Review Summary: Insomnium strike Melodic Death metal gold once again with their third full length, Above the Weeping World.
Insomnium are a relatively popular band, and for good reason, they have all the brutality and melody to make a good band, and manage to have catchy riffs and music that is accessible enough for the mainstream public, I wouldn't be surprised if they became really famous.
From the start of the album, you know it isn't just gonna be the same old melodeath, with a fantastic opener in "The Gale" that really sets the mood and tone for the rest of the album. Speaking of mood, the theme of this album seems to be mourning, despair, sorrow, etc. That's really not a bad thing, considering it's not the kind you will find in an emo or metalcore song, but the authentically emotional kind, and yes, I know the word emotional gets thrown around a lot, but this one really deserves it. Take the lyrics from "Drawn to Black", for instance.
"Worthless the pledges, all vows but lies
Fateful her kisses, where a serpent hides
First beckoned to step from the twilight to glare
Then left in the dark for the demons to share"
The guys from Insomnium are such great lyricists, and that's one of the outstanding aspects of this album. Another illustrious feature of Above the Weeping World is the atmosphere, and boy is it grand, Insomnium paint a picture full of melancholy and despair with the music. They are a very "Doom"- oriented band, similar to Swallow the Sun, but not as much. The instruments just seem to blend together and weep.
Now, on to the music, which is phenomenal. The guitar duo of Ville Friman and Ville Vänni is outstanding, they put out marvelous riff after marvelous riff throughout the entirety of this album. A big downside, however, is that there is no solos except for I believe one in "The Killjoy", but they do shred, the riffs aren't your usual distorted crushing riffs, they have a lot of melody and are often done with one going over the other, most of the times one being clean and the other distorted, which sounds fantastic. The drumming of Markus Hirvonen is not phenomenal, but does it's job quite well, wwith some amazing beats every now and then, like the on the buildup at the end of "The Gale" and the one at the beginning of "Mortal Share" The highlight of the album for me, though, is the absolutely riveting vocals from Niilo Sevänen, his growls are so majestic, yet so brutal at the same time. He keeps great melody with the instruments are delivers a kickass performance all around, even experimenting with whispers and talking in some songs. I think if you are trying to get into Death Growls, this man should be your starter.
You're probably thinking why did I give this a 4 and not a "classic" rating, well, for one thing, it's not a classic, and for another, it's not perfect, it has it's flaws. The biggest flaw for me is the production, the cymbals seems to get in the way of let me think... EVERYTHING, they just wanna blend with everything and it is highly annoying, but not a deal breaker. Another drawback is the repetitiveness, too many riffs seem like they're going in the same direction, mainly during the faster parts. This is a minor issue, though.
Well, I recommend this album to fans of Death metal, Doom Metal, and Gothic Metal. It is really worth your money. It's also a great starting point for a newbie wanting to get into Death Metal. Don't jump right into "None So Vile", you might die.
In the Groves of Death
Drawn to Black