I am new to this band’s music, which is pretty pathetic considering that they’ve been an established act for over 2 decades. However, it’s better to show up late to the party than to never do, which brings us to the point of my ramblings.On October 4th, the Finnish band released their 8th studio album, “Heart Like a Grave”. Included on the standard version are ten excellent songs, strings that are full of melodic mastery, growing vocals mixed with some fantastic clean ones, and riffs that will pull you in tightly.
As a newcomer to Insomnium‘s music I’m slightly upset that I showed up so late, because I should have been listening for years by this point. “Wail of the North” opens the album with a gorgeous piano part, and the sounds of beauty falling all around you. I felt light and free as this section played out, and because I’m weird I was actually a little bummed when the guitars came in. Now that’s not saying the guitars were bad, because they weren’t at all; I just became so engrossed with the intro that I felt intruded upon almost.
This is a short tune, but a very good one as well. Up next, coming in on a double bass blast of drumming and thrash metal riffs, is “Valediction”. The verses slow things down a bit, bringing in a more melodic feel; especially in the vocal department, whose melody is amazing to me. One of my favorite aspects in music is a mixture of light and dark, or mellow and heavy.
Applying these techniques provides a shift in the dynamic quality of music, creates a new feel, and more often than not a lot of power as they slide in and out of each other. Insomnium are the masters of that, which probably explains why I loved this new record much. “Valediction” is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
“And the Bells They Toll” is the fifth song on “Heart Like a Grave”, and is easily the finest one of the 10. The intro is absolutely beautiful, creating a heady vibe that leads perfectly into the distorted guitars entrance. Those guitars coming may seem abrupt to some, but it’s the quick entrance that creates a power that I love hearing in music; not to mention that it raises the song up to a new level.
From there the verses take over, and the vocal performance creates an aura of troubled days. My mind took me to a Viking land because I hear a slight Amon Amarth vibe within this song. It’s the chorus that will really capture your attention, with its clean vocals layered with an ominous spoken backing vocal, melodic guitar playing, and memorability of the section as a whole. This is a track that will take you places if you let it; my advice is to let it.
Immediately following that is “The Offering”. This is another track that has elements of the last two Amon Amarth albums, who I also enjoy immensely, which further creates a bond between the song and myself. There’s a lot of really spectacular guitar playing going on across the album, but that outro solo here is one of the very best; there’s just something about the sound of that grabs me. If I was asked if there were any downfalls to the album I’d have to say yes. My only issue is that they are, once again, close in sound to Amon Amarth, or even AC/DC.
These bands have a format -at least on Heart Like a Grave for Insomnium. “Heart Like a Grave” is available now, and it’s definitely a killer album that is very worthy of your time. So get out there, and start listening right now, because if you are late like me, Insomnium is waiting for you to show up to the party too!!
Edited by : Amged Mahmoud