Insomnium - Across The Dark review


723 users:
Band: Insomnium
Album: Across The Dark
Release date: September 2009

Disc I [CD]
01. Equivalence
02. Down With The Sun
03. Where The Last Wave Broke
04. The Harrowing Years
05. Against The Stream
06. Lay Of The Autumn
07. Into The Woods
08. Weighed Down With Sorrow
09. The New Beginning [special edition bonus]
10. Into The Evernight [special edition bonus]

Disc II [DVD]
+ Making Of "Across The Dark"
+ Mortal Share [video]
+ Making Of "Mortal Share"
+ Elder [video]
+ Photogallery

Melodic Death metal
Recorded: Fantom Studio, Finland 2009
Label: Candlelight Records
Total Running Time: 45:41

What if The Big Guy Himself told you that you already lived the happiest day of your entire life? Would you fall into despair, curl up into a pathetic ball of misery, waiting to get shot out of disgust? Or would that give you the power to pursue the second happiest day of your life no matter what? Powerful despair or despairing power. Sounds a lot like Insomnium's Across The Dark, the light leading to darkness.

Expectations for the new Insomnium album were running pretty high. Let me kill all the suspense right away. Following naturally from the line of Above The Weeping World, this album is nothing short of astonishing. Easily accessible with a tendency to recycle old material, nevertheless astonishing. From start to finish Insomnium's fourth opus is a somewhat sorrowful though meaningful album. An album you can listen to twice in a row but still will sound kind of different. An album that may be able to move you every time you hear it. More or less touching, like a surrounding veil of cold dusk in a beautiful yet forgotten winter landscape.

The unchanged fundament of the Insomnium sound is still melodic death metal with subtle fringes of a certain doom metal feel. Sorrow with balls, so to say. Melodious much as intense and aggressive guitar tunes are mixed with a - may I say almost typically Finnish - compellingly somber and doomesque texture, very much in the vein of bands like Swallow The Sun, Rapture, Saattue, even Before The Dawn and Slumber. Okay, the last one is Swedish, but the point I'm trying to make remains valid. This is an album packed with melancholy driven and sweeping guitar lines. The combination is just addictive. Almost classy.

Across The Dark also marks the first Insomnium album ever that involves limited(!) clean vocals. Delivered by Jules Näveri (from Profane Omen, Enemy Of The Sun and ex-Misery Inc.), the more emotive - close to whiny - clean vocals get nonetheless overshadowed by the harsh, foreboding growls of Niilo Sevänen. While we're throwing names, another remarkable guest role on the album is assigned to Swallow The Sun's Aleksi Munter, who took care of all the keyboard parts. No need to worry, the keyboards are only latently present. Unlike some other cases, this is an album where the keyboards are not endangering/sodomizing the atmosphere. And as said, what we're dealing with here is a peculiar darkening atmosphere. One that is not far away from choking you like only a serpent could; elegantly but conclusively.

Although not entirely flawless and perfect, this serpent's chokehold is still one hell of a cohesive album. And the balance between upbeat melodic sections and the melancholic mood seeping in from all angles is just luminous. The splendor of Insomnium's creation or not, "Across The Dark" is certainly among the better catches of the present year. Winter cannot come fast enough.

Written by Thryce | 12.10.2009



Comments: 28   Visited by: 498 users
12.10.2009 - 19:32
Cool review and your words are pretty spot on, yet I have a suspicion that the "sameness" of the album and the limited clean vocals probably bother me more than you lol Cant fault them for doing what they're accustomed to, yet to me its not much more than solid. The clean vocals are sort of..ok...and the album seems Insomnium through and through, yet I somehow hoped for more. 7/10 from me if I had to put a number to it...

good review
12.10.2009 - 20:01
This is one hell of an album. Insomnium are darker than ever and i have to admit i like it a lot. I like them trying new things in their well-known style in their previous releases. The "Insomnium sound" is still here but with new things, like clean vocals, a doomish touch and a darker atmosphere. Instead of being repetitive they are trying to add some things to their sound and i really like the way they have put everything together. Fantastic album, melodic, dark and melancholic. A 9/10 without a doubt
12.10.2009 - 20:18
Above the Weeping World is one of my favorite albums, and left me with very high expectations for Across the Dark. I was not disappointed at all. You're review is dead on. For me, Across the Dark will be one of the top albums of the year without a doubt.
"I am not superstitious, but I'm a little 'stitious." - Michael Scott
12.10.2009 - 20:42
Troy Killjoy
I could have done without the clean vocals, but they stuck to their sound enough for this album to be considered a 9/10 for me. I think their most significant strength in their songwriting is how they close an album. I always KNOW the album is over after the last track because the music concludes the entire message, and the atmosphere is incredible. My only problem with this album is that the middle seems like filler, albeit a potent filling, it doesn't really grab me like the beginning and end.
I have no memory of this place.
12.10.2009 - 20:43
From this album i've only read the lyrics... Imo the previous album had much better - they caught my attention from first glimpse (and i've listened most songs).
12.10.2009 - 23:27
Decent album, though it would have been much better without the clean vocals. Something about clean vocals in melodeath just sounds wrong. They always take me out of the music, even with as limited use as they see here. I also find the keyboards to be intrusive at times, though mostly they are atmospheric on this album.

The music is compelling and does have a real "despairing power" as Thryce so succinctly describes it. Across the Dark bears up to repeated listening and is sufficiently layered that new elements emerge with each playing. The atmosphere is maintained across the album; sort of a warm, embracing dusk rather than a heavy, smothering darkness.

Without the clean vocals and the intrusive moments from the keyboards, I'd probably give this an 8.5. Unfortunately, as it stands, I give it a 7. Damn clean vocals.
You can't fight evil with a macaroni duck!
12.10.2009 - 23:47
I thought the clean vocals were actually a good addition.. my only problem is the lack of variation with the songs themselves and how they sound. Otherwise, its a pretty good album. 7.5 from me.
12.10.2009 - 23:54
Great review but I don't exactly agree with all of it. As other have said, was hoping for more, a lot more.
Some songs were fabulous, others mediocre, and the cleans don't get me started on.
My number would be a 7.5
I will kill you so hard you will die to death.
13.10.2009 - 00:22
Very attractive description. It varies in all way I like.
13.10.2009 - 00:36
Nice review.

Didn't check this stuff yet, but I'm definitely going to in the near future.
13.10.2009 - 01:12
Ag Fox
Angel No More
As people above me have pointed out, I expected more really and the clean vocals aren't great in this instance
loves 小巫
13.10.2009 - 01:33
This first paragraph certainly applies to the other Insomnium albums, but not to this one. The clean vocals ruin the mood that the album tries to create. And i agree with TheKilljoy that the middle, casually the ones with the clean vocals, felt like fillers. I also think that the first bonus should have been included as a regular song, since is one of the best in this album.
Hasta la victoria, siempre!
Until victory, always!
13.10.2009 - 05:22
Musically, the album is top notch. I personally don't think any of the songs are fillers...but thats my opinion and thats what opinions are all about. Vocally, Niilo's growls are as powerful and dark as ever. The clean vocals, like Ive said before in other posts, are just weak. The vocal melodies are fine but the guy's delivery isn't the greatest.

I think this album actually flows better as a whole then their previous albums...almost like the whole album has a musical theme. Above the Weeping World was amazing but it was more varied.

However, I think Above the Weeping World was more intense.

Thanks to Corrupt for these banners!
13.10.2009 - 09:20
Dunno abt the clean vocals...but there is something abt that beast of a vocalist and ever so demented riffs that makes me wanna listen to Insomnium everyday.;D
13.10.2009 - 17:02
Everyone seems not to like the clean vocals, I love them tho. Reminds me of the singer of Noumena.
"I am not superstitious, but I'm a little 'stitious." - Michael Scott
13.10.2009 - 19:31
Great review and awesome album

13.10.2009 - 19:56
I'm another one who could go without the clean vocals on Across the Dark. They just sound whiny and in my opinion, dont fit well with the songs. Other than that though, a pretty good album but I dont think its better than Above the Weeping World.
13.10.2009 - 22:08
It does feel darker, but at the same time perhaps a bit dull compared to their previous effort. It's not that I don't enjoy some good clean vocals, it's just that the ones here just seem bad. (Overly whiny?) 7
14.10.2009 - 00:52
This album was somewhat disappointing in my opinion...didn't like the clean vocals as stated by a lot of people...I didn't like the fact that I had to wait 3 years for only 8 tracks, I expect more around 10-11...the only standout song in my opinion is "Lay Of The Autumn" which is just awesome, while "Equivalence" and "Down With The Sun" were nice songs, the rest just felt mediocre...
15.10.2009 - 21:02
The album does have a much more mainstream sound. Not disappointed by it though. However, it can't be compared to how good "Above the Weeping World" was.
24.10.2009 - 12:28
Merchant of Doom
They remind me of Dark The Suns on many tracks... a solid album, albeit a tad commercial...
03.11.2009 - 02:14
Account deleted
Album of the year.
25.09.2010 - 06:56
Great review ... Great Band
Born To Be Failure
15.02.2011 - 14:19
Much more darker and melancholic than their previous works. "Lay Of The Autumn" is easily the standout track here.
16.02.2011 - 21:20
A really great melodic album! I must complement the vocals too, even if I'm directing this towards the growling which if you ask me is really good.
14.12.2011 - 03:51
Account deleted
The melody is a magical ingredient for this music. Although it is a good piece of work, I find it to be very commercial.
08.11.2019 - 19:00
Insomnium at it´s best. Without a shadow of a doubt, one of their best álbuns.

Songs like "Down With The Sun", "The Harrowing Years", "Lay With the Autumn" and "Weighed Down With Sorrow" are standouts in this amazing record.
11.11.2019 - 20:47
Bad English
All metal from north sounds different each time you listen, depends of season and mood, love this beggining of clean er vocals
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

Hits total: 11525 | This month: 45