Insomnium/In the Halls of Awaiting
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Like the Preacher’s daughter from next-door, this album is fucking tight. But, unlike the Preacher’s daughter, once you break in this shit, you will still remain satisfied for a long, long time.
from the Candlelight Records site:
When the end of the icy reign of winter was drawing near in the year 1997, four stern, young men were forming a fierce metal band in Joensuu, Finland. Their aim was to create music that was at the same time furious and melancholic, violent and soothing, dreary and wistful. That ideal incarnated as a mixture of melodic Scandinavian death metal and traditional Finnish tunes. Lyrics were influenced by the old Finnish poetry and they were sorrowful, often dream-like tales of love and death. Thus it was deceided that a latin word Insomnium, meaning nightmare and insomnia, would be a fitting name for the band.
After two years of intensive training and song-writing the band felt that they were ready to enter the studio. In April 1999 Insomnium recorded it´s first demo-cd, which received praising reviews in Finland and abroad. Above all was the nomination as the demo of the month with full points in the leading UK metal magazine Terrorizer.
Second demo, “Underneath the Moonlit Waves”, was recorded in August 2000. Music had evolved in many ways and the demo gained a lot of attention. This time the record companies got interested too. In the late winter 2001 Insomnium reached it´s current line-up; founding members vocalist/bassist Niilo Sevänen, guitarist Ville Friman and drummer Markus Hirvonen attached guitarist Ville Vänni to the band. In May 2001 Insomnium signed a deal with Candlelight Records.
Insomnium´s debut album “In the Halls of Awaiting” was recorded in August 2001. With the new line-up an even higher level was achieved, as the songs gained even more depth and nuances. The album introduces a band that has stepped aside from the mainstream of melodic death metal into it´s own dark path. Gloomy and languishing melodies, shattering guitar-walls, demonic vocals, acoustic interludes and progressive shades are the core of the Insomnium´s music. Lyrics have taken new influences from literature and Finnish nature-mysticism, taking the listener to the misty shores and murky woods of Karelia.
Straight outta Finland comes melodic Metal band Insomnium (meaning “nightmare” and “insomnia” in Latin) with their full-length debut In The Halls Of Awaiting. I’ve seen these guys compared to older Amorphis or In Flames mixed with harder elements and the description does fit. Take In Flames and add harsher sounds/vocals, all with a Finland touch, and you’ll get Insomnium. Now, I love old In Flames, so after seeing all the references to them, I had to check this band out. I was not disappointed.
Like the Preacher’s daughter from next-door, this album is fucking tight. But, unlike the Preacher’s daughter, once you break in this shit, you will still remain satisfied for a long, long time. You hear new sounds every time it caresses your ears. The soft, warm feeling surrounds you and wraps you tight as it speeds up. Oh yeah, it’s not letting down anytime soon, it keeps coming at you. Softer at first, but harder and HARDER AND…sorry.
The guys in Insomnium are excellent. Each musician stands out with a fine examples of diversity in their playing. They can go from heavy shit (“Black Waters”) to quiet, soft whispers (“The Elder”) and, unlike other bands, not overuse any element one bit. Check out the drumming in “Song Of The Storm” and the guitar work in “Dying Chant”. Although I would have appreciated more guitar solos (I’m a sucker for solos), this shit kicks ass.
Insomnium create a very atmospheric album using Finnish melodies and inspired lyrics from Finnish nature and poetry throughout, while still remaining violent and heavy which turns out really, really good. To quote their guitarist Ville Friman, “Overall it’s quite sad, melodic and very melancholic but at the same time furious, angry and crushing.” “Shades Of Deep Green” is a perfect example of this. Very sad and mournful, while remaining heavy and fast. My favorite song, “The Bitter End” is an amazing piece which I could not stop listening to. This song is fucking great in every way, I repeated it over and over many times before I forced myself to move on with the album. The title song “In The Halls Of Awaiting” is a powerful, epic closer to a great CD. I would recommend buying this CD on the strength of these songs alone.
Not much else to say. This is a fine fucking debut. I’ll definately be listening to this album more, which is what you should be doing right now. This “Finnish sound” is alot different from what I normally hear, Insomnium provided a great change of pace that I needed right now. Candlelight have signed a great band, I can’t wait to hear more shit from these guys. Do yourself a favor and give them a listen.