With their first two albums Finland's INSOMNIUM had harvested lots of very positive reviews, also right here at "The Metal Observer", so that I had been really looking forward to their third effort. And with "Above The Weeping World", so the title, the Joensuu quintet definitely has erected a grandiose edifice of Metal, which should also finally get them the much deserved breakthrough.
On the previous album INSOMNIUM already did not sound like the very run-of-the-mill Melodic Death, but utilized more melancholic and also acoustic passages within their songs, a direction that they continue to explore and exploit with "Above The Weeping World". Especially the acoustic guitar is playing a pretty important role by now and as strange as this may read, the Finns do not lose an iota of power, quite the contrary. In my review for "Since The Day It All Came Down" I had described the band as mix of IN FLAMES, old KATATONIA, OPETH and old AMORPHIS and am as close to describing their sound as I am off.
As so often it is the mixing ratio that makes or breaks the task of creating a more or less original sound and INSOMNIUM almost perfectly manage to combine the power of Death Metal with absolutely brilliant melodies, melancholic undertones and great acoustic passages, to the best possible effect. After the cool intro "The Gale" "Mortal Share" is offering the proof for the Finns' take on melodic Death Metal in its a bit more traditional form, before "Drawn To Black" combines all mentioned elements in one great song, which reaches from powerful double-bass to purely acoustic passages, from Death Metal growls to whispers and from great catchy melodies to several breaks, what could you as for more?
Besides the acoustic guitar INSOMNIUM also do not shy away from the use of an organ ("Change Of Heart"), interrupt heavier eruptions with an acoustic interlude ("At The Gates Of Sleep") or also get more progressive ("Devoid Of Caring"), before unleashing a huge track with ten-minute "In The Groves Of Death" at the very end, where they put the acoustic guitar as secondary melody line underneath the powerful mid-paced sound, creating a pretty unique atmosphere.
Embedded into a crystal clear production INSOMNIUM have delivered a little masterpiece in "Above The Weeping World" that should appeal to the traditionalists of Melodic Death as much as the fans of the a bit more original and varied variant, as they hold a very good balance. This is how originality, demand and accessibility have to be united! (Online October 13, 2006)