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Thoroughly enjoyable - 85%

Spawn_of_Cthulhu, March 10th, 2004

Insomnium’s In the Halls of Awaiting is a prime example of merely average musicians creating something that’s much more than the sum of its parts.

The music is nothing special on its own. The lead and rhythm guitars are very solid-sounding with lots of nice dual harmonies. The drumming is nothing to write home about, the fastest song on the album could be described as mid-paced at best. The vocals are a kind of gruff-sounding death growl and are actually understandable most of the time. Overall, the playing is very average.

Where this album really shines is its atmosphere. All that average musicianship I mentioned is combined with exceptional songwriting skills and beautiful lyrics to create a wonderfully melancholy listening experience. Each song is refreshingly evocative and emotional. For some reason everything clicks perfectly and makes what should to all intents and purposes be a mediocre melo-death album into a near-masterpiece. Wholeheartedly recommended.