Review Summary: Quite the fix for any melodic metal fiend.
Upon hearing death metal for the first time, I was immediately attracted to its more melodic side. Bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquility proved they could still pack a punch while incorporating melody with beautifully harmonized guitars. I became addicted; always searching for my next metal fix. Enter Insomnium. Hailing from Finland, the melodeath outfit have released five full length albums, all of which have been met with praise. Perhaps their most impressive of these releases is 2006's "Above The Weeping World." Mixing the sweet and the sour, their third effort is full of energy and aggression, yet it's atmospheric and beautiful at the same time.
The eerie sound of a piano playing and rain in the background of 'The Gale' sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the album. About a minute into the song we hear the singer whisper "when it rains, it pours like hell". After the shivers pass through your spine instruments then explode into full force with impressive drums and tasteful guitars. The next two songs get right to the point and start with the most harmonious riffs on the record. 'Draw to Black' is one of the most enjoyable songs. The vocalist fits the song extremely well and in no way do his growls feel forced. If anything he is one of the more competent vocalists I've heard for the genre which helps give Insomnium a refreshing sound.
There's no doubt in my mind that Insomnium learned from the best. Drawing influences from the likes of At The Gates or In Flames, they have crafted an album that will please fans of 90's melodeath. That's not to say they aren't unique in their own right, however. If you listen carefully you will notice some slight folk influences on certain songs and the band has even cited black metal as an influence. Their willingness to try different things makes them one of the most diverse and enjoyable bands I've heard in the genre.
At the end of the day, "Above The Weeping World" is melodic death metal at it's finest. It's dark, yet beautiful. Songs like 'At the Gates of Sleep' or 'In the Groves of Death' contain heavenly orchestrated acoustic guitar sections along with the usual harmonious guitars making them two tracks worth checking out. To be honest though, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't listen to the album in its entirety. Each song has something special in store for the listener which makes for an exciting journey into the realm of melodic death metal that's not only worth remembering, but revisiting.