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Insomnium - Anno 1696



8.1 | 517 votes |
Release date: 24 February 2023
Style: Melodic death metal

Owners:

190 have it
51 want it


Disc I
01. 1696
02. White Christ [feat. Sakis Tolis]
03. Godforsaken [feat. Johanna Kurkela]
04. Lilian
05. Starless Paths
06. The Witch Hunter
07. The Unrest
08. The Rapids

Disc II [Songs Of The Dusk] [Deluxe Edition bonus]
01. Flowers Of The Night
02. Stained In Red
03. Song Of The Dusk

The Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album Of 2023
Top 20 albums of 2023: 11

Line-up
Niilo Sevänen - vocals, bass
Ville-Petri Friman - guitars
Jani Liimatainen - guitars, vocals
Markus Vanhala - guitars, vocals
Markus Hirvonen - drums

Additional musicians:
Athanasios "Sakis" Tolis - vocals
Johanna Kurkela - vocals
Coen Janssen - keyboards

Additional info
Released via Century Media Records

Mixed at Orgone Studios in Woburn, Bedforshire, England.
Mastered at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.

Staff review by
musclassia
Rating:
8.6
The last two Insomnium releases received adulatory reviews from self-proclaimed fanboys. I am not an Insomnium fanboy, but there is a longstanding tradition of Metal Storm reviewers enthusiastically waxing lyrical about their albums, and in this instance, I am happy to follow the example set by others.

Read more ››
published 23.02.2023 | Comments (19)

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Comments: 60   Visited by: 1119 users
27.02.2023 - 14:02
Rating: 8
24emd
Theory Snob
Written by DarkWingedSoul on 27.02.2023 at 08:01

Do i hear Jani singing there???


Love his vocals, definitely a highlight for me
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

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28.02.2023 - 11:02
JoHn Doe
Just finished listening to it, for the first time with this band, I'm not impressed with this. Starless Paths, The Witch Hunter and The Rapids are the only songs that grabbed my attention, maybe the album will grow on me with repeated listens, but I don't plan to listen to this soon...
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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28.02.2023 - 11:16
Rating: 7
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
The three longest songs are supreme, modern Insomnium. The rest is solid with the exception of "White Christ" and "The Unrest", which were quite boring (for their standards). I hope it grows on me me a bit.
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28.02.2023 - 12:48
Rating: 10
Litvin
This album deserved 8.8 average at least there are no much bands around who consistently delivering such a great shit, so 'old' and 'modern' at the same time keeping perfect balance between these two extremes.

One may complain about the luck of originality in some parts but I don't really care because it is sounds perfect.

This time they continue experimenting with 'epicness' and 'blackend' elements. My ears pleased to the moon each time spinning the album from start to the end 🌑 Having no fav tracks on this one it is all sounds like one big awesome endless track 🎶

Yeah this is not just a Melodic Death Metal, this is a Blackend Epic Melodic Death Metal indeed.

UPDATE
Even chatgtp knows that 😀

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28.02.2023 - 15:36
Rating: 8
qlacs
"The Quaker"
Listened to it yesterday, it's pretty good. Enjoying the darker, heavier tones they went for with some songs, and some of the folkish themes.
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28.02.2023 - 21:41
Rating: 9
Khold Baroness
Can anyone explain me the title album? Thanks
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01.03.2023 - 01:05
Rating: 8
chomskeet
Written by Litvin on 28.02.2023 at 12:48

This album deserved 8.8 average at least there are no much bands around who consistently delivering such a great shit, so 'old' and 'modern' at the same time keeping perfect balance between these two extremes.

One may complain about the luck of originality in some parts but I don't really care because it is sounds perfect.

This time they continue experimenting with 'epicness' and 'blackend' elements. My ears pleased to the moon each time spinning the album from start to the end 🌑 Having no fav tracks on this one it is all sounds like one big awesome endless track 🎶

Yeah this is not just a Melodic Death Metal, this is a Blackend Epic Melodic Death Metal indeed.

UPDATE
Even chatgtp knows that 😀




Pretty sure Wintersun is considered "extreme power metal" and Ensiferum "extreme folk metal," neither being "Epic MDM." I have to say that Wintersun and Insomnium do not have have a massive amount of overlap imo, so the fact that ChatGPT puts them in the same subgenre of Epic MDM, something I've never even heard of, does not sound right to me.
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01.03.2023 - 02:55
Cthulu
Written by Khold Baroness on 28.02.2023 at 21:41

Can anyone explain me the title album? Thanks


It means Year 1696. It's a concept album and that's the year the story takes place
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02.03.2023 - 23:00
Symmetry
Written by Khold Baroness on 28.02.2023 at 21:41

Can anyone explain me the title album? Thanks

It's story is taking place during this big famine that happened in northern Europe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1695%E2%80%931697
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05.03.2023 - 04:05
Rating: 8
Until the End
I can understand the criticism that 'White Christ' is getting, but it's harsh. For me, the song fits the narrative and it's well executed apart for one aspect. I don't feel that the vocals of Sakis Tolis were the right choice. His vocals, in the words of an Englishman, 'stick out like a sore thumb' and they just don't fit.

As for 'The Unrest', I agree wholeheartedly with the criticism of this song. It completely disrupts the flow of the album. From just three words, 'acoustic' and 'clean vocals', you'll understand. It's a shame that I rarely get to hear 'The Rapids' (which is one of the best songs on the album) because 9 times out of 10 I've fallen asleep.
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07.03.2023 - 05:55
Rating: 8
24emd
Theory Snob
I agree that "White Christ" and "The Unrest" are the weakest tracks, but imo are far from terrible. So it's not a surprise that I'm spinning the hell out of this, enjoying it immensely every time
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

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14.03.2023 - 13:10
Rating: 8
Jaro
This is the 4th new Insomnium recored that's come out since I started paying attention to more than just thrash metal (around 2013) and it's my favorite, not sure what changed. Probably just my taste but still, I'm a happy camper right now
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15.03.2023 - 17:33
Rating: 9
Kais
I love it. Shocker.
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15.03.2023 - 21:59
Rating: 9
MH_WarWizard
Wait ppl don't like white christ? weird I thought it fantastically utilized Tolis. Especially since so many guest star roles(vocals at least) in metal feel like understated toss in's instead of a collaboration between two artists. I'm so often bored with guest star tracks because of this, but not this time.
To each their own I guess.
And man I loved it when they were growling together towards the end of the track.
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Oh Glorious Metal
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18.03.2023 - 22:46
Rating: 4
Reaper_Redeemer
I think we have all felt that. The moment you lose your faith in one of the bands you love.

Insomium was for me one of my favorite bands.
But I could see the disaster coming from the previous albums. The signature Insomnium riffs became fewer every release and the quality melodies which immersed us into sorrow in their first five albums, became almost nonexistent.

Let's not refer to music, as it is subjective, and let's speak about facts. I was shocked when I saw the video clip for "the Antagonist". Not from this album, but it was a recent work. What connection does it have with Insomnium? How far is it from the video clip of "mortal share" for example? The same thing happens to their music from my point of view. Could you ever see even a single riff from "Above The Weeping World" fitting into "Anno 1696"? No way.... It would be like a diamond in horse&^$#&.

Insomnium in my opinion have become something completely different nowadays. Something that definitely is for other people to enjoy and not for me.
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20.03.2023 - 21:45
Rating: 9
Maybe i'm simply too lenient not expecting every release to be the greatest album of all time. but i fail to comprehend why anyone would hate this.
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21.03.2023 - 10:39
Satyr73
Insomnium - Winter's Gate is the best album I've heard from them. This production is not at that level unfortunately! Even Mastered at Fascination Street Studios doesn't help it sound much. Compare the other albums and judge for yourself.
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21.03.2023 - 10:50
Satyr73
These guys have been making a musical formula for 4 albums so far, but I think that sound is a bit exhausted. The riffs and roars have been the same for years. "Winter's Tales" was fresh and conceptual, but here things are already in a loop. I don't understand listeners why this ranked #1 when there are better albums of the year.
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28.03.2023 - 03:57
Rating: 8
tintinb
I like white Christ and the four other songs that follow. Insomnium had dropped the ball in some songs but overall it's a really tight, quintessential insomnium album for which I am really really glad
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Leeches everywhere.
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13.05.2023 - 12:42
Rating: 8
24emd
Theory Snob
This is sooo infuriatingly close to a 9. I love every song, but something stops me - "The Rapids" was the albums big finale, and for a concept album I thought it was pretty underwhelming. Looking like an 8.5, we'll see if it rounds up or not
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

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21.05.2023 - 04:56
Rating: 10
datfish
Godforsaken, Lilian & Starless Paths are all gorgeous jams. What an amazing album. Not sure why anyone who likes Melodeath would hate this or even give it anything less than a 7. Any album that can sonically envelop me and take me on a journey is going to rank very highly in my book, and this album did just that.
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05.06.2023 - 12:08
Rating: 6
Metren
Dreadrealm
This is a massive downgrade from Heart Like A Grave. Compared to Winter’s Gate, it’s mediocre. I’d be bitterly disappointed if I were a fan of the band.
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My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads: https://dreadrealm.bandcamp.com/
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19.06.2023 - 16:05
BloodJuNkie
Of Egypt
Finally, an Insomnium album that is not overrated by metalstorm fans \o/
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07.07.2023 - 20:39
Rating: 7
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
FYI to anyone else who has missed this like I have, the deluxe edition has 3 bonus tracks (not on Spotify):



To me, these 3 songs (especially the last) are almost peak 2010's Insomnium (Heart Like A Grave, Winter's Gate)...at least stylistically.
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11.08.2023 - 06:23
Rating: 8
24emd
Theory Snob
Written by LeKiwi on 07.07.2023 at 20:39

FYI to anyone else who has missed this like I have, the deluxe edition has 3 bonus tracks (not on Spotify):
To me, these 3 songs (especially the last) are almost peak 2010's Insomnium (Heart Like A Grave, Winter's Gate)...at least stylistically.

I'd rate this album an easy 9 if "The Unrest" and "The Rapids" were replaced with these three. Great stuff.
----
"I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense." - Proverbs 30:2
"Music? Well, it's just entertainment, folks!" - Devin Townsend

Best 2024 Albums
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14.08.2023 - 16:19
Rating: 8
DarkWingedSoul
Written by BloodJuNkie on 19.06.2023 at 16:05

Finally, an Insomnium album that is not overrated by metalstorm fans \o/


oh really
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14.12.2023 - 10:42
Rating: 8
miekka18
To me this album was a bit letdown since I loved their previous records so much (Winter's Gate and Heart like a grave [album of the year for me when it came out]). Does not sound so original anymore, it's more of a same and none of the songs really tickle my tastebuds. It's good, almost very good. I would give it solid 7.5 but perhaps i will round it up to an 8 because I will probably start finding more nyances from it.
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14.12.2023 - 10:45
Rating: 8
miekka18
Written by 24emd on 13.05.2023 at 12:42

This is sooo infuriatingly close to a 9. I love every song, but something stops me - "The Rapids" was the albums big finale, and for a concept album I thought it was pretty underwhelming. Looking like an 8.5, we'll see if it rounds up or not

Same here but 7.5 rounded up to an 8. I think we need half stars here in metalstorm..
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31.12.2023 - 20:47
Rating: 8
Spacerunner
After the last album and EP I expected a bit more, but anyways, it's better to experiment and fail than to stall. And it's not a failure.
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01.03.2024 - 18:13
Rating: 7
Samot
Great album but with all respect to the MSA winner ...... this album is not better than Shylmagoghnar - Convergence never!
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Um, Dois, Três, Quatro! Yeah! PORRA!!!
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