One For Sorrow
posted on 11/2011 By:
Insomnium takes the rather vague classification of ‘melodic death metal’ and creates their own melancholic, complex, and driving definition. Above The Weeping World was a masterpiece; Across the Dark felt a bit stale; and while One For Sorrow has moments of brilliance, it falls somewhere in the middle, albeit closer to AtWW. Nevertheless, I consider it a marked improvement overall. The production is neither murky nor immaculate, and there is sincere and captivating grit within each track. The confident fifth release from this group of Finns is filled with excellent songwriting (with a massive emphasis on guitarist Ville Friman’s contributions), musicality, and emotion.
The album begins with the stunning and subdued “Inertia”. The track is pure post-rock bliss, complete with delayed crystal-clear guitar and cymbal washes, before submerging the listener in heavier waters. Insomnium has mastered the art of combining atmosphere with aggression, and “Meandering Through the Shadows” plays up these strengths while delivering one of the band’s most beguiling tracks to date. Walls of gorgeous sound are built, layer upon layer, creating sonic staircases to the open skies.
The structure gives way a bit with “Only One Who Waits” which is jarringly aggressive in contrast with the preceding gentle outro for the occasionally Agalloch-esque “Song of the Blackest Bird”. It’s a notable track for the band, and an immediately hard-hitting departure from their signature structure. The shock wears off after a moment and the immensity of sound sets in. Coupled with Niilo Sevänen’s spine-crushing growls, the song an incredible and vicious contribution to the record.
The album briefly loses momentum after the fourth track or so, letting go of the previous tracks’ creativity and cuddling up to fierce formula for awhile, but let’s face it: Insomnium’s formula is pretty fantastic. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few surprises in store. In addition to the inclusion of clean vocals on the album, “Decoherence” is also a game-changing and soothing instrumental track with mellifluous keyboards and a honeyed atmosphere.
One For Sorrow concludes with the title track, starting with soft ambience just as the album began. Thudding, intense, percussion supports the heartbreaking riff, and the mix of cleans and growls creates tiers of complex melancholy. There is anguish aplenty, strength in spades, and the track is a beautiful selection to end a similarly gorgeous and commanding album.
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Across The Dark
Above The Weeping World
Since The Day It All Came Down