Punish my Heaven made me feel more alive with metal than ever before, other tracks whilst extremely good, did not have the same intense emotional feeling i got with them afterwards. This was until i came across a new melo-death band i had heard much about but did bother to check out. I should have done it quicker. After some recommendations, i decided to check Insomnium's Above the Weeping World, I had high expectations, but nothing prepared me for what was about to come.
Every Single song deserves a mention, however some moments in the albumstick out as more memorable than others. 'The Gale' starts the album off with a very atmospheric feel to it, with Rain Drops falling from the sky, interesting piano notes then come in which adds to the atmospehere, before the first guitar riff comes in. It's very similiar to the piano notes before it but it works very well giving it a very epic feel before spoken vocals come in which were very haunting when i first listened to them, then the song explodes at around 1:30 with Nillio's trademark scream into the first real melody of the album, its very uplifting and gets better with each second. At first it seemed like any other instrumental, but its grown on me ever since, it rates up there with likes of In Flames early instrumentals, if not better.
After the Gale comes the very first Insomnium song i had ever listened to 'Mortal Share'. I noticed two things straight away with this song about Insomnium. Firstly the amount of genuine guitar melodies and crushing riffs they have in their arsenal, its relentless and breath taking, never letting up with slight melody changes so you never get bored, the riff at 2:41 is particularly stunning, its so uplifting, you cannot help but headbang in appreciation. The second thing i noticed is the vocals, whilst they may not be as diverse and ranged as some other vocalists in the genre, they are so powerful and brutal that they fit the music perfectly whilst maintaining a certain amount of originality. True, Nillio's vocal range is a little lacking but his vocals fit so well with the music in power and emotion that there is no reason to complain at all. However having said that, i am on the minority who think Mortal Share whilst a fantastic song is one of the weaker tracks of the album, if there is a weak track to name.
'Drawn to black' starts off slower but just as melodic as Mortal Share, this track posseses one of the catchiest choruses I have ever heard in Melodic Death Metal yet never once comes off as cheesy or over done, it fits perfectly with the song, this is one of the songs which you could sing along for days and never get bored, it's that good. This song slows down into slower riffing and also shows off another strong point of Insomnium, their acoustic passages and this one is played particularly beautifully fitting well with the dark whispering vocals of Nillio before going back into the seamless melodies and crushing screaming vocals.
'Change of Heart' opens up with one of the most heart melting acoustic riffs ive ever heard which simply leaves me lost for words before opening up with a mid paced riff before increasing in pace and the pummeling vocals kick in. This song shows the first signs of the acoustic's and the guitar melodies working very well together which adds extra depth to the music. Towards the end the opening acoustic riffs are seamed in with the guitar riffs which gives this song a very strong closing. An awesome song all around.
Insomnium's more progressive side is fully shown in 'At the Gates of Sleep', there are less brutal riffs involved in this song, which gives this song a much more progressive feel clocking in at around 7 mintues. Most of the riffs are mid-paced but still have that melodic feel which Insomnium do so well. Again the acoustics and guitar melodys blend together beautifully adding something extra to the song, the acoustics at 4:20 along with a excellently played baseline is one of the higlights of the song. The bass isn't given much more time to shine which is a shame seeing as most of the members are given time to shine. This song has another excellent outro which makes the song feel really complete and fulfilling.
The next 2 songs are the best off the album and really highlight the emotional feeling i get from this album.'The Killjoy' has a fantastic opening, the riff at 0:25 is superb and seams from the opening riff extremely well, it is one of the best examples from the album of Insomnium's ability to synch riff after riff after riff without ever going out of place. This song has one of the best solo's from the album, it's not overly-techincal or flash but fits with the emotions and the song perfectly, this is my type of solo, adding immense feeling to an already fantastic song. The song then breaks down into acoustics which has one of the best clean vocal parts of thealbum, its as haunting and dark as ever adding in a touch of sadness and depression into the song before it breaks back into melodies and nillio's screaming vocals, once again the end of the song doesnt leave you dissappointed.
'Last Statement' has to be one of the best songs i have heard in a while and is my favourite of the album. Most of the song is on par with the rest of the album however this song has the best acoustic and clean singing parts of the whole album, the acoustics have so much atmospehere and add so much tension before breaking into the chorus whilst the clean vocals are more sad and depressing than before but are portrayed perfectly by Nillio which fit well with Nillio's opposite screaming vocals, they are simply amazing to listen to because of how much it add's to the song. But where the song really picks up is from 4:10 onwards, the song breaks down into more acoustic riffs mixed in with some excellent guitar melody before hitting into my favourite moments from the entire album, the solo that comes after is one of the most emotionally charged i have ever heard, it gives me chills everytime i listen to it, Insomnium play amazingly well by letting the emotions of the song dictate how the solo is played, it fits with the rest of the song without being too over technical or pretenious, it shows you dont have to play at 100 mph to make incredible solos. The riffs after it as well are so powerful and are probably the best from the entire album. This is where Nillio's vocals really shine, they had so much power to the song, screaming out lyrics such as 'burn a candle for me when i die' and the unforgettable 'Don't forget me', it's so emotionally beautiful in every way, it's brutal, melodic, dark and above all full of power and emotion, this song fits everything i would want. I'm not sure if ill find another song like it.
I can't really add much more to what has already been said about the last two songs. 'At the groves of death' is simply one of the best song's off the album, its a 10 minute masterpiece which shows everything that is great about Insomnium.
'Devoid of Caring' has yet another amazing outro, it starts with a slow melodic riff which picks up more, but it's Nillio's vocals that take over, full of intent and passion which really add's to the melodic feel. The closing solo is another example of Insomnium's brilliant song writing, it comes in at just the right time and its absolutely stunning, i would say its the 3rd best solo from the album behind 'The Killjoy' and 'Last Statement'.
Overall this has to be the best Melodic Death album so far this Century. I will not go as far as saying they rank up with Legendary bands such as At the Gates and Dark Tranquillity just yet, but with albums like this, Insomnium could be rated among the Classic Melo-Death Bands in years to come.
Devoid of Caring
Change of Heart
Drawn to Black
At the Groves of Death