(9/10) Waltari did it, Edge Of Sanity did it and now it's Insomnium that does it as well - releasing an album that comes with one song of epical length - a story, a mind-movie, a masterpiece, all in one song on one album.
Things started with the guys listening to Edge Of Sanity's "Crimson". From this moment on Insomnium the idea of "Winter's Gate" was born, an album that contains more than 'just' great music. Such an album and such a song needs a solid story that acts as a base and a link between the several parts of such a musical marathon.
It played into the band's hands that Niilo Sevänen wrote a short story called "Winter's Gate" which tells the tale of a group of vikings who "set out to find a fable island Northwest from Ireland". This short story won already some awards in 2007 and 2008 in Sevänen's homecountry Finland and is actually included in the Gatefold LP+CD package as a booklet.
After the concept has been set it was time to think about the music. "Winter's Gate" became an exciting piece of music that starts slow and melacholic. It comes very sphereful and draws a sonic picture of wide landscapes that give a peaceful mind. But harmony doesn't last forever and already after half a minute the song develops to a heavy stomper. Still having some keyboards in the lead, guitars become more dominant, taking over with a mighty riff a bit later. The deep growls of Sevänen give the song an additional harshness by constantly keeping a certain level of melody in this mighty piece of music. After the peaceful beginning of this composition the continuation of the song feels more like an brutal winterstorm that makes everybody looking for some shelter.
And since a storm doesn't last forever, in this case 40 minutes, Insomnium was smart enough to place same breaks here and there. After seven minutes things get more sphereful again, supported by some acoustic guitars and spoken words.
This is just some examples of Insomnium's brillance of keeping this epical masterpiece exciting - from beginning till end. The more silent moments are coming back here and there, always counteracted by heavy outbursts that unveil Insomnium's metal heart.
You could watch movies, you could read books or you can lean back, close your eyes and start your own movie while listening to this longplayer.
Insomnium created an album that features musical finesse (enriched by a mix and mastering done by nobody else than Dan Swano himself), storytelling brilliance and emotional intensity. This album belongs to the great ones in 2016, a release that stands out from the masses.
- Winter's Gate
Label: Century Media
Genre: Epic Death Metal
Release Date EU: September 23rd, 2016