One For Sorrow

1. Inertia
2. Through the Shadows
3. Song of the Blackest Bird
4. Only One Who Waits
5. Unsung
6. Every Hour Wounds
7. Decoherence
8. Lay the Ghost to Rest
9. Regain the Fire
10.One for Sorrow

Niilo Sevänen - Vocals, bass
Ville Friman - Guitars
Ville Vänni - Guitars
Markus Hirvonen - Drums

In the Halls of Awaiting (2002)
Since the Day it All Came Down (2004)
Above the Weeping World (2006)
Across the Dark (2009)


Antti Mäkinen (drum settings)
Recorded at Fantom Studios with Samu Oittinen
photographer Jussi Ratilainen
Art by Wille Naukkarinen from Ghost Brigade

Released 17/10-2011
Reviewed 27/9-2011

century media

Ever since the debut by Insomnius was released almost ten years ago I've held this band very close to my heart, something that's also shine through on the grades of this band. Nine and eight out of ten on the first two releases, which in this grade system would have been sixes out of seven - something returning readers on Hallowed know isn't coming on daily basis. Since then we haven't reviewed any more albums, but the third album that was released while Hallowed had its transition to be a full time web-magazine went warm in the stereo for a long time and unfortunately I completely missed the fourth album. But no biggie, the fifth album is already here and this is the first album released on their new label, Century Media. A 53 minutes long album with melodic dark metal full of screaming guitars and Scandinavian (Finnish) heritage. On paper, it's like they've tailor made an album for me.

I love this kind of melodic dark metal but I'd like to point out before I start my review that I therefore doesn't exclusively just give every band that plays it my highest score. I'm very picky and my reference is immense so it's not like this band can come and live on old merits and do me over with cheap tricks. I'm happy to say they've tried none of those things. The sound on 'One For Sorrow' is far from safe, it's like a big, tall brick wall that's at least a couple of meters thick. It's big, solid and seems endless and it's like turning on a dream. As you push play, you're drawn in to a world where everything around you disappear in to a sea of sounds that completely fills your entire hearing. Behind the vocal parts there's drums and below them there's keyboard lines and guitar lines. Below it all we find the bass filling up a foundation of heaviness in the music and making it completely float away weightless with your ears and land in a place where no people exist and our natural laws doesn't work. A place where everything is solidified into clouds, following the wind. Thrown around like a feather… We are not in command, the album is...

So far so good, but there's things wrong with everything and so also on 'One For Sorrow'. Here we find the shortages hidden within the guitars on the first half of the album, where they tend to be quite similar in some of the songs. Melodies and tempo tends to get stuck within a similar pattern and all though it's a good pattern and good guitar lines and a good tempo, this is the kind of things that easily can ruin an album. Which is why I'm pleased to say that Insomnium throws in songs like Every Hour Wounds and Decoherence - songs that are very different and has another character completely. Ten days ago or so I reviewed Nightrage's album, a band playing at least somewhat in the same vein as Insomnium but on their new album most of the songs comes with quite similar sound, despite major differences within the songs and had they only had one or two songs that threw everything around. Now, as I just said - there are many similarities within 'One For Sorrow' but there are also these songs that all though not radically different from everything else by Insomnium but enough to throw the album around at least to some extent. And after this, the album finds a completely new life on its own.

To me, Insomnium is like a whole universe packed on a journey of fifty minutes. A journey between ten different planets, each with their similarities as well as differences but with a common denominator to fascinate and impress in every song with equal persuasion in their own specific way. So similar, yet so different. Life is so present at 'One For Sorrow', but in a way that only Insomnium can express it - heavy, melancholic, almost depressed but still so beautiful and inspiring that you don't really see it as painful. It's hard and heavy as a truck loaded with parts from a windmill. And the music flows like carried by the wind. It's melodic as if it had been carved by hand out of a single piece of iron. It's hard to miss anything at all when you play this album, at least if you're a fan of this kind of music. The hard, heavy, melodic and yet so beautiful music that we in Scandinavia seems to be so very good at producing. So mighty… that's all I can say.

To me it appears that Insomnium haven't lost a single ounce of quality since the amazing debut was released ten years ago. It's another diamond in this amazing year of 2011. Another album to check out! Especially if you're a fan of heavy music played melodic.


Label: Century Media
Three similar bands: Eternal Tears Of Sorrow/Rapture/Katatonia
Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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