Insomnium
Since the Day It All Came Down


4.5
superb

Review

by circleofdeadchildren USER (18 Reviews)
January 29th, 2006 | 196 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


The melodic death metal subgenre is one quickly losing momentum in the metal world, and with good reason. Former mainstays like In Flames and Soilwork are rapidly degressing into more commercialized, less aggressive forms and there aren't too many bands coming in to pick up the slack. Granted, Dark Tranquillity is still rocking the way they always have, but there just isn't the fresh blood the style could really use.

Luckily, there's a group of Finnish dudes who go by the name of Insomnium who prove melodic death can still be a viable genre in the metal world. They formed in 1997, released two demos, and eventually landed on Candlelight Records, where they released their excellent In the Halls of the Awaiting in 2002. Two years later, they released Since the Day it All Came Down, an outstanding release that slipped in under my radar last season because I just couldn't find it for the longest time.

For a guy like me, Insomnium is truly a godsend. Why is that? Imagine a band that combines the vocal-stylings and song structures of Opeth with the melody, harmony, and riffs of Dark Tranquillity and older In Flames, a small dash of Amorphis, and then throws in a little bit of their own flair for good measure. Vocalist Niilo Sevanen has a nice thick, deep growl that manages to be aggressive, but not overwhelmingly brutal throughout the album. There are a number of licks on here that will take you back to In Flames' glory days, and plenty of soft, acoustic passages that will scream "OPETH!!!!" right in your ear. However, the band manages to combine all those elements with enough of their own flair, wrapped up in a very nice little package that definitely has a fair share of melancholy elements as well.

The album opens on a somber tone with "Nocturne" , a beautiful, soothing piano piece with some background orchestrations that would make a hell of a live intro for this band (if they don't already use it). It builds itself up slowly before the band comes crashing in with "The Day it All Came Down." Practically an antithesis of the opening track, "The Day it All Came Down" is a beautifully brutal track with some of the album's harsher vocals (controlled screams, more or less) over some Dark Tranquillity-esque harmonies. About midway through the track, things slow down briefly with a nice little acoustic interlude before crashing back into their melodic death assault. This pounding song definitely sets the pace for the remainder of the album, as its use of dynamics is very similar to what will be used throughout the album.

"Daughter of the Moon" is one of my favorite cuts on the album, and serves once again as a very nice feel of what Insomnium has to offer in terms of their songwriting. An acoustic intro, heavy riffs, acoustic passages, melodic leads and harmonies, a mixture of aggression and melancholiness, death growls, and whispers are all woven together to create an excellent piece of metal that calls forward the names of a number of prominent Scandavian bands while maintaining its own unique identity. The breakdown in the later stages of the track comes in very effectively, leading up to a nice 'lil gloomy solo that brings the track to its conclusion.

"The Moment of Reckoning" opens up heavy enough, but features a number of acoustic licks that feature some rare clean vocals before assaulting you once again with heaviness. Some of the acoustic parts in this track will definitely take you back to In Flames' glory days (especially the Whoracle era). "Bereavement" is a relatively thrashy song, effectively placed on the album to bring some speed and aggression into this painting of gloom. Prominent double bass drumming and palm muting make a triumphant appearance on here.

If anyone were to REALLY make an Opeth/Insomnium comparison, one listen to "Resonance" would be the first piece to your puzzle. A soothing little interlude smack near the middle of everything, "Resonance" is a relaxing piece that despite its style doesn't feel out of place on the album thanks to its overall style. So what exactly does any of that have to do with Opeth? Well, it's quite simple really - the main theme is pretty much identical to that of "For Absent Friends" off Opeth's Deliverance album. However "Resonance" is more complex and I think more interesting to listen to.

Of course the band can't come out of something so peaceful on a limp note, so it's safe to assume "Death Walked the Earth" is one of the heavier songs on the album (for the most part of course, as its got its fair share of soft parts as well..noticing a pattern?). If you bet on the heaviness of this song, you'd probably make a few bucks, as the band's aggression pulls you right back out of the minor trance "Resonance" left you in. At roughly the halfway point the band hits another clean-toned passage, with a relatively rocky feel to it before once again closing out with a distorted go-around.

"Disengagement", clocking in at 8:39, is once again a mixture of heavy, aggressive passages, and softer, more relaxing parts, and is written in a way that will make Mikael Akerfeldt give this band his blessings. With over 8 minutes to work with, the band treads through a number of different musical terrains, although they live on the gloomy side for the most part here. Obviously this song has an Opeth feel to it, but it is executed in a manner that is most definitely Insomnium. As the song ends itself on a somber note, the next track, "Closing Words" comes screaming in with a pretty spiffy lead. And for whatever reason, "Closing Words" is not the last song on the album either. I don't really know why, but whatever. "Closing Words" is a fast, heavy song that takes all the somberness of "Disengagement" and slaps it across the face.

The album's REAL closer, "Song of the Forlorn Son", is quite the atmospheric piece, all orchestral-like in the beginning and whatnot. The song's heavier parts are relatively slow, but still effectively powerful. And of course, they mix acoustic and electric segments to weave together a very solid conclusion to an excellent album.

It's not every day a band like Insomnium comes along, taking elements from some of the most prominent bands in a genre and still having a sound that is distinctively theirs, even in a genre that many consider already reached the peak of its originality. Insomnium's songs are carefully constructed throughout the album and show a good amount of maturity for this relatively young band. Everything on the album is weaved together in an outstanding little package that is both angry and somber at the same time.

In these days, with In Flames playing to the metalcore crowd, Soilwork putting out who the hell knows WHAT now, and At the Gates becoming more and more distant of a memory (reunion rumors have come up from time to time however), it's good to see there are bands Insomnium who are willing to keep the genre alive. Since the Day it All Came Down is a ridiculously solid album that proves melodic death still has some life to it.



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user ratings (540)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
myhigherpie (4.5)
one of the finest albums melodic death metal has to offer...

Thomas Michael Morris (4.5)
With classics like In Flames going sour, it’ was quite a refreshing moment as i stumbled upon Inso...

Bob (5)
This is not a metal album with melodies all over it. This is a melodic album with a metal sound unde...


Comments:Add a Comment 
circleofdeadchildren
January 29th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Feel Free to leave any comments..

Dead_Trench
January 29th 2006


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have immense respect for you for doing this album. I discovered Insomnium almost a year ago, and I could from first listen they are something special. Great album, this band is going to do great things.

Shadows
Moderator
January 29th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't say a whole lot right now except great review. I just listened to Nocturn and I'm one minute into The Day it All Came Down.

Dear god. I have found my new favorite band.

EDIT

Okay, I'm half way through Death Walked the Earth. These guys are officially one of my favorite melodic death bands. It's like a mix of In Flames, Amon Amarth, and Opeth. The way Nocturn flows into the title trackk was incredible. Everything is very heavy with a really defined melody, and the clean/acoustic breaks add a kind of serene ambience that accents the metal parts beautifully. Excellent work on the review, this album deserves a review this good.This Message Edited On 01.29.06

circleofdeadchildren
January 29th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad to hear that!

Shadows
Moderator
January 29th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just got In the Halls of Waiting too. I've heard that it isn't as good as this one, but is a bit heavier. I have high hopes after this.

circleofdeadchildren
January 30th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually prefered Halls of waiting.

Shadows
Moderator
January 30th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So far both are great, but I like this one a little more.

Silenius
January 31st 2006


305 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great cd, I really like the voice and the acoustic elements. Shades of Deep Green is an awesome song.

asheroth
March 1st 2006


130 Comments


The Day It All Came Down is catchy as all hell. I'll definitely have to check out some more of these guys. Big wrap to ShadowsFallen for putting me onto them :pThis Message Edited On 02.28.06

Blokus
June 9th 2006


155 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic review. I really liked it. This album is becoming one of my favorites...I love it

Blokus
June 12th 2006


155 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ugh...can anybody send me In the Halls of Waiting?This Message Edited On 06.12.06

wikuk
June 14th 2006


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

These guys are F*cking awesome. a guy at school gave me a copy (sorry... i guess) and i'm listening it now. incredible!

circleofdeadchildren
August 24th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I Added Mp3 Links.

Shadows
Moderator
August 24th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have you heard the new songs? Fucking incredible.

circleofdeadchildren
August 25th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What new songs?!?!?!?

Shadows
Moderator
August 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh man, I can't believe you haven't heard them! I've had the entire (brand new) album downloaded for quite some time now. I should hook you up with it sometime.

circleofdeadchildren
August 26th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what's the album called?

Shadows
Moderator
August 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Above the Weeping World

If you go to youtube you can watch the video for the song "Mortal Share". "The Killjoy" is also up on their myspace.

circleofdeadchildren
August 26th 2006


119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

are you going to review the album?

Shadows
Moderator
August 26th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep, I definitely am.




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