Insomnium - Since the Day It All Came Down
Candlelight
Melodic Death Metal
11 songs (53'45")
Release year: 2004
Insomnium, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

I can’t believe it has been almost two years since I have started writing for MetalReviews, but it is true. Personal sentiments aside, one of my first reviews was an album by a little known Finnish melodeath band Insomnium. I have liked the album in general, but thought that some songs were weaker than others. Yet, Nordic melodic feeling was very prominent, and I have since listened to the title song of In the Halls of Awaiting many times, and even placed it on some of my self-chosen “Best Scandinavian Melodic Death” samplers I have recommended to friends.

I love to follow those little known bands and get hold of their subsequent albums. With great pleasure, therefore, I report to you that the second Insomnium album Since the Day It All Came Down has been recently released by Candlelight. With even more delight I have to say that the four guys who make up Insomnium have remained together, and have made significant improvement with their second effort.

Largely, Insomnium has stuck to their guns. Their brand of melodic death metal combines both aggressive and softer introspective, often acoustic, parts. Compared to In the Halls of Awaiting two modes combine quite a bit more organically and seamlessly. Niilo Sevanen, who handles both bass and vocal duties, mostly sings in the same low tone growl, very reminiscent of Mikael Stanne and early Anders Friden, but he has also expanded with his cleaner vocals. There is no question, the clean parts add another dimension to Insomnium, but there is also no question, they need further work. Most of the time cleaner parts are not sung, but whispered instead, similar to how Friden did it on Colony.

It is good to see, however, that Insomnium did not follow the In Flames-Soilwork pack, but instead maintained heavy harmonies of the Lunar Strain variety. Along with much cleaner production of the aggressive parts Insomnium now throws our way such memorable riffs you will need pliers to dislodge them from your brain. Just check out the beginning of The Day It All Came Down, the main riff of Daughter of the Moon or the chorus of Under the Plaintive Sky. The lead guitar is non-stop again, just like it was on early Dark Tranquillity, In Flames and now sadly defunct Lothlorien albums. Insomnium melodies just breathe Nordic about them, they are mostly sad, almost romantic, but never sappy. The longer epic Disengagement is a signature example, slower, mid-pace, flowing like a river surrounded by snowy banks, only to be periodically interrupted by either brief double bass outbursts or even slower acoustic leads, all resulting in a very somber sounding finish. Song of the Forlorn Son is another slower heavy Vikingesque farewell song. With that entire atmosphere, make no mistake, Insomnium riffs crush (Bereavement, The Day It All Came Down) and rip your hearing senses wide open.

I have found it very rewarding to be listening to Since the Day It All Came Down while sitting on the couch with my 5-speaker surround sound enveloping me and booklet in hand. The lyrics of Insomnium are very meaningful, and, man, do they fit Sevanen’s voice timbre well. Next time the gruff vocals discussion comes up I’d point to this. When you grieve the loss of the loved one, despair over your own weaknesses or make your way on the difficult journey through cold and inhospitable land – if you ever want to sing about it, you would want to make sure you sound like your feelings are hurt. Just like Niilo Sevanen makes me believe.

A huge step in the right direction, Since the Day It All Came Down proves to me that Insomnium is for real. I am glad I was able to review their debut, and I am sure as hell glad I bought the follow-up.

Killing Songs :
The Day It All Came Down, Daughter of the Moon, Bereavement, Under the Plaintive Sky, Disengagement
Alex quoted 89 / 100
Other albums by Insomnium that we have reviewed:
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
Insomnium - In the Halls of Awaiting reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
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