Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review INSOMNIUM "Winter's Gate"

Veröffentlicht am 24. September 2016 von Markus W. in Insomnium, CD Review, News, Death Metal, Pagan Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal

(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.





  1. Winter's Gate


Label: Century Media

Genre: Epic Death Metal

Release Date EU: September 23rd, 2016


CD review INSOMNIUM "Winter's Gate"
CD review INSOMNIUM "Winter's Gate"

CD review INSOMNIUM "Shadows of the dying sun"

Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2014 von Markus W. in Insomnium, Death Metal, Dark Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) Finland is a country which is well known for good metal bands. On the one hand their are groups like Nightwish and also the early Stratovarius, which are covering the area of more bombastic and symphonic metal. On the other hand there are constantly bands poping up which are more into dark heavy metal, partly with some death metal background. Bands like Sentenced and Amorphis are just two examples. Another Finish band in this genre is Insomnium. They might be a bit less popular than the before mentioned acts, but so far they have also released five records and the new one have seen the light of day a few days ago. The name of the new album is "Shadows of the dying sun" and became another milestone in the band's discography. 

Let's have a look into the songs. The album starts with the opener called "Primeval dark". The songs builds up from a slow and melodic start to a riff oriented heavy beast. It's a powerful beginning into the record. The trip continues with "While we sleep" - a very representative tune of the album. The track combines the trademarks of the band and reflects the flexibility in the songwriting. Clean vocals meet the more rougher ones and melodic soundscapes go parallel with heavy riffs. If you listen intensively enough you even recognise the singing birds which are build into the track. With "Lose to night" the album has a melodic and melancolic half ballad on the album, which spreads a great gloomy vibe. This tune is followed by a real heavy one called "Collapsing words". Fast and heavy with a Norhern expression the song blows out of your speaker. It actually reminded me even a bit to Amon Amarth. But Insomnium can also reduce the speed. "The river" is an remarkable anthem in the sense, that it starts very fast and you expect another high-pace track. But there are many breaks in the song which makes it to a divers piece of music. Fast double bass parts lead to slow accoustical sections which lead to grooving riff elements. The good thing with this song is, that Insomnia managed to still let it sound like one unit. All those bits and pieces belong together. Cool.

Also the sound of the album is worth to mention. The production is good, which means that the album got a warm and powerful sound. For me it supports the attitude of the songs and is the cherry on the cake.

"Shadows of the dying sun" became the best album of the band so far. They play in one league with other genre icons like Katatonia and Ghost Brigade. A cool album with a lot of variety in the songwriting and a transfer of emotions which are so important for this kind of music. Thumbs up.





  1. The primeval dark
  2. While we sleep
  3. Revelation
  4. Black heart rebellion
  5. Lose the night
  6. Collapsiong words
  7. The river
  8. Ephemeral
  9. The promethean song
  10. Shadows of the dying sun
  11. Out to the sea


Label: Centrury Media

Genre: Dark Metal

CD review INSOMNIUM "Shadows of the dying sun"