So Insomnium's 6th album is finally here. Actually, this is not just another album but rather a beautiful journey full of emotions that will offer you a great companion either when travelling or when you are at home. 'Shadows Of The Dying Sun' is with no doubt another great addition to Insomnium's back catalogue. The band has been steadily growing through the years and since day one the music always maintained an amazing quality in every aspect. The previous album 'One For Sorrow' was a masterpiece in my opinion but thankfully Insomnium have managed to produce another album which is on par in terms of quality (if not better).
I will refrain from providing a detailed description of each song (you can find plenty detailed reviews on the web) but I would like to stress that the music of the whole album is just beautiful. All new songs are excellent and the atmosphere these Finns create is just amazing - this is pure art! The production is top-notch as well and enhances the value of this studio offering.
As you would expect, melancholy meets aggression in a perfect balance; The guitar work from the founding member Ville Friman and the new member Markus Vanhala (also in Omnium Gatherum) is great throughout: there are really good riffs, sweet melodies, acoustic passages, and beautiful solos - keyboards are also used effectively. This time there are more parts with clean vocals (courtesy of Ville Friman) which add to the atmosphere and successfully support a nice melody. For instance, this approach is more prominent in the song 'Lose to Night' which has an excellent and really infectious chorus. Of course the harsh vocals have always been excellent and very expressive in Insomnium and Niilo Sevänen (vocals/bass) has once more done an excellent job - definitely one of the best guys in the scene and really fitting in his dual role. A special mention should be made to the drummer Markus Hirvonen whose playing is the backbone of each song and adopts an even more technical approach in this album (you will even hear some blast beats!). Finally, to complete the perfect puzzle, the lyrics are very deep and dark as always and complement the music perfectly.
Insomnium is not a typical band in the melodic death metal scene and as long as they manage to create this unique and eloquent atmosphere which combines melancholy and heaviness, they will always deserve to be in the top of their league. From the bottom of my heart, kiitos for the new album guys! Hopefully, see you on tour!
PS1 I would suggest the limited 2CD digipack edition with the extra tracks (1 new song plus 3 tracks which originally appeared on the 'Ephemeral' e.p. (or if you can pay something extra the Casket edition which can be ordered from the band's website and includes the digipack, a t-shirt, a textile flag, a signed post card and a patch).
PS2 Check also: Dark Tranquillity, Before the Dawn, Omnium Gatherum, Amorphis, Wolfheart, Ghost Brigade, Swallow the Sun, Noumena, Amon Amarth, Bel'akor, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Black Sun Aeon, Dawn of Solace.