One For Sorrow

In their four album transition from typical Finnish doom death outfit to a melancholic melodic (melocholic?) death metal, Insomnium have done no wrong. Each album being better than the last. And album number 5 is no different as the band manages to take slivers of recognizable influences like Rapture, Amorphis, In Flames, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and create and something beautiful, despondent and powerful.

One For Sorrow seems simply effortless in this creation and the consistency Insomnium mow wield is almost scary. It’s a flawless mix of opposites where somber, strains and lead work meld with somehow uplifting, upbeat riffage wrapped in a lavish, robust production. Niilo Sevanen keeps things appropriately gruff with typical Finnish growl, even if Ville Frimen has an increased clean vocal presence. But the total package that is Insomnium is still instantly recognizable, with just a deft grasp of dynamics that keep each borderline doom song glimmering with a shimmer of hope.

Admittedly, opening instrumental number “Inertia” starts the album on a misleading weak note, but once the band get your heart strings strumming with “‘Through the Shadow” and its rending clean chorus, they never look back with 50 or so minutes of pure excellence. “Song of the Blackest Bird”  has an upbeat pace flocked with delicate, evocative synths and a simply rending climax before “‘Only One Who Waits” delivers a more direct Gothenburg canter and shred (which arises again for (“Every Hour Wounds”) , showing Insomnium‘s more aggressive side, though still with a slight mope. And while the band’s injection of more lively moments hasn’t taken anything from the overall sense of sadness, it shows a formula the band has truly found a comfort level with.

And even if the formula for Insomnium and the album is indeed pretty repetitive, it’s a formula that the band have simply perfected. From the smoothly somber “Unsung” to the morosely epic  closing title track, every song is a standout and the sense of confidence and pristine delivery just exudes from every tear flocked note, despite the air of familiarity.Yeah, I could have done without a second  instrumental interlude (“Decoherence”), but when it bridges perfectly into the albums arguable, stunning, almost 8 minute centerpiece “Lay the Ghost to Rest” or the downcast catchiness of “Regain the Fire” I’m absolutely fine with it.

With One For Sorrow, Insomnium have further cemented their elite place in Finnish metal and with Swallow the Sun being suddenly a bit inconsistent, without question Insomnium sit atop the Finnish doom death genre.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 21st, 2011


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    great write-up. this isn’t very different than the last one but it is excellent and seems a tad more aggressive overall.

    I question the clean chorus on Through the Shadows, as it’s probably the ‘poppiest’ one they’ve done – oddly enough they don’t really do that again on the rest of the album. I think I’d like to see something new from these guys with the next one.

  2. Commented by: stiffy

    Love this album as expected.

  3. Commented by: Staylow

    I tried listening to this twice and just couldn’t get into it at all – which is strange, as what I heard sounds alot like the last one which I loved. Maybe I need to wait till I fall into another Amorphis or Omnium Gatherum binge and try again.

  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah far as this year’s releases go, the Finns stack up like this

    Omnium Gatherum > Insomnium >Amorphis

  5. Commented by: Biff_Tannen



    I try so hard to like this band, as I like/love most of their contemporaries in this style, but I have yet to make it past the third track on any of their albums without getting a powerful urge to skip to the next track.

  6. Commented by: gordeth

    I stopped following these guys after their second album. This review inspired me to check out a few songs from this new one and I think they sound almost exactly the same as when I last heard them. Also, I never thought of this band as doom/death. They’re just gloomy melodeath, which I should love, but this isn’t doing it for me for some reason.

  7. Commented by: Plasmaterial

    Love this album. Took about 10 spins to grow on me, but it is a very rewarding album. So much melancholy, pain and emotion… Not so big on the weird, buzzing tuning of the guitar tone though.

    I loved your write up of Across the Dark over at Metal Review too Erik.

  8. Commented by: Evil In U

    Insomnium have yet to disappoint me. As far as I’m concerned they’re the reigning kings of this genre. Amorphis have been coasting since Silent Waters and I find the latest Omnium Gatherum to be a bit of a letdown after the excellent Red Shift.

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