Insomnium - Shadows Of The Dying Sun review


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Band: Insomnium
Album: Shadows Of The Dying Sun
Release date: April 2014

Disc I
01. The Primeval Dark
02. While We Sleep
03. Revelation
04. Black Heart Rebellion
05. Lose To Night
06. Collapsing Words
07. The River
08. Ephemeral
09. The Promethean Song
10. Shadows Of The Dying Sun

Disc II
01. Out To The Sea
02. The Emergence
03. The Swarm
04. The Descent

With Insomnium no longer having the service of guitarist Ville Vänni and his replacement by Markus Vanhala, the lead guitarist of Omnium Gatherum, Shadows Of The Dying Sun presents the possibility of a merging of the titans, so to speak. However, their sixth full length studio effort is no less Insomnium in style and execution than what preceded it, which means we're granted yet another excellent album from this premier melodic death metal band.

No doubt with the line-up change, and this being the first full length since Vänni's departure, all ears will be keen to identify how much the Omnium Gatherum influence comes into play. Vanhala makes his presence clearly felt throughout the album, leaving his mark most indelibly with "Revelation," a piece of his own composition and with his distinctive style reigning supreme yet made one with the Insomnium sound. His performance throughout the record breathes fresh and energetic life into the band's catalogue, which is one of a rarely achieved consistency within the melodic death subgenre, but also one which hungers for a more remarkable change from album to album.

All attention will turn toward the invigorated song writing which usually emphasises melodically lush leads and high calibre yet subtly varied hooks, and so it does within Shadows Of The Dying Sun, but the true marvel behind this album, and like no Insomnium album before it, is the directing and outstanding drum work. Markus Hirvonen has always been at the heart of the band's impressionable sense of rhythm, but here he truly excels himself and Shadows Of The Dying Sun thrives, pulses and gels from his superbly expressed performance at the kit, guiding a razor sharp rhythm section. One need only listen to the title track to hear the very full percussion and how it gives the album its well situated foundations. In fact, from the first track to the last, the drums, as well as the backbone of bass, provide obviously solid grounds for the melodic riffs. The flawless production values enhance this greatly, allowing for one of the tightest of Insomnium's studio performances. Everything hinges off the clarity and precision of the drum work to spectacular effect.

An uplifting vibe prevails here, in comparison to the appropriately titled previous release One For Sorrow. Though not without a sense of the band's trademark atmospheric melancholia, the mood is moving in new and exciting ways. From the extremity of "Black Heart Rebellion" to the hell-for-leather pace preceding a soaring melody within "Collapsing Words," there are fresh nuances to the track-list for listeners to pick up and enjoy. The clean vocals make a welcome return, as they found such emotive placement in One For Sorrow, and here they are also used very effectively.

Though not quite as focused on their atmospheric side on this album, Insomnium have made a push for the distinctiveness of these tunes, and their efforts result in a more direct record with increased diversity and punch of melody writing. Consistency has always been this band's greatest strength, never endorsing a widely ranging sound and operating around their own well defined stylistic crux, and Shadows Of The Dying Sun maintains this quality.

There is a clear and certain efficiency in the way Insomnium write and perform melodic death metal, and this album ably demonstrates that in another well honed outing.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Written on 23.04.2014 by R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 40   Visited by: 756 users
25.04.2014 - 14:23
Written by R'Vannith on 25.04.2014 at 09:37

Stylistically there isn't a great deal of difference, very much in the vein of previous albums. But I would encourage checking this out to see how much the drumming does for you, exceptional work I found.

Okay. I did like some stuff from albums other than One For Sorrow as well, so there is a chance that one just happened to be their album that didn't click at all with me. I will check this if I get the chance.
25.04.2014 - 16:12
Been listening to this album a couple of times by now and to me it sounds like typical Insomnium material : very nice to listen to but I don't remember any track in particular Seems to me that One For Sorrow stayed in my mind a little deeper...
25.04.2014 - 20:39
Fallen Ghost
Craft Beer Geek
I love that all their albums except for "In The Halls Of Awaiting" have green rating, cool stuffs! Warming up with older Insomnium material before I get my hands on this.. But I doubt it will be better than "Since The Day It All Came Down" or "Above The Weeping World".
25.04.2014 - 21:42
I don't get the obsession with recent day OG, those albums bored me immensely, while Steal The Light and Spirits And August Light are really quite good.

I liked One For Sorrow so would probably dig this as well but I am really getting bored of this style.
26.04.2014 - 00:23
After the initial 2 listens... Mehhh I don't see much change from them via the new guitarist. More then a few recycled riffs and melodies, and is more or less what the releases have been like. Not bad at all but nothing new. Its definitely just modern melodeath.
29.04.2014 - 23:50
Really love the album. Have to point out the lyrics. Just got done sitting down with headphones and following along to the music and I have to say the lyrics really hit home to me. I haven't listened to a lot of their albums but these lyrics are really spiritual and inspiring.
30.04.2014 - 09:16
Incredible album! Titanic sound! Perfect group! It's neat to the last note.
30.04.2014 - 15:51
Written by bgcasio on 30.04.2014 at 09:16

Incredible album! Titanic sound! Perfect group! It's neat to the last note.

Oh man, you seem so high when I read to your comment

After a few spins, I reckon this is good Insomnium but also pretty forgetable as most of their music I'm afraid.
13.05.2014 - 02:06
I find the opener to fulfill its purpose very well regardless of whether you consider it a good, bad or even weak album; Either it's considered a strong introduction for the album or one of the better songs on the album.
08.11.2019 - 20:11
Another very good and consistent Insomnium record, altough not among their best in my opinion. Still, another great effort by the guys, with strong, powerful and melodic moments.

Highlights for me are: "While We Sleep", "Black Heart Rebellion", "The Promethean Song" and "Shadows of the Dying Sun"

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