Review Summary: Awesome melodic death metal...You will be hooked onto this instantly
When you hear of melodic death metal, what comes to mind? bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates etc? Well, if you haven't heard of Insomnium, you owe yourself to check this band out, especially if you like the 3 aforementioned bands.
This is Insomnium's third LP and the follow up to the largely "successful" on the day it all came down. There are moments on this album that are melodic as hell, progressive, sometimes eerie, and even times where it makes you bang your head so much to the heaviness.
The album opens with the sound of rain pouring, although some may be skeptical of that, i find it quite interesting, combining well with the sound of the piano playing for a moment, which is by the way, abit depressing if you ask me. Then as the piano gets louder, the heavyness comes in. The distortion kicks in and the drums pound away. As soon as i heard the guitar riff to this song, i knew i was in for something special. Overall, "The Gale" is a good if not fantastic instrumental piece to start off the album, which leads into the single, "Mortal Share". and by gawd, what a song...a lead riff starts to play over some rythmic and it builds up to the drum beat that plays until the climax at about 00:25 into the song. You are then blasted with a growl that is so bad ass as a highly melodic lead guitar riff starts to play, its rather heavy as well, and you cant help but be blown away and headbang your way through it. The verses to the song reminds me alot of In Flames, combined with the riffing style of At The Gates. This is a must listen for any melodic death fan. "Mortal Share" grabs and hooks you by the neck unrelentlessly not letting go until the end of the song.
"Drawn In Black" is a very nice piece, coupled with acoustic progressions that are soothing and useful, rather than being there just for the fun of it. Although this is 6 minutes long, it doesnt bore throughout. Again, there are very clear influences here, Dark Tranquillity to name, but theres just something to it that makes you aware that its still Insomnium.
There are a number of acoustic/progressive parts that you will find in this album, obviously the already mentioned "Drawn In Black". "Change in Heart" starts off with some acoustic passages before becoming heavy with a lead melody over it. and yet another acoustic passage in the middle of the song, and wow, what a progressive piece. Such beauty in it, which leads straight back to the heavy distortion and another very folk inspired melody.
"The Killjoy" starts off with what sounds more like a pop-rock song, then the melodic stuff comes in and starts off this killer of a piece. The verses are rather alright, and the transition part from the verse to chorus is pure awesomeness, although its that tad simple. The chorus is very catchy, which makes you sometimes want to sing along, but then again, you may headbang to it. A very infectious melody is played here, but then again, those infectious melodic riffs are everywhere on this album, arent they? Yet another acoustic part comes in at the 3:40 mark, to lead it right into a final chorus. One of the best on this album IMO.
"Devoid of Caring" and "In The Grooves of Death" are just mainly your standard melodic death songs. The melodic hooks are there to once again grab you by your throat, never seeming to let go. "In The Grooves of Death" starts off with one heck of a acoustic passage, which then leads to a distorted riff being played over the acoustic piece, before the acoustic piece eventually fades out, replaced by a beautiful melody.
Overall, this is an awesome album. Very listenable throughout, and may be quite addictive. If clean vocals are your type, then im sorry my friend, you will find none/very little of them here. Niilo uses a sort of a death grunt throughout the whole album, with the exception of some acoustic passages. Ville, both of Friman and Vanni fame, stands out musically in the band. Their ability to play such hooky melodic riffs are good. They may not be your typical technical death metal shredder, but im sure they're pretty good at what they do. Most of the riffs here are focused more on emotion rather than technicality. The bass is suprisingly, quite audible in this album. Not only on one song, but consistently throughout the whole album. Nille may not play very technical bits, but i guess he does his job well. Markus does okay behind his drum set. Again, he may not be the most technical of drummers, but there are some interesting fills here and there and he never seems to lose it. Some furious double bass kicks are found here, but not as common as those you'd find in the NWOAHM.
I wouldnt want to recommend any songs, because you need to hear the whole thing really. This is IMO, melodic death at its peak. This is a must have for fans of At The Gates, Amon Amarth, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and for all fans of melodic metal in general. But just for the sake of it...
In The Grooves of Death
Drawn to Black
Heck, im complied to almost list every song down, because there are some really excellent parts in every song that makes it worth it to listen to. But this is the final list.
Melodic metal at its peak/best
Acoustic/progressive passages are done very well, beautiful
Vocal style suits the songs
Soothing, and yet heavy and infectious at the same time
bass is audible!
There are just too many pros to list out, but these are just some of it
Lack of variety in vocals
Only 9 songs
Melodic death at its best...rock on!