One for sorrow by Insomnium (2011)

Insomium is an interesting Finnish melodeath band that adds to the standards of this genre a more progressive and heavy atmospheric sound that turns the music into a perfect storm, surrounding and nocturnal. Regarding its mood, Insomium also goes beyond the rage and dark thoughts to incorporate some sadness that translated into music, gives the whole a bit of tenderness that one wouldn’t expect of music like this and features some musical elements as brilliant acoustic guitar interludes. Another point to take into account that makes this band different is the quality of their lyrics. Despites in other bands lyrics just seem secondary, here they take an important role, and only by reading a couple of them, we can realize that they’ve been written carefully and are heavily inspired by XIX century’s poetry.

The album I’m bringing today, One for Sorrow (2011), is the fifth album of the band and is considered one of their best, if not the best of all. It follows the line defined in previous works, with not much variations, but in this one the band seems to have refined and mastered that style and comes up with a round and solid album. The first introductory song, Inertia, starts the same way as The Gale (also the first song in the album Above the Weeping World), with some timid notes echoing in the silence, soon and progressively joined by drums and guitar, until it all becomes a burst of emotion. It is quickly followed by Through the shadows, a faster and more thrilling tune, featuring some clean voices in the chorus, that mixes melodic led parts with other more brutal sounding, and also keeps aside the melancholy to be energetic and even happy in some way. Song of the blackest bird, as it’s a song about death, turns a bit more darker and heavy, featuring a game of speed ups and slow downs, moments of calm and others of storm. Anyway, it’s too long in my opinion because it hasn’t got enough interesting features to keep one attention for seven minutes. That’s why it’d need to be cut down to just four or five minutes, but saving the final part of the song, when the sound suddenly fades in the distance. After these tracks, the album finally takes off for me, with shorter and more expressive and condensed songs. The first of them is Only one who waits, with fast rhythm and not much ornaments, followed by Unsung, that includes a great bridge, apocalyptic coda and sweet acoustic guitar. Every Hour Hurts turns absolutely sorrowful, and it is one of my favorites for its decadent chorus and lyrics, although they contain an ambivalent message because it’s said that every hour pushes us closer to death and could make us suffer, but it’s our choice how we take these truths. And after this one comes a surprising tune because of its sweet guitar and relaxing mood: Decoherence. There are no distorted guitars or growls, and the whole sounds a bit new-age like, so that it doesn’t fully convince me, but the song it’s beautiful anyway and reminds me of the feeling you could get while wandering alone by the sea or around a Nordic forest miles away from civilization, rediscovering what once was the home of human being. This easy-to-listen song makes our ears and brains too lazy to fully appreciate Lay the ghost to rest, again too long, because this tune doesn’t shine until its middle part, the first one is more of the same we’ve listened in previous tracks, but fortunately, by then we’re again enough waken up to find the structure of the music and enjoy it. Regain the fire reminds me a lot of Trough the shadows, with a similar mood and chorus structure backed by clean voice, nothing much remarkable, as it’s the song I like the least. Despites, the ending of the album is superb, starting with One for sorrow, the song that gives the name to the album. Silence takes over again to be slowly broken by sorrow and desperation, a pain so deep and inevitable that can’t be express any other way than through music. I also highlight the original slowed down rhythm the song keeps. And it all ends with another jewel: Weather the storm. The intro is almost the best part, catchy and powerful. I love the chorus lyrics (And even if you crush my body, and drain it ’til the last drop: you can never touch my spirit, you can never touch my soul) and the speed changes. Its message of resistance leave us with a good flavor of mouth.

As conclusion, if you want to listen to something new and challenging and by the way take a trip through the cold, silent and white Finnish forests and winters, this is an album you should definitely listen to. And also don’t miss the lyrics.

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