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Not your run-of-the-mill Finnish melodeath. . . - 98%

MalignantTyrant, June 26th, 2012

Fucking Insomnium. . . what's not to say about them? They are one of the best melodic death metal acts to come out of Finland in recent years. They've managed to go beyond the traditional Finnish melodic death metal blueprint laid out by bands like Kalmah or Children of Bodom, and they've done a damn good job of doing it, too. This is their debut album, and it certainly surprised me in many ways when I first heard it. I did not expect the superior songwriting that floors me still to this day nor did I expect it to be as good as it was all around.

The production is quite inferior to their later albums, but it is still salvageable. The bass and rhythm guitars are both very well present throughout this album and the mixing is just right. The vocals I will get to later, but they're also mixed in perfectly as opposed to their next album in which it's mixed in a bit too damn loud. I forget who exactly the producer was on this album, but if I was to record a melodic death metal album, I'd go to that person.

The music itself is brilliantly crafted. It is atmospheric while still maintaining the sweeping and prominent melodies of the guitars. I hardly doubt that these guys picked up a Norther or a Kalmah album and said 'These guys really influenced me, maybe I should copy them', no I think that they took up their own banner and made their own music from scratch. There is a tinge of Gothenburg influence, but it isn't as apparent here as it is on One For Sorrow.

The vocals are truly excellent and they stand out in every way. This guy isn't the greatest vocalist, but he damn sure gets the job done. His voice isn't a guttural, deep Glen Benton bellow nor is it a high pitched Thomas Lindberg wail, it's about in between. He enunciates his words while still retaining brutality as well. His vocal performance here is better than The Day It All Came Down for sure. I don't think that he could replicate his performance here ever again, either.

The drumming is varied and well-done. It utilizes a very rhythmic style and it is quite unique for sure. I think that the drummer tried to keep it toned down but still make sure that he left a lasting impact, and he most certainly did.

I'd say that this is probably one of Insomnium's best and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in melodeath that doesn't stick to the standards.