Power of Metal.dk Review

Insomnium
Shadows of the Dying Sun
Rating
 
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 28 April, 2014
Playing time: 62:00
 


I know what you're thinking: why is Jason reviewing an Insomnium album? The band's very foundation is harsh vocals! Well, I have to admit that there are a few bands that I like despite the harsh vocals. Insomnium is one of these bands. I saw them live when they opened for Epica in Cleveland a few years ago, and I've been enthralled ever since because of their unique melodies. So, when I saw their new album "Shadows of the Dying Sun" releasing, I had to hear it.

Insomnium are certainly a progressive-leaning melodic death metal band. They feature heavy guitars, soaring lead guitars, incredible drumming, and both harsh and clean vox. The first thing that I noticed about Insomnium is their incredible ability to form clean, complex melodies from guitars alone. In fact, many of their melodies are far more mature than bands with keys or some other such instrument. Combine the melodic leads with the grinding, dark riffing and technical drums galore, and you will have a blackened sonic journey worth hearing. Unfortunately, the bass always seems to get lost in the mix, as there is just so much going on here.

The harsh vox are a typical dark raspy sound that I feel doesn't detract from the music. In fact, I quite like them by the end of the the album. However, the clean vocals are harmonies between Niilo Sevšnen (the primary vocalist) and Ville Friman (guitarist), and they are amazing. "Lose to Night" is almost completely clean vocally, and it happens to be my favorite track on the album. The music sounds so incredible, but even more amazing with the clean vox. Honestly, I really wish they'd do an album with all clean vocals.

That said, this album is amazing. Every song is melodically genius, from the beautiful intro "The Primeval Dark" to the constant barrage of technical mastery in "While We Sleep" and the rest of the tracks. My favorites besides "Lose to Night" are "The Promethean Song" and the title track, both of which feature stronger, more complex structures and more variety in softer and heavier sections.

Insomnium are a guilty pleasure for me, and "Shadows of the Dying Sun" is another treat, maybe even their best album. Not one track drags on too long. Not one track misses the melodic mark. The incredible, dark soundscapes serve to elevate the listener to an oddly beautiful complexity. Amazing work from these metallers, and I hope they find success in it.


Tracklist
01. The Primeval Dark
02. While We Sleep
03. Revelation
04. Black Heart Rebellion
05. Lose to Night
06. Collapsing Words
07. The River
08. Ephemeral
09. The Promethean Song
10. Shadows of the Dying Sun
11. Out to the Sea
Label: Century Media
Distribution: Universal (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 90/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 1 May, 2014
Website: www.insomnium.net