Rating:
8.5
Insomnium - Shadows Of The Dying Sun
25 April 2014


Disc I
01. The Primeval Dark
02. While We Sleep
03. Revelation
04. Black Heart Rebellion
05. Lose To Night
06. Collapsing Words
07. The River
08. Ephemeral
09. The Promethean Song
10. Shadows Of The Dying Sun

Disc II
01. Out To The Sea
02. The Emergence
03. The Swarm
04. The Descent


With Insomnium no longer having the service of guitarist Ville Vänni and his replacement by Markus Vanhala, the lead guitarist of Omnium Gatherum, Shadows Of The Dying Sun presents the possibility of a merging of the titans, so to speak. However, their sixth full length studio effort is no less Insomnium in style and execution than what preceded it, which means we're granted yet another excellent album from this premier melodic death metal band.

No doubt with the line-up change, and this being the first full length since Vänni's departure, all ears will be keen to identify how much the Omnium Gatherum influence comes into play. Vanhala makes his presence clearly felt throughout the album, leaving his mark most indelibly with "Revelation," a piece of his own composition and with his distinctive style reigning supreme yet made one with the Insomnium sound. His performance throughout the record breathes fresh and energetic life into the band's catalogue, which is one of a rarely achieved consistency within the melodic death subgenre, but also one which hungers for a more remarkable change from album to album.

All attention will turn toward the invigorated song writing which usually emphasises melodically lush leads and high calibre yet subtly varied hooks, and so it does within Shadows Of The Dying Sun, but the true marvel behind this album, and like no Insomnium album before it, is the directing and outstanding drum work. Markus Hirvonen has always been at the heart of the band's impressionable sense of rhythm, but here he truly excels himself and Shadows Of The Dying Sun thrives, pulses and gels from his superbly expressed performance at the kit, guiding a razor sharp rhythm section. One need only listen to the title track to hear the very full percussion and how it gives the album its well situated foundations. In fact, from the first track to the last, the drums, as well as the backbone of bass, provide obviously solid grounds for the melodic riffs. The flawless production values enhance this greatly, allowing for one of the tightest of Insomnium's studio performances. Everything hinges off the clarity and precision of the drum work to spectacular effect.

An uplifting vibe prevails here, in comparison to the appropriately titled previous release One For Sorrow. Though not without a sense of the band's trademark atmospheric melancholia, the mood is moving in new and exciting ways. From the extremity of "Black Heart Rebellion" to the hell-for-leather pace preceding a soaring melody within "Collapsing Words," there are fresh nuances to the track-list for listeners to pick up and enjoy. The clean vocals make a welcome return, as they found such emotive placement in One For Sorrow, and here they are also used very effectively.

Though not quite as focused on their atmospheric side on this album, Insomnium have made a push for the distinctiveness of these tunes, and their efforts result in a more direct record with increased diversity and punch of melody writing. Consistency has always been this band's greatest strength, never endorsing a widely ranging sound and operating around their own well defined stylistic crux, and Shadows Of The Dying Sun maintains this quality.

There is a clear and certain efficiency in the way Insomnium write and perform melodic death metal, and this album ably demonstrates that in another well honed outing.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Insomnium
Album: Shadows Of The Dying Sun


 



Written on 23.04.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Northern Danger - 23.04.2014 at 08:00  
This review raise my expectations...good job R'Vannith
Verdun_sc - 23.04.2014 at 08:02  
Without Collapsing Words and especially Lose to Night, this album would be much better. As is it's merely an improvement on the decidedly mediocre/stale previous effort.
Fallen Ghost - 23.04.2014 at 08:15  
Great review! And nice to see it getting such a high score. I'm tired of melodic death, but there's something with this band, so I ordered the CD. It also seems that it has a better production than One For Sorrow had, which is very pleasing to me
annodomini - 23.04.2014 at 09:09  
Most of Insomnium fans complained that the last Omnium Gatherum album was unoriginal and a copycat of Insomnium. I would agree on this if we concer about the style, but the songwriting in OM is much better than the last 3 Insomnium albumas (including this one). I don't know, maybe most of you are praising Insomnium techniqque or what, but OM melodies stuck in my head after first listening, and every time I listen, every time it attracts me. But when I listened to "Shadows..." yesterday I felt nothing. Nothing memorable. Some great guitar line, cold atmosphere, but thats it. I believe I will never get in to Insomnium, so I guess I have to stop trying and stick with OM and Mors Principium Est.
Risto - 23.04.2014 at 09:42  
This is an interesting album and definitely an evolution of sorts. I totally didn't expect a song like "Lose To Night" and how the last two tracks build up. I think there's a surprise in store for many listeners.
MHOE - 23.04.2014 at 10:31  
Written by annodomini on 23.04.2014 at 09:09

Most of Insomnium fans complained that the last Omnium Gatherum album was unoriginal and a copycat of Insomnium. I would agree on this if we concer about the style, but the songwriting in OM is much better than the last 3 Insomnium albumas (including this one). I don't know, maybe most of you are praising Insomnium techniqque or what, but OM melodies stuck in my head after first listening, and every time I listen, every time it attracts me. But when I listened to "Shadows..." yesterday I felt nothing. Nothing memorable. Some great guitar line, cold atmosphere, but thats it. I believe I will never get in to Insomnium, so I guess I have to stop trying and stick with OM and Mors Principium Est.


I love both Insomnium and modern Omnium Gatherum (last two albums were stunning, previous work was good IMHO)... And man, even though I LOVE Insomnium stuff for many years (top-3 metal band for me), I must admit that Beyond is better than everything Insomnium created so far (not having heard Shadows of the dying sun). Beyond is such a masterpiece... One of my favourite metal albums of all time. I literally cannot think of any metal album that I find better RIGHT NOW.
bodi10 - 23.04.2014 at 11:45  
Excellent album. However, I wonder why they released a new version of "Ephemeral". IMO the single version sounded much better.
Risto - 23.04.2014 at 11:59  
Written by bodi10 on 23.04.2014 at 11:45

However, I wonder why they released a new version of "Ephemeral". IMO the single version sounded much better.

The album version is much more in line with how the rest of it sounds. I could place a small bet on that this is the original mix, not the single.
Reaper_Redeamer - 23.04.2014 at 12:26  
"we're granted yet another excellent album from this premier melodic death metal band"

I completely disagree with this. Insomnium is my favourite band, I like Omnium Gatherum too. But this album is by far the weakest I 've listened of them. Tracks like "Revelation" made me snore.... The blend they tried to do create is unsuccessful in my opinion but of course my opinion does not count at all. In the whole album I 've listened just an interesting riff and it is the intro of "Until we sleep".

Production is considered of course well made but the final result made me disgust this band!
Risto - 23.04.2014 at 13:56  
Written by Reaper_Redeamer on 23.04.2014 at 12:26

In the whole album I 've listened just an interesting riff and it is the intro of "While we sleep".

Which is the most blatantly recycled theme on the entire record Not that it's a bad song.
bladefall - 23.04.2014 at 14:22  
Written by Reaper_Redeamer on 23.04.2014 at 12:26

In the whole album I 've listened just an interesting riff and it is the intro of "While we sleep".



Please listen "Down with the sun" again.You will find that riff at 1:30 to 1:45.
Wes - 23.04.2014 at 16:14  
So far I like it better than any album since their debut. Actually I hated their other albums.
The Omnium Gatherum "Beyond"-esque guitars make the album for me really. Enjoying it thoroughly!

Favorite song so far, "Lose To Night"
Stoned Crow - 23.04.2014 at 16:27  
I got bored with Beyond, and I still find NWS enjoyable; truly don't understand the praise for Beyond. As for the review, and this album, I agree with the score. The second half of this album surprised me. Favorite track: The River.
IronArkadius666 - 23.04.2014 at 17:07  
I love Insomnium and I really enjoy what I've heard so far of this album, but Beyond really set the bar for me in terms of melodic death metal.

I don't think this will be as good Beyond and that doesn't surprise me, but I am currently loving what I have heard. Beyond was just so fresh and exciting and nothing I'd ever heard before, even when compared to NWS.

Anyway, as much I have like what I have heard, I fear Insomnium is in danger. I've no hate for this album so far but if they release another album like this, and the one before... and the one before... and the one before... you get the idea. If they do another album they'll need a drastic change in something before they follow In Flames' footsteps.
Fallen Ghost - 23.04.2014 at 21:26  
Written by MHOE on 23.04.2014 at 10:31
Beyond is such a masterpiece... One of my favourite metal albums of all time.

I don't understand this overwhelming love for Beyond; I got very disappointed with that record, I got bored of it actually. Enjoyed New World Shadows though.
Reaper_Redeamer - 23.04.2014 at 21:39  
Written by bladefall on 23.04.2014 at 14:22

Written by Reaper_Redeamer on 23.04.2014 at 12:26

In the whole album I 've listened just an interesting riff and it is the intro of "While we sleep".



Please listen "Down with the sun" again.You will find that riff at 1:30 to 1:45.


I meant the opening riff of the video clip. In the album it is played in the intro track. The riff you are referring to is similiar to the one in "Until we sleep" but there are different notes and it is written in a different scale. Rythmic pattern is probably the same and yeah Insomnium are well known for recycling thir own riffs.
MHOE - 23.04.2014 at 23:17  
Written by Fallen Ghost on 23.04.2014 at 21:26

Written by MHOE on 23.04.2014 at 10:31
Beyond is such a masterpiece... One of my favourite metal albums of all time.

I don't understand this overwhelming love for Beyond; I got very disappointed with that record, I got bored of it actually. Enjoyed New World Shadows though.


I don't know. I really rate Insomnium higher than Omnium Gatherum in general (on my personal list, Insomnium are in the top 3 while Omnium Gatherum rather top 10 or top 15)... but I wouldn't hesitate to give Beyond a clear 10/10. The album even surpasses Across the Dark for me. Or Wintersun debut... Or Mirror of Madness... Or Of Breath and Bone... I cannot really think of a better modern melodeath album. But of course, this is only IMHO - I am completely fine with different views :-)
Dark Blood - 24.04.2014 at 01:22  
I didn't have any doubts about this release and this review proves my theory that these guys nailed it, once again. Thanks sharing
Mattybu - 24.04.2014 at 03:52  
As I would expect, a well written review, but sounds like this once again wouldn't be my cup of tea. I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.
Risto - 24.04.2014 at 09:51  
Written by Mattybu on 24.04.2014 at 03:52

I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.

It is a little different, tracks 5 and 10 in particular should make this quite clear. I believe this is what R'Vannith is pointing out in the fourth paragraph.
Wes - 24.04.2014 at 12:13  
Written by Risto on 24.04.2014 at 09:51

Written by Mattybu on 24.04.2014 at 03:52

I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.

It is a little different, tracks 5 and 10 in particular should make this quite clear. I believe this is what R'Vannith is pointing out in the fourth paragraph.


Songs 5 and 10 are certainly the best in my opinion.
MHOE - 24.04.2014 at 17:00  
I may start to enjoy this album more after few more listens but I am personally certain about one thing - it's not on par with the best work of Insomnium (Above The Weeping World, Across The dark) or Omnium Gatherum (New World Shadows, Beyond).

The album so far seems to me like a rather mediocre blend of Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum styles. I love melodeath and I am sure I will start to enjoy this CD more but Insomnium are really getting significantly repetitive. I actually found One For Sorrow more original than this one.

EDIT: Yes, they should have done the whole album of songs like Lost To Night (number 5) and Shadows Of The Dying Sun (number 10)...
Mattybu - 24.04.2014 at 17:51  
Written by Risto on 24.04.2014 at 09:51

Written by Mattybu on 24.04.2014 at 03:52

I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.

It is a little different, tracks 5 and 10 in particular should make this quite clear. I believe this is what R'Vannith is pointing out in the fourth paragraph.


Well I was going mainly on the opening paragraph (although I did read the rest). "No less the same in style and execution than what preceded it". Which is good for people who like that style, not so much for me.
b0sse - 24.04.2014 at 19:23  
Never liked Omnium Gatherum... They use way too much clean vocals. Ugh.
Risto - 24.04.2014 at 19:28  
Written by b0sse on 24.04.2014 at 19:23

Never liked Omnium Gatherum... They use way too much clean vocals. Ugh.

Beyond has less clean vocals than the last two Insomnium records.
Opethian - 25.04.2014 at 01:31  
Unfortunately this album falls under the category of 'I'll check it out when I give a shit'. Last 2 albums were sub par to say the least. For those who are enjoying it, right on
Stunning Cactus - 25.04.2014 at 08:20  
Written by Fallen Ghost on 23.04.2014 at 21:26

Written by MHOE on 23.04.2014 at 10:31
Beyond is such a masterpiece... One of my favourite metal albums of all time.

I don't understand this overwhelming love for Beyond; I got very disappointed with that record, I got bored of it actually. Enjoyed New World Shadows though.


Completely agreed. After Luoto and New Dynamic, the album totally falls off. NWS maintains consist beauty and originality.
R'Vannith - 25.04.2014 at 09:26  
Written by Opethian on 25.04.2014 at 01:31

Unfortunately this album falls under the category of 'I'll check it out when I give a shit'. Last 2 albums were sub par to say the least. For those who are enjoying it, right on


This was posted on the band's Facebook a few days ago, I figured it might be ideal for your "situation"
R'Vannith - 25.04.2014 at 09:30  
Written by Risto on 24.04.2014 at 09:51

Written by Mattybu on 24.04.2014 at 03:52

I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.

It is a little different, tracks 5 and 10 in particular should make this quite clear. I believe this is what R'Vannith is pointing out in the fourth paragraph.

Although the album doesn't do a great deal to distance itself from the previous material, I do find the track list to be pretty distinctive, considering solely the context of this album alone. The drumming provides much of the dynamism I think, and makes for a fairly varied listen. The last two tracks make a nice pair, probably my favourites.
R'Vannith - 25.04.2014 at 09:37  
Written by Mattybu on 24.04.2014 at 03:52

As I would expect, a well written review, but sounds like this once again wouldn't be my cup of tea. I found One for Sorrow pretty dull and based on the review they didn't shake things up too much.


Much thanks. Stylistically there isn't a great deal of difference, very much in the vein of previous albums. But I would encourage checking this out to see how much the drumming does for you, exceptional work I found.
Mattybu - 25.04.2014 at 14:23  
Written by R'Vannith on 25.04.2014 at 09:37

Stylistically there isn't a great deal of difference, very much in the vein of previous albums. But I would encourage checking this out to see how much the drumming does for you, exceptional work I found.


Okay. I did like some stuff from albums other than One For Sorrow as well, so there is a chance that one just happened to be their album that didn't click at all with me. I will check this if I get the chance.
s_t_s - 25.04.2014 at 16:12  
Been listening to this album a couple of times by now and to me it sounds like typical Insomnium material : very nice to listen to but I don't remember any track in particular Seems to me that One For Sorrow stayed in my mind a little deeper...
Fallen Ghost - 25.04.2014 at 20:39  
I love that all their albums except for "In The Halls Of Awaiting" have green rating, cool stuffs! Warming up with older Insomnium material before I get my hands on this.. But I doubt it will be better than "Since The Day It All Came Down" or "Above The Weeping World".
Uldreth - 25.04.2014 at 21:42  
I don't get the obsession with recent day OG, those albums bored me immensely, while Steal The Light and Spirits And August Light are really quite good.

I liked One For Sorrow so would probably dig this as well but I am really getting bored of this style.
-DC-002- - 26.04.2014 at 00:23  
After the initial 2 listens... Mehhh I don't see much change from them via the new guitarist. More then a few recycled riffs and melodies, and is more or less what the releases have been like. Not bad at all but nothing new. Its definitely just modern melodeath.
bitethepain - 29.04.2014 at 23:50  
Really love the album. Have to point out the lyrics. Just got done sitting down with headphones and following along to the music and I have to say the lyrics really hit home to me. I haven't listened to a lot of their albums but these lyrics are really spiritual and inspiring.
bgcasio - 30.04.2014 at 09:16  
Incredible album! Titanic sound! Perfect group! It's neat to the last note.
s_t_s - 30.04.2014 at 15:51  
Written by bgcasio on 30.04.2014 at 09:16

Incredible album! Titanic sound! Perfect group! It's neat to the last note.


Oh man, you seem so high when I read to your comment

After a few spins, I reckon this is good Insomnium but also pretty forgetable as most of their music I'm afraid.
Monolithic - 13.05.2014 at 02:06  
I find the opener to fulfill its purpose very well regardless of whether you consider it a good, bad or even weak album; Either it's considered a strong introduction for the album or one of the better songs on the album.

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