Album Review – Insomnium – One For Sorrow
Posted by Reggie
When you come across good metal unexpectedly it makes for a real nice treat. That’s what happened to me today when I realized I forgot to look and see what was released this past Tuesday. With all the bands that have released new material over the last 6-weeks, I forgot to check and see what else was released. This is how I came across Insomnium. To the best of my knowledge, I never heard of this band before, but based on the band’s name, I guessed a couple of things correctly. A – they would probably be from Scandinavia and B – they would sound like they were from Scandinavia. If this were a final question on Rock Jeopardy, I would have won a lot of money.
One for Sorrow was released on Tuesday the 18th in North America; a bit earlier in other parts of the world. Insomnium created a piece of work that masterfully intertwined all the elements that make Scandinavian death/melodic/melancholy bands so great. It’s all there; the awesome guitar work; growling & semi clean vocals; and a melody that leaves you feeling beaten, bruised, and well…tranquil. Melancholy is supposed to make you feel sad and depressed, but in metal it’s more of a soothing effect…like the calm before a storm.
I have nothing to compare One for Sorrow to. I do not know any of their music so I can’t tell you that they are better than ever, getting worse, or selling-out-whatever that means. I am reviewing this album based on what I am hearing this very moment. I dig this a lot and I am glad I bought it because the 130 seconds or so iTunes gives you as a preview does NOT do this album justice. One for Sorrow is a complete set, as with most Scandinavian music. You need to hear all of it, not just bits and pieces.
One for Sorrow is 11 stories including Decoherence, a 3:18 instrumental that may as well be worth a thousand words. Lyrically, One for Sorrow is a strong album. The recurring theme throughout dealing with grief and loss, not giving up; recognizing your self-worth, and facing adversity. For example, Weather the Storm:
No matter how bleak or how hopeless
No matter how hard or how far
You can never break my conation
Tear the will apart from desire…
…Through demise and disaster
Past the flames of the end
Rise above ever stronger
Disown the past for the present
Don’t be guided by fear or failure
It’s now or never
Just give it all in
In case you were wondering, the word “conation” is the mental process of action; involves the will such as impulse, desire, or action. It is commonly used in psychology. Insomnium’s lyrics are neither topical nor boring. There is real substance behind their message.
After a few spins, I find no serious flaws with One for Sorrow. It is one part headbanging, one part battle-metal rhythm, one part melancholy, and one part melodic death. It may seem (on paper) to have too many elements to be a coherent album, but Insomnium have entwined these styles and sounds into a pleasurable metal experience.
I have to say I am quite pleased to stumble upon this album and add a new artist to my library. Within their home country of Finland, One for Sorrow reached #1 on the Indie charts and #6 on the Finland charts. You’ve got to love a country that loves its metal.
I give One for Sorrow 4.5 of 5 Devil Horns
Below are two videos from songs on One for Sorrow. Enjoy!
I couldn’t link to the official video from Century Media so here is a link to a different uploaded video.