Across the Dark

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Band Name Insomnium
Album Name Across the Dark
Type Album
Released date 09 September 2009
Music StyleMelodic Death
Members owning this album201

Tracklist

1. Equivalence 03:18
2. Down with the Sun 04:23
3. Where the Last Wave Broke 05:03
4. The Harrowing Years 06:39
5. Against the Stream 06:11
6. Lay of the Autumn 09:08
7. Into the Woods 05:08
8. Weighed Down with Sorrow 05:51
Bonustracks (Limited Edition)
9. The New Beginning
10. Into the Evernight
Total playing time 45:41

Review @ Scandals

20 August 2009
Insomnium are a band I first came across when I caught them supporting Zyklon and Enslaved back in 2006. I bought their previous full length, ‘Above the Weeping World’, and was startled to find a melodic death metal band that provided an excellent melancholic atmosphere, not unlike fellow Finns, death/doom titans Swallow the Sun. I was excited to learn of ‘Across the Dark’, their newest release, and have been glad to receive it. The thing that most struck me about Insomnium were that they were a melodic death metal band that took a more measured pace, and injected a more mournful atmosphere into their work than the majority. Bands like In Flames or Soilwork tend to barrel full speed ahead, and while I am a fan of the genre and of those bands, I prefer the more atmospheric pacing of bands like Insomnium. I have the same views on death metal and black metal, it is just a preference of course, but I think a slower pace can enhance an album. Insomnium have also a commanding ability to structure their songs to include delicate pastoral acoustics as well as grandiose riffs and melodies. The stand out track that allows these elements to shine through on ‘Across the Dark’ is the 9 minute epic ‘The Lay of Autumn’. Encompassing all the parts of Insomnium that make them such an excellent band, it could almost be THE defining song of their career. They clearly have the spirit of their Finnish counterparts working magic in amongst their riffs; gloomy legends like Sentenced and Amorphis influence the rousing ‘Down With the Sun’. The vocals are your more standard death metal growl, but they are interspersed with whispered lines and the clean singing of Jules Näveri (Enemy of the Sun), which adds a nice touch to the atmosphere. As bands like My Dying Bride have shown, a clear vocal can really bring a melancholic atmosphere gravitas and weight, and here it does the same. The album takes more influence from Katatonia and Opeth too, welding subtle melodies to a sweeping riff structure and it never fails to soar, even in its darkest moments. Closer ‘Weighted Down with Sorrow’ has an inappropriate title, for if there is one track that is fully free it is this one. The sorrowful violin line that opens it soon melts away into a huge riff, which allows the melodic lead to take it onward and upward, reaching to break through the gloom. This is an album full of landscape moments like this, written by a band who know how to handle huge on a professional level. I thought that Insomnium would struggle to surpass ‘Above the Weeping World’, but this album is certainly a worthy successor. It continues a line of impressive albums from these guys, and with every release they become stronger, more inventive and more essential. Hopefully ‘Across the Dark’ will allow them to be named up there as one of the best Finnish exports for a long time.

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samMETALHEAD - 19 July 2010: Good description of the song "The Lay of Autumn"
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