Release Date: Sep 23, 2016
Record label: Century Media
Insomnium are an anomaly in today's music landscape. Since forming in 1997 and releasing their first album in 2002, the band have yet to put out a record that has been even lukewarmly received by fans, consistently releasing quality material every two or three years. This, combined with their 2006 album Above the Weeping World being considered a landmark in modern melodic death metal, has given them a solid fanbase, something that many metal bands might use as an excuse to rest on their laurels and pump out similar material album after album.
Not only is 'Winter’s Gate' based on an award-winning short story about Viking discovery, Insomnium further flip its own script by making album No. 7 the tale’s 40-minute, single track companion. The result is the least Insomnium-sounding record of its discography. There should be no drowning sorrows in pints of Olvi, however, as the quartet’s melodic death metal takes a darker turn with mid-pace tempos and epic sections of vocal harmonization complementing shredding leads and swelling keys.
Review Summary: Diminishing returnsSometime between 2009 and 2011, something major in the Insomnium camp changed. They have a history of unabashed melodrama that, by the time Above the Weeping World was written in 2006, had morphed into more of a je ne sais quoi that set Insomnium apart from their counterparts. The intertwining melodies that comingled electric and acoustic guitar, the heavy use of tempo shifts to keep songs fluid and dynamic, and of course an unwavering commitment to exceedingly sullen atmosphere all came together to create an identity for the band.