Insomnium - Heart Like A Grave review



Reviewer:
N/A

236 users:
8.60
Band: Insomnium
Album: Heart Like A Grave
Release date: October 2019


01. Wail Of The North
02. Valediction
03. Neverlast
04. Pale Morning Star
05. And Bells They Toll
06. The Offering
07. Mute Is My Sorrow
08. Twilight Trails
09. Heart Like A Grave
10. Karelia
11. The True Morning Star [bonus]
12. Karelia 2049 [bonus]


I'm having a grade A bruh moment here. Fanboy time!

One thing I can tell you about this album is that it sounds amazing. I'm not talking about the songwriting itself, that's an issue for later. The one thing I noticed about this album is how much I enjoy sitting down and listening to it with my headphones and giving it my complete attention, as opposed to having it somewhere in the background on some speakers or listening on just one earphone or whatever. It's such a joy to hear how well produced it is, and honestly the songwriting could have been a lot worse and I still would've enjoyed this in spades. Thankfully the songwriting here is at least on par with previous Insomnium records. But I do wish a lot of albums that I enjoyed from a songwriting point of view sounded THIS good.

Even though it's not exactly the first Insomnium album of the year, listening to a new album from a band you've loved for a long time is always weird, since it's the first time in a long while you get to listen to music from them that you don't yet know by heart and it almost never feels amazing at first. And then you get to experience it growing on you and you finally following along to the melody and anticipating it with each new listen after you left it alone for a while to settle a bit in your mind. I'm leaving the new Tool and Opeth alone for a while. Insomnium though? Love at first listen. I'm still not that many listens in and I can't yet remember each song individually, but I already feel like I've known this album since forever.

I loved Winter's gate as it was, adventurous in concept and almost a spiritual successor to albums like Edge Of Sanity's Crimson, though obviously never really reaching that high. But I knew this wasn't a trick Insomnium could pull twice and they would have to get back to a more song-focused album next. What did change in between was that guitarist Ville Friman couldn't really commit fully to the band anymore, so rather than replacing him, the band enlisted former live guitarist Jani Liimatainen. Thus we have an extra layer of guitars and clean vocals to an already very well layered mix.

The album is obviously a massive tour-de-force of everything that made Insomnium great. It feels greater than life, hopeful and sorrowful at the same time, the solos don't feel like they're there just so there would be a solo, the clean vocals and the harsh vocals complement each other really well, the acoustic or piano sections and the ambient keyboards (courtesy of ex-Swallow The Sun keyboard player Aleksi Munter) add a lot to the atmosphere and dynamics of the album, which was already so dynamic that it never felt like it lingers too long in one place or overstays its welcome, and while none of the songs are really over ten minutes in length, even the longer ones don't feel that long but oh boy do they feel monumental. I don't know how many fanboyish ways I can conceive to say "album good", so I'm aware I come along as way too fanboyish and unreliable. Perhaps. The album is still incredibly dynamic and well-produced. And as much as I want to be someone who prefers underground bands over mainsteam bands who don't innovate, there really wasn't any album I heard this year that I loved so much on first listen. If Insomnium was never your thing, it's likely that Heart Like A Grave is too cheesy or too soft or whatever. Maybe you find it enjoyable but not at all near to the immensely monumental album I'm making it out to be. As long as you appreciate the amount of effort that went into making this sound so good, I'm content.

I find it hard to really find something to criticize this album for. Even the most awkward moments don't sound really awkward. I though it wasn't as catchy on first listen but I already knew all the songs on the third one. I suppose I though it would feel like they're making the same album over again, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I love this one even more than their previous ones. I am so fucking happy.


 



Written on 29.09.2019 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 333 users
29.09.2019 - 14:13
AndreMarcos
Great review man. I'm looking forward to listen to the album myself
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29.09.2019 - 17:48
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Band has been solid for their entire career. Not one bad album.
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rekt
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29.09.2019 - 17:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by tea[m]ster on 29.09.2019 at 17:48

Band has been solid for their entire career. Not one bad album.

As much as I'm curious to see how they'd fare with a bit of a different direction, I'm content with the same one if they keep poppin out albums of this quality. But seeing how great they are, I'm sure they could pull off a change in direction.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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29.09.2019 - 17:53
tea[m]ster
Au Pays Natal
Written by RaduP on 29.09.2019 at 17:49

As much as I'm curious to see how they'd fare with a bit of a different direction, I'm content with the same one if they keep poppin out albums of this quality. But seeing how great they are, I'm sure they could pull off a change in direction.

You nailed it my man. Very few bands can pull off the same sound album after album. Ghost Brigade, Be'Lakor, Fractal Gates, Omnium Gatherum to name a few around the genre.
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rekt
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29.09.2019 - 21:31
s_t_s
Now this is something ! Isn't the album supposed to be out next week ? I know it may have leaked (and it seems it hasn't) but reviews are supposedly posted once an album is released, not before, first time here for me.
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29.09.2019 - 23:11
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by s_t_s on 29.09.2019 at 21:31

Now this is something ! Isn't the album supposed to be out next week ? I know it may have leaked (and it seems it hasn't) but reviews are supposedly posted once an album is released, not before, first time here for me.

I got a promo for it as far back as last month. Plenty of reviews before the actual release date.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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29.09.2019 - 23:14
s_t_s
Written by RaduP on 29.09.2019 at 23:11

Written by s_t_s on 29.09.2019 at 21:31

Now this is something ! Isn't the album supposed to be out next week ? I know it may have leaked (and it seems it hasn't) but reviews are supposedly posted once an album is released, not before, first time here for me.

I got a promo for it as far back as last month. Plenty of reviews before the actual release date.


What bothers me is that the album has not leaked yet ! Will make my own opinion though, no offence.
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30.09.2019 - 12:13
Bad English
Masterchief
It will be good nordic album, 3 songs so far , best as other things what band wrote in the past
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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30.09.2019 - 13:16
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by s_t_s on 29.09.2019 at 21:31

Now this is something ! Isn't the album supposed to be out next week ? I know it may have leaked (and it seems it hasn't) but reviews are supposedly posted once an album is released, not before, first time here for me.

All labels send albums to websites for them to be reviewed before they get released. It's part of their marketing policy to have a review online (hopefully a good one) before the album is released in order to boost pre-orders. In some cases I've had an album on my hard drive as long as 3 months before its official release date in order to review it. It's actually common practice instead of something rare. Of course this sometimes leads to an album being leaked once in a while but most times people who get promos respect the artists' work and don't leak it. And also if you get caught leaking you will never get a promo ever again as a website, let alone there are legal procedures for something like this.
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30.09.2019 - 17:25
s_t_s
Written by nikarg on 30.09.2019 at 13:16

Written by s_t_s on 29.09.2019 at 21:31

Now this is something ! Isn't the album supposed to be out next week ? I know it may have leaked (and it seems it hasn't) but reviews are supposedly posted once an album is released, not before, first time here for me.

All labels send albums to websites for them to be reviewed before they get released. It's part of their marketing policy to have a review online (hopefully a good one) before the album is released in order to boost pre-orders. In some cases I've had an album on my hard drive as long as 3 months before its official release date in order to review it. It's actually common practice instead of something rare. Of course this sometimes leads to an album being leaked once in a while but most times people who get promos respect the artists' work and don't leak it. And also if you get caught leaking you will never get a promo ever again as a website, let alone there are legal procedures for something like this.


Thank you for extra details but I know all of that and some decades ago I also had the opportunity to grab albums long before release. What I meant is that this is the first time that I actually see a review published here one week before release. Maybe I skipped others I was just pointing out at the fact.
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30.09.2019 - 17:49
FYA
Destroyer
After three songs I still have no interest in this album, which is sad since I will definitely see them live next month :<
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30.09.2019 - 18:37
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by FYA on 30.09.2019 at 17:49

After three songs I still have no interest in this album, which is sad since I will definitely see them live next month :<

I find it really odd that so many people seemed not to care for the three songs. I doubt that listening to the entire thing will change your mind that much, but it's how I listened to the album so far, so I'm not really sure which of the songs were released as of now.
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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01.10.2019 - 08:19
Ball Fondlers
Very positive review. I found Winter's gate to be very boring, so hopefully this is a bit more interesting for me. I've only heard the one song so far (I forget which), but it was quite promising. Insomnium is a very talented band, and I've enjoyed some of their previous stuff, so I'm always keen to give it a listen
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01.10.2019 - 22:38
FYA
Destroyer
Written by RaduP on 30.09.2019 at 18:37

Written by FYA on 30.09.2019 at 17:49

After three songs I still have no interest in this album, which is sad since I will definitely see them live next month :<

I find it really odd that so many people seemed not to care for the three songs. I doubt that listening to the entire thing will change your mind that much, but it's how I listened to the album so far, so I'm not really sure which of the songs were released as of now.


Valediction, Heart Like A Grave and Pale Morning Star. Those are released so far. I tried to listen to them couple of times, but everytime I couldn't hadle it. I feel like they lost 'something' that I found great in for example 'Across The Dark'. Since 'Winters Gate' I just can't enjoy their songs as before.
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05.10.2019 - 05:59
gmorin
In my 11th playthrough and I must say that this album is a condensed version of everything they did well in their previous albums, with an added sprinkle of emotion. No doubt they were heavily inspired by the Kalevala. Not a perfect album (nothing is perfect), yet I think this is their most achieved record. Great harmonies between Vanhala and Liimatainen. The album flows, nothing feels out of place, yet nothing feels constructed. Pure Karelian feelings. How I long to roam once more in the endless forests near Joensuu...
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Germain Morin
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05.10.2019 - 22:20
MeatWolf
Exactly my thoughts expressed. It's the same old Insomnium and at the same time there's this blackened flavor again, done incredibly well, there's so much work put into the synths etc, if you love the band you will notice it all.
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07.10.2019 - 22:20
BlankFile
As a whole, it´s a really amazing, solid and well structured release. Powerful, heavy, melodic, emotional, and with the right amount of obscurity and darkness. For sure one of the best álbuns of the year. Does not reach the quality of it´s predecessor "Winter´s Gate", though, which for me is pure perfection and still the best Insomnium record, at par with "Above the Wheeping World".

Highlight´s for me on this one are: "Valediction", "Pale Morning Star", "and Bells They Toll" (best one for me), "Mute is My Sorrow", "Twilight Trails" and "Heart Like a Grave"
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11.10.2019 - 16:28
AlbaDalarian
Is this latest album of Insomnium a good melodic death metal album? Yes.
But do Insomnium finally find its style / signature melody ? Not yet. Going thru these songs will remind you here and there of other artists, sometime Amon amarth, another Summoning (ex: and bells they toll); I can't help thinking Insomnium seems to be picking inspiration on other talented artist. Is Insomnium bringing anything new to the melodic death metal realm? Nothing much.
When you listen to Satariel, Rotting Christ, Kalmah, Gojira, Belakor, Behemoth, you can recognize those bands blindly but not Insomnium.
I can not give more than 7 because Gojira magma album is rated 7.9 and Gojira is a whole different animal.
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