Insomnium - Heart Like a Grave
Century Media
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (1:00:57)
Release year: 2019
Insomnium, Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

After the still remarkably good Winter's Gate revitalised Insomnium's sound in 2016 with a one-long-song concept album with plenty of epic folky and proggy goodness, it was fascinating to see where the Finns would take their sound next. And although full-length number eight doesn't have its predecessor's interesting concept, it retains nearly everything that made the band's style so good and produces a set of songs that shows little lessening of quality. There's an air of classiness about Heart Like A Grave from the start with the beautifully ethereal piano that opens the album on Wail of the North, metallic heft and heaviness soon added with Niilo Sevänen's growls and the triple-headed guitar assault, former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen a worthy addition. The guitars on this album especially are excellent, melodic and heavy with the production giving a good crunch to their tone, and when married to the catchy, hook-strewn vocal performances on the likes of Valediction make for some compelling melodic death metal.

Even with the genre's tropes by now becoming well-recognisable and even tiresome in some cases, Insomnium keep things fresh with the likes of the nearly nine-minute Pale Morning Star, beginning with an icy blackened gallop and moving on through almost melodic doom territory, bleak and melancholic with a touch of acoustic beauty allowed to shine through, culminating in excellent soloing and a touch of orchestration in the song outro. An excellent mini-epic on an album packed with them, even before you consider the likes of And Bells They Toll with increased usage of clean singing adding to the gothy vibe, or the intense and powerful chugger The Offering, with some of the best guitarwork on an album packed with it. And although at over an hour's length this lacks the compact dose of quality that Winter's Gate provided, there's nothing here that really feels like filler or of lesser quality, particularly once you reach the grippingly grandiose title track or ghostly closing instrumental Karelia. Another great album from the Finns.

Killing Songs :
Valediction, Pale Morning Star, And Bells They Toll, Heart Like a Grave
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Insomnium that we have reviewed:
Insomnium - Anno 1696 reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 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 8 reviews click here
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