Insomnium - In the Halls of Awaiting
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (55'36")
Release year: 2002
Insomnium, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

When I bought this CD a little sticker on the shrinkwrap said "Scandinavian Melodic Metal which will appeal to the fans of Opeth , Nevermore and Children of Bodom ". Oh, those tricky labels! The material presented here is definitely Scandinavian, and definitely Melodic, but has very little to do with any of the above mentioned bands. If I was forced to draw a comparison, I would recall a more streamlined and less musically complicated variation of the early In Flames .

This Finnish band plays a tight and rocking brand of not extremely aggressive death metal. Somehow I feel that their compositions are nature and folk inspired (like it is the case with many Scandinavian bands). One of the recipes they use throughout the album - drop in an acoustic touched part amidst the drum propelled tight riffing and melodic alternating twin guitar leads. This allows the listener to take a periodic breather and rock along with the band, as they seem to enjoy their own musianship quite a bit. I heard that they had trouble finding a vocalist, and their bass player and one of the main songwriters, Niilo Sevanen, settled into the vocalist role. The guy must have studied Mikael Stanne ( Dark Tranquillity ) quite a bit as he emulates a lot of his vocal melodies.

One problem with Insomnium is that not all songs are of the equally high quality. It feels like the band submitted a demo and got signed on its basis. Then they were forced to build up the whole album, and put a few filler tracks on it. (This is just my guess though!) Some of the best songs on the album are the opener Ill-Starred Son which sets the tone with its excellent leads and rocking rhythm. Opethian, yes the label wasn't completely misleading, Shades of Deep Green rolls over you with its tidal wave guitar. Dying Chant is a powerful wall-of-sound melodic song with the acoustic midpart styled after a Russian folk song. The ultimate nail in the coffin is the closer 10 min title track. After it was over, I had a feeling that I am ready to go and sail the oceans or climb the mountains with the Vikings from the Halls of Awaiting . In parts acoustic, melodic, with undeniably catchy guitar hooks and even a touch of keyboards - it will stick in your head.

All in all Insomnium is a very solid and utterly enjoyable debut, and should they get rid of the filler we will be hearing even stronger albums from them in the future.

Killing Songs :
Ill-Starred Son, Dying Chant, In the Halls of Awaiting
Alex quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Insomnium that we have reviewed:
Insomnium - Heart Like a Grave reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Insomnium - Winter's Gate reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Insomnium - One For Sorrow reviewed by Khelek and quoted 86 / 100
Insomnium - Across the Dark reviewed by Dan and quoted 87 / 100
Insomnium - Above the Weeping World reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
6 readers voted
Your quote was: 87.
Change your vote

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!