Insomnium have released five amazing albums over the last decade (2002-2011),
making them one of the leaders of the modern melodic death metal movement.
Hence, expectations were bound to be high, when they announced their sixth album
and the band did not disappoint delivering a masterpiece in “Shadows of the
Melodic death metal as a genre, has grown far more diverse from the 90’s
Sweden scene where it was born, and Insomnium seem to have carved out their own
space with the immense soundscape their songs generate. The real strength of the
band lies in the perfect blend of melodic guitar lines with the guttural vocals
they create that takes the listener on an unforgettable journey.
The moment the opening intro track “The Primeval Dark” starts, the
melancholic feel of the album creeps in. A lone melodic guitar tune slowly
building up, perfectly paving the path for the rest of the album. The album
seamlessly shifts tempos between the heavier melodic death and atmospheric
parts, complementing the excellent growls by Niilo Sevänen with the soothing
clean voice of Ville Friman, and “While We Sleep” perfectly demonstrates this.
The song instantly connects with the fans, before fading off with into the
“Revelation”, “Black Heart Rebellion” and “Collapsing Words” show the
aggressive side of the band, with heavy and fast guitar riffs and crushing
double bass. These tracks are closest to the traditional melodic death metal,
while still maintaining their own atmospheric charm. There is no let up, as
Insomnium takes one through a gloomy journey, in the magical “Lose to Night”,
reminding the listeners of the golden era of Paradise Lost. The song has some
powerful clean chorus, which perfectly meshes in with the growls making it one
of the standout tracks on the album.
The almost 8 minute long “The River” is the longest track on the album and by
far the best. The band creates a breathtaking fusion of atmospheric sounds,
blast beats, guttural vocals, keyboard laden melody, epic chorus and clean
vocal, resulting in a masterpiece.
“Ephemeral” starts off with an odd electronic intro, before going into a
punchy chorus, reminiscent of the earlier Dark Tranquility albums. “The
Promethean Song” changes gear, going into a clean chorus with a great guitar
solo midway. The title track ends the album on a high, with a doom/gothic feel
with passages of spoken vocals in sync with the growls.
Shadows of the Dying Sun is another quality addition to the bands catalogue.
Each track having its own majestic elegance, with beautiful melodies,
melancholic atmosphere and a perfect blend of growls and clean vocals. Also
lyrically the album is very strong, with its inspiring and motivating lyrics.
The Finns have once again stamped their leadership in the genre, which is
becoming more crowded with every passing day, while at the same time expanding
their own boundaries.
Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal