Saturday, 29 May 2010

CD Review: Across The Dark, by Insomnium (2009)

Insomnium walk a fine line between controlled, deliberately paced but purposeful metal on the one hand, and metal so lacking in energy that it slips into a coma on the other.

Across The Dark does not stray far from Insomnium's home territory: depressed metal that vividly represents the bleakest of grey and cold landscapes. If ever a band was created to reflect its environment, then Insomnium is a creation of northeastern Finland's frozen landscape, with the menacing Russian bear across the border. In Insomnium's world, the journey across the dark is surely happening during the winter day. No wonder the music is moody.

Overall, Across The Dark contains enough focus to remain enjoyable. It starts and ends strongly, with CD closer Weighed Down With Sorrow particularly evocative and among the band's most powerful compositions. There is a flabby middle part to the CD, where The Harrowing Years, Against The Stream and Lay Of The Autumn dip into snoozeland territory. The tracks are not bad -- they just forgot most of their energy in the dressing room.

The music is delivered with polished professionalism, and the Insomnium trademark wall of rumbling sound is always approaching from around every corner, led by the twin Ville guitar work of Friman and Vanni. The tracks often feature tasteful and interesting melodies, but rarely do any of the songs break free and soar. The landscape is just too cold and unforgiving for that.


Ville Friman - Guitars
Ville Vanni - Guitars
Niilo Sevanen - Vocals and Bass
Markus Hirvonen - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Equivalence - 8
2. Down With The Sun - 8
3. Where The Last Wave Broke - 8
4. The Harrowing Years - 7
5. Against The Stream - 7
6. Lay Of The Autumn - 7
7. Into The Woods - 8
8. Weighed Down With Sorrow - 9

Average: 7.75

Produced by Ville Friman, Insomnium, and Samu Oittinen.
Recorded by Samu Oittinen and Hannu Honkonen.
Mastered by Minerva Pappi.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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