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Excellent Start for an Excellent Band... - 95%

ict1523, May 6th, 2005

Insomnium is one of my favorite bands, and for many reasons. They have a very unique and thick sound despite some saying this album sounds a lot like In Flames, they have melodic yet heavy and very sad but atmospheric music, and they have excellent vocals. This album not only has awesome sounding songs, but the lyrics are very deep, well thought out, and have meaning. They sound very sincere. This is a good album to listen to when you have nothing to do. Just sit down, listen to it, and it will almost make you reflect on your own life. It is that powerful. I can picture myself sitting in the woods in the middle of Finland and just listening to this album. The art in the CD booklet also helps if I am following the lyrics.

I said before that Insomnium has a very thick sound. I don't know how to quite explain it, but it must be something in the production. It almost seems like like all the instruments and vocals blend together very well to create a very powerful sound.The music on this album may not be too complicated most of the time, but I could care less as long as it sounds awesome. The melodies are all different ranging from sad and almost depressing to pretty fast but still sad. The acoustic transitions are also very well done and flow well with the song. I also love the transitions of melody from verses to choruses in some songs, like in "Medeia". They can change quite a bit from a slower paced and sad chorus to a wildly catchy fast speed chorus. Gives the album lots of variety, which there definitely is in this album.

There are no throwout tracks, however there are some highlights. "Ill Starred Son" is a more melodic and a fairly fast paced song, but the melodies here are very catchy, the melody isn't really high pitched for the most part, but it is also heavy at the same time and with the deep growling vocals it provides a nice effect. "Medeia" is definitely more of a sad song. It is still rather fast paced, but heavy with even harsher growls from Niilo Sevanen than what we usually get, this of course not including the parts where he whispers. There are some acoustic transitions here which feature Niilo whispering and it almost makes you feel the lyrics of the song even more. The acoustic parts on this song however are short lasting and not boring at all.

"The Elder" is another great song that is slower paced and features a lot of acoustic breaks. The acoustic melody sounds pretty interesting and gives me an image of a cloudy day in an empty town...very peaceful, that is until the song erupts with heavy guitars and loud growls. Lastly, "The Bitter End" is simply awesome. It starts out as almost something you'd expect from Nightwish with a very upbeat almost heavenly-like melody, but then it explodes with a loud and harsh growl from Niilo. The song is fast paced and melodic and I love the lyrics as well. There is one particular verse that is just awesome, not only because of the content of the lyrics, but because of the melody and how powerfully Niilo growls the words.

""Now it's the time of grieving
Reign of sorrow in my heart
All i have ever wanted
Is today forever gone
Bitter is the nightly silence
Bitter till the end of time
The sky grown ever darker
Through now she'll always be mine "

This album is very unique and I would not equate it with In Flames or any other melodic death metal bands at all. This is NOT Gothenburg crap, this is truly melodic death metal that owns. The songs on here are powerful, the production is great, the sound is thick, the vocals are not your typical death metal style, Insomnium is truly in another league with bands like Wintersun when compared to with other melodic death bands such as Dark Tranquility. If you are looking into Insomnium, this is a great album to start with as you will be able to hear Insomnium evolve in future albums.