Insomnium – Anno 1696 (Album Review)

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Insomnia – Anno 1696 (Album Review)

As the world around us gradually darkens, creative expression seems to reflect these dangerous times…even if they are focused on the past. Finland’s Melodic Death Metal master Insomnium, who has always been a master of such feelings, has once again achieved this with their most scribbled album to date. Year 1696.

A concept album consists of only eight songs, but tells the whole story of the darkest days in Finnish history; it adds some werewolves and witchcraft with it to pack an extra heavy punch in the guts. Telling a grand story with Insomnium is standard, but how it will turn out creatively is never predictable. epic 2016 albums winter gate It was quite successful with a forty-minute long song. Then there really was no stone unturned in their successful exploration of musical storytelling when they saw them compartmentalize in a live setting. Lyrics as in the past year 1696 Written by pioneer Niilo Sevänen… but this time it tells a somewhat shortened story.

Released on February 24 via Century Media Records, year 1696 It was specially designed to tell an ancient story of tragic proportions. Done through the melody, it begins, interestingly, with an acoustic, gentle shuffle for the title song that suddenly turns into utter brutal destruction of the darkest silhouettes. It is excellent in its performance that sends you to a different time and place musically; long before any of us existed. It ends the way it started, and then the song “White Christ” with guest vocals from Rotting Christ’s Sakis Tolis fills your mind and is a well thought out collaboration that will be fun to watch live.

Later year 1696 It takes a very unconventional direction for Insomnium as “Godforsaken” breaks the mold with guest female Vocalist Johanna Kurkela. Truly capturing another realm in storytelling vocally, this eight-and-a-half-minute long piece delivers the flesh of the story that only gets darker as it progresses. Then, “Lilian”, a long song of four and a half minutes, breaks the sound barrier of everything that came before it; to steer the story in a heavier direction that leads to a demonic light that strengthens the song “Starless Paths”.

To sum it up, “The Witch Hunter” is another dive into the album’s climax. Then you are invited to drift into “The Unrest”, another short acoustic break that softens the attack of “The Rapids”. The last song of the album is imperious, as you seem to be floating on the waves to escape the dangers of the land.

One of the inspiring aspects of Insomnium is that the concept albums truly work as a unified collection, yet still manage to have creative uniqueness in each song. The current members of Insomnium have put together another great album with an absolutely choppy sound. Cryptic Rock for this and more The year is 1696, 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Insomnia – Anno 1696 / Century Media Records (2023)

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