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Insomnium, the Finnish melodic death/ doom metallers have once again did it; after two years since the release of their masterpiece "Across the Dark", they have once again proved their immense creativity and, fortunately, their musical maturity; "One for Sorrow" should be proclaimed the most sorrowful and crestfallen album in melodic death' s history. Its crushing riffs, incredibly sad (yet intricate) leads and poetical lyrics make it Insomnium's Opus Magna, of course, until the next album, which I am very sure is waited by lots and lots of Insomniacs.
"One for Sorrow" is an almost perfect album, from the start to the very end. It is a journey through the band's gloomy Universe, through their labyrinthine ideology on life, death and what is beyond it; for instance, take the song "Through the Shadows" (which is definitely one of their best songs they've written); in "Through the Shadows" the feeling of sorrow is do damn vivid, that is very likely to make you cry, and this feeling is feeded and kept alive all its almost five minutes, but somehow, they are somehow more optimistic than before; now, suffering is there to prove that there is a light, indeed, at the end of the tunnel. Musically speaking, the song is a masterpiece: heavy rhythm guitar riffs (as it was expected from the animal that is Ville Vänni), which build up very nicely in the chaos of the infernal lead guitar and the thundering wall of drums. I think this song is quite like the epitome of what Insomnium was supposed to sound from the start: gloomy, yet optimistic and rageful.
"Song of the Blackest Bird" and its kindred suffering-infested songs "Regain the Fire" and "Lay the Ghost to rest", are veritable pieces of the doomish influence that slowly takes the role of somewhat like a Father-Figure in the band's songwriting process; Insomnium impressed me through their music, and they impressed me even more through their lyrics: I think that no one will throw rocks and mud at me if I say that there are some Finnish metal bands that have pathetic English lyrics, because it is true, but this is not the case with Insomnium. At least not entirely, because there are a few mistakes in their lyrics too. Insomnium's lyrics are to be appreciated, because they are beautifully written and they sure do make some sense to those who reads them. One great example in this respect are the lyrics of one of my personal favorites of the album, namely "Song of the Blackest Bird"; Insomnium are talking about Death's bird, supposedly a raven and the malicious effects of its flight above the world.
Once again, Niilo Sevanen delivers his gutural growls all over the songs, and he does it very well. There is emphasis on the lyrics that are needed to be emphasized, there is whispering and talking where the lyrics have something more meaningful to express; with other words, his performance is almost pristine. At a moment, I feared that the clean vocals that they started to employ somewhere around "Across the Dark" will take over and turn Insomnium to, what I thought back then, basically another shitty melodic death/ doom metal band. For that, I deserve to burn in hell. There are certain passages with clean voice, indeed, on the album, but they fit perfectly the overall mood of the album and are employed precisely when they should; Ville Friman is not just a bestial guitar player, but a very good singer, too. He has quite a range in his voice and it seems that his voice was worked upon especially for and just for Insomnium; his voice is highlighted on songs like "Through the Shadows" and "One for Sorrow". So far, so good.
Insomnium has proved itself to be one of the greatest Finnish metal bands ever, and "One for Sorrow" is definitely, without a doubt a new turn in their style, but hopefully, this turn will turn out to be of good nature. I am not going to say this is a must-have album in your private collection if you are a fan, because I am myself a great Insomnium fan and I do not have it. Romania is a shitty country, son. And expensive. I did not give the maximum mark to this album, because of the simple fact that its quality is, I don't know...somehow, fuzzy; there is a certain buzz on it I can't put my finger on. Now, we have to wait for their next album; hopefully, they will work at it after they finish the tour with Children of Bodom, as special guests. Long life, Insomnium!