Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 10/17/2006
Above The Weeping World
posted on 10/2006 By:
I’ve only been able to briefly hear Insomnium’s In The Halls Of Awaiting and Since The Day It All Came Down until fairly recently, and after more concentrated listening I still find them both to be good releases, but nothing to sacrifice a lamb over. Finnish melodic death metal also ranks extremely low on my usual listening rotation, but Above The Weeping World has single-handedly changed my mind about that as well, at least in the case of Insomnium. Not only does this effort shatter my medium expectations, it has also grabbed the attention of many other people who were formerly nonplussed by the quartet. Being proved wrong isn’t always a bad thing.
Confidence radiates from Above The Weeping World, as Insomnium have resolutely stepped away from their influences a bit and in the process of realizing their own vision, have gained a more identifiable sound as a result of their creative ambition. Innovation isn’t always something that solely transcends a genre, but rather is something which can be achieved within the realms of a solitary outfit’s own field of accomplishment. This is the phenomenon occurring on Above The Weeping World. It’s a symbolic lighting of a metal bonfire of once promising doom-laden melodic refinement into an emotionally engulfing, and musically elevated emanation, with a previously unheard-of warmth blazing from the band.
While tastefully judicious as far as delving into speedy passages, and even more rich in tone than their previous efforts, the increase in heaviness and tenacity only serves to compliment the higher levels of consummate songwriting Insomnium have set out to achieve. Coming fully into their own after many previous comparisons to Opeth and Dark Tranquillity, tunes such as “Last Statement” show the band absolutely perfecting the textured aggression of albums prior with their own unique personalities. Displaying a hairline balance of light and dark, the clouded melodies of the track adjoin with soulful soloing, an emotionally tense vocal crescendo and rumbling death metal rhythms, impaling itself into memory with a Novembers Doom sense of tragic urgency. “The Killjoy” is a highly accessible track showing similar dynamic tendencies, but is more indicative of the band’s evolutionary trimming of the fat while keeping things harmonically robust and purposeful. These are merely a couple of the nine gruffly-vocalized songs which form the body of one of the most captivating albums I’ve been blessed with hearing this year, and serve as resplendent examples of the growth found on this effort.
It should be made clear this isn’t just a colorfully supportive album highlighting only a few select tracks, for overall this is Insomnium’s most well-rounded work to date, and a personally groundbreaking disc in its thorough realization of their vision. Majestic doom riffs and haunting nuance blend seamlessly with epic metallic fire on “In The Groves Of Death”, and “Mortal Share” properly begins this 53-minute journey with an early burst of thrashing energy to make its presence soundly known. Expressively brilliant lyrically, a finer soundtrack for autumn I cannot imagine at the moment, and apropos is the sound of rain falling on the dead leaves, which serves to open and close Above The Weeping World in effectively dramatic fashion while avoiding coffeehouse pomposity. This review itself should be so lucky (I’m doing your internal monologue for you there).
To conclude, this is Insomnium’s finest work to date, and may turn out to be their crowning achievement. A rare disc which not only sees the band observing its strongest forward motion creatively, visually (it looks gorgeous) and conceptually, Above The Weeping World is a special album which transcends the constrictive limits of specific genre appeal. My money has already been surrendered to MetalHaven as the burgundy, rustic booklet lay open only inches away from me while I type this, a foreboding yet mesmerizing vision which deserves to be gazed upon by others who are also desperate for a refreshing take on a well-worn sound. I’ve given you fair notice, so plan your metal budget accordingly to suit this necessary acquisition, for this sort of understated genius rarely happens more than once in a career. Make it your own, and treasure it reservedly.
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One For Sorrow
Across The Dark
Since The Day It All Came Down