It seems to me that Finnish defenders of melodic death metal faith Insomnium only get better with the passing of time: their 2014’s album Shadows of the Dying Sun saw them at their most brutal and catchy simultaneously, upping the ante on all departments. Now the time has come for even more ambitious move, so enter now Winter’s Gate! The idea for this album was born in one autumnal night when the band was rehearsing and listening to Edge of Sanity’s Crimson, they thought that it was a good idea to try similar project and they also had the perfect story for it. Niilo Sevänen (bass, vocals) has written the story about the Viking quest more than ten years ago so it gave perfect plot for waving the magic of one long song and creating the new Insomnium album out of it. Now I must admit that I always saw Insomnium as a good band, but Winter’s Gate has brought them to a new league altogether. It is very hard to compose such a long song and keep it interesting but Insomnium’s 40 minute tale does just that: in a way it feels like this is the band’s first album and they are eager to give everything they have in their arsenal… and this really is a new beginning for the band. It is hard not to notice how this song is meticulously crafted and how the song flows seamlessly into various moods, from shadow to light and back again. It should be said that Insomnium has branched from their usual melodic death metal style here so one will get to hear a lot of black metal and progressive influences interwoven into the song. If I have to give some comparisons, Winter’s Gate reminds me of old grandiosity of Opeth, psychedelic keyboard magic of Amorphis, blood freezing melodies of Dissection and standard Insomnium fare; while all of this together will bring memories of Crimson without a doubt. It is no wonder that Dan Swanö himself was invited to mix and master the whole affair, giving his compliments in a way which means a lot coming from the very master of this style. Insomnium really took some huge risks with Winter’s Gate – in an era where people are downloading and listening the music through Youtube, you have one gigantic song that simply demands your time. No flashy promotional videos, not an easy task for Century Media to promote the release, just one song that begs the listener to lose itself in it. Those of you who will give the album what it demands will be rewarded far more, and I must say at the end that Winter’s Gate truly brought me back to nineties when the bands of this ilk were not afraid to experiment, thus making Insomnium true heirs to the thrones of old masters. All my compliments, gentlemen!
- Century Media CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan (9)