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Insomnium
Shadows of the Dying Sun

Company: Century Media
Release: 2014
Genre: Melodic death
Reviewer: T. Ray Verteramo

  • The buck stopped in the studio



  • The concept of "melodic death metal," is a romantic one – "my sweet death," so to speak. So, naturally, this genre would be attractive to the musicians who like a little thoughtfulness with their brutality. However, that being said, it's not an easy balance to maintain in order to keep it from sounding awkward and these guys nearly have it down.

    There's no question of the musicianship. Hirvonen (drums) drives the tank with versatility and solidity, shaking things up a bit with some nice pattern changes, particularly on "Sun's" 3rd track, "Revelation". He makes his presence perfectly clear that he is definitely comfortable with his craft. Axemen Friman and Vanhala work well as a team, though no particular chord progressions or riffs stand out anywhere, either between them or from each. Sevanen (lead vocals / bass) may be the real victim of production infection, however. He could have a very strong voice, I couldn't tell because his tracks were bussed so below the guitar line, he sounded like he was singing from another room. There were times when I thought I could distinguish "purring" from "growling" but, I found myself wondering if it was him or maybe Till Hindemann from Rammstein decided to make a cameo...

    It is a real shame. I have no idea what effect they were trying to achieve with such brazen neglect of talent. Maybe they were trying to illustrate his voice as a blended instrument rather than a frontman. Who knows? All I know is that it was very hard to appreciate the compositions and the songwriting – which they are fairly able with – when you can't connect with it, especially for this hybrid style of metal because it kills the romance. There's no "melodic" death metal when there's no "melody".

    Thundering drums surrounded by searing guitars would probably work for something else. Unfortunately, not this. It really is a shame. Vision's there, talent's there, but the buck stopped in the studio and didn't leave.



    About this Writer:
    T. Ray Verteramo // T. Ray is a product of New York Mediterranean upbringing, discovering Alice Cooper before puberty, and Iron Maiden after. Taken underwing by the former managing editor of Hit Parader magazine in 1985, she took to freelancing, writing up the local and national circuit for 7 years. A new millennium, a published dystopic thriller, and a CNN article on life in metal in the 80's later, she's been thrown back to the wolves, into a much darker and deeper part of the forest.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: INSOMNIUM
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Above The Weeping WorldInsomnium
    2006
    Etiam2/23/2007
    Across The DarkInsomnium
    2009
    Eric Compton3/4/2010
    Shadows of the Dying SunInsomnium
    2014
    T. Ray Verteramo6/24/2014
    Since the day it all came downInsomnium
    2004
    Ajax8/17/2004


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: INSOMNIUM
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Winter's GateInsomnium
    2016
    Eric Compton12/16/2016


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: INSOMNIUM
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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