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Metal - Released April 29, 2014 | Century Media

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Metal - Released October 4, 2019 | Century Media

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« The concept of the album is to delve deep into the heart of the Finnish melancholy. We’ve been inspired by some of the bleakest and saddest songs, poems and tales that truly capture the essence of northern gloom. Land where the frost ravages the harvest and creeps inside the souls, summer ends before it even starts, wife leaves, little brother dies in snow on a Christmas morning, and the golden days of youth are forever gone. So there are echoes of Harmaja, Rautavaara, Vainio, Peltoniemen Hintriikka and of course our own petty, miserable lives. » (Insomnium) All is said. With four composers in the Finnish band the sound of Insomnium is now richer and more versatile than ever before. In the name of Nordic collaboration the Swedish wizard Jens Bogren has been doing the mixing and mastering and made "Heart Like a Grave" the best sounding Insomnium album ever. This eighth opus is the first where the guitarist Jani Liimatainen features.
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Metal - Released September 23, 2016 | Century Media

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Metal - Released September 26, 2012 | Century Media

While they've never exactly qualified as paparazzi targets, the members of Finnish gothic death metal ensemble Insomnium always seem to keep a pretty low profile between albums, happily buggering off to their respective caves for hibernation or whatever it is they do up there in the frozen north. All jesting aside, when the band eventually resumes its rock & roll existence, a grand reentrance is almost de rigueur, and fifth album One for Sorrow's deliberate, slow-rising intro piece, "Inertia," delivers just that, via minimal echoes and ghostly cymbals that evolve through marshal rhythms and murmured growls into the recognizable blend of thundering riffs, lush synths, and spine-tingling howls that define the Gothenburg metal style. Yes, its true that the Fins continue to tinker cautiously with that style's basic ingredients here, as they did on 2009's Across the Dark, resulting in the dominant clean singing of "Meandering Through the Shadows" and the processed techno beats strapped onto dreamy instrumental "Decoherence." But, by and large, Insomnium still seem happy to cater to genre loyalists and other sticklers to tradition with alternately brutal and morose mini-epics like "Song of the Blackest Bird" and "Lay the Ghost to Rest," as well as multiple examples of melo-death-by-numbers. Some are kick-drum-happy bruisers barked with Cookie Monster fervor and streaked with serpentine synth accoutrements ("Only One Who Waits," "Every Hour Wounds," Regain the Fire"); others complex studies in dark and light, both vocal and instrumental ("Unsung," the title track); yet all have their modest rate of innovation justified by Insomnium's reliably high-caliber songwriting and performance. So while some observers may argue that One for Sorrow appears to lack quite as many strong, irresistible melodies as 2006's career peak, Above the Weeping World, Insomnium's sheer mastery of their chosen craft is bound to satiate most supporters for now. [Shortly after One for Sorrow's release, it was announced that Insomnium's founding lead guitarist, Ville Vänni, was departing to focus on his career as a surgeon (!), to be replaced by former Omnium Gatherum member Markus Vanhala.] ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released September 7, 2009 | Spinefarm Records UK

Although Sweden and Norway are the first countries that come to mind when one thinks of Scandinavian metal, Finland has turned out to be an impressive player as well -- impressive for black metal, impressive for folk metal, impressive for goth metal, and impressive for death metal. Insomnium have epitomized the melodic side of Finnish death metal and they continue in that vein on Across the Dark. This 2009 release isn't a radical departure from Insomnium's previous albums, but there is one noticeable difference: this time, they incorporate some clean vocals -- which are provided by Jules Näveri (who, in European metal circles, is known for his contributions to the bands Profane Omen, Misery Inc., Burning Empire, and Enemy of the Sun). However, Näveri's clean vocals take a back seat to the extreme vocals of Niilo Sevänen, and Sevänen continues to favor a deep, guttural, "Cookie Monster" growl. Unfortunately, Sevänen still makes Insomnium's lyrics difficult to understand at times; that was a problem on previous Insomnium discs and is a problem on Across the Dark as well. But all things considered, this is an engaging, nicely crafted effort. Insomnium's melodies and harmonies are undeniably attractive, and their ability to combine aggression with nuance and intricacy serves them well. A lot of that aggression comes from Sevänen, whose Cookie Monster vocals are fun to listen to even though one wishes that he were consistently easy to understand. If Sevänen didn't come between the listener and the lyrics as often as he does, Across the Dark might have been a great album instead of merely a good one. But this 45-minute CD has more pluses than minuses -- and despite its imperfections, Across the Dark is well worth hearing if one has a taste for Nordic death metal that is unapologetically melodic. ~ Alex Henderson
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Metal - Released August 9, 2006 | Spinefarm Records UK

When bad boys mature, they don't necessarily quit being bad boys, but they do become more complex and multi-faceted. They may evolve into the deep-thinking Pedro Almodóvar of All About My Mother, Talk to Her and Bad Education rather than the younger Almodóvar, who had so much fun with screwball dark comedies like What Have I Done to Deserve This and Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down. They may evolve into the Marlon Brando of The Godfather, instead of the punky young Brando of A Streetcar Named Desire. And in death metal, that quest for maturity has given us the nuanced world of melodic death metal -- a world that death metal's stubborn, myopic purists denounce as watered down, but a world in which engaging albums like Above the Weeping World are created. Anyone who doubts that death metal has more than one flavor (ultra-fast, amelodic and consistently vicious) needs to give this 52-minute CD a very close listen. Insomnium's sense of melody and harmony is striking. Exquisitely crafted, the songs on Above the Weeping World demonstrate that the term "melodic death metal" is no oxymoron for Insomnium. The most extreme thing about this Finnish band continues to be Niilo Sevänen's lead vocals; some singers in melodic death metal (and its very close relative symphonic black metal) offer an extreme-vocals/clean-vocals contrast, but the vocally uncompromising Sevänen sticks to a straight-out-of-hell type of growl. Unfortunately, Sevänen still makes the lyrics hard to understand; that was a problem on Insomnium's 2003 recording Since the Day It All Came Down, and it remains a problem on their follow-up Above the Weeping World. For that reason, this 52-minute disc only merits a good rating instead of an excellent one. But even so, Above the Weeping World is an enjoyable, worthwhile effort that fans of melodic death metal need to be aware of. ~ Alex Henderson
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Metal - Released April 30, 2002 | Spinefarm Records UK

Although Insomnium hailed from Finland, their debut album, 2002's In the Halls of Awaiting, placed them squarely in the tradition of archetypal melodic death metal bands of the Gothenburg, Sweden school (a "school" not known for offering remedial courses for adequate command of the English language, clearly), whose leading lights appeared to be vacating the premises, so to speak, at the time. Certainly that was the case for Insomnium's biggest inspiration, In Flames, who had plowed the furrow long enough to feel the cold hands of stagnation encroaching upon their necks, and were currently attempting to reinvent themselves with foreign electronics and even the dreaded nu metal (see this same year's checkered Reroute to Remain opus). And Insomnium, for good or ill, appeared dead set on stepping into the breach with no hesitation and armed with music bearing uncanny similarities to that of their heroes. In fact, standouts from their first album, such as "Ill-Starred Son" and "The Elder," could have very well passed for Whoracle or Jester Race outtakes, while weaker, far more abundant carbon copies like "Black Waters" and "Journey Unknown" wouldn't even have made it past the demo stage, they recycled so many ideas. Instead, it was only via sporadic departures from this formula like "Shades of Deep Green" and the epic title track -- with their occasional clean baritone vocals, more dramatic slower tempos, and gently melancholy melodies (all reminiscent of goth metal and darkwave) -- that Insomnium would start feeling their way forward, almost blindly, toward a more distinctive sound, better suiting their talents. That sound would start to pay dividends on 2004's sophomore Since the Day It All Came Down and achieve beautiful fruition on 2006's Above the Weeping World, but, by comparison, In the Halls of Awaiting sounds like nothing more than a failed practice run, worthy of discovery only by Insomnium completists. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Metal - Released April 5, 2004 | Spinefarm Records UK

Mention the Scandinavian death metal/black metal scene to someone who doesn't follow it closely, and he/she is likely to think of a bunch of amelodic, occult-obsessed bands that engage in bombast for the sake of bombast and brutality for the sake of brutality. That's the stereotypical view of Nordic death metal/black metal, and many of the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish bands in that scene happily live up to it. Some Scandinavian death metallers, in fact, are honest enough to admit that their scene can be something of an inside joke (much like techno/rave music). But the '90s and 2000s have also seen a wave of Nordic death metal bands that are highly melodic, and Finland's Insomnium is part of that trend. The most extreme thing about Since the Day It All Came Down is the vocal style; lead singer/bassist Niilo Sevänen sings in a deep, guttural, demonic-sounding growl that exemplifies the stereotypical image of death metal singing. But other than that, this 2004 release isn't so extreme. Musically, Insomnium owes a lot to '80s power metal favorites like Queensrÿche, Iron Maiden, Savatage, and King Diamond -- like those headbangers, Insomnium provides metal that is forceful yet musical and intricate -- and early thrash is an influence as well. If Sevänen favored a more conventional vocal style, this CD would probably be considered power metal or thrash instead of death metal/black metal. At times, Sevänen's growling style makes the lyrics difficult to understand -- that's one thing Insomnium needs to work on. But the CD's pluses by far outweigh its minuses, and admirers of bands like At the Gates and Khold will find Since the Day It All Came Down to be a respectable, generally well-crafted example of the melodic death metal style. ~ Alex Henderson
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Pop - Released April 15, 2014 | Century Media