Finland is an evocative land. The very mention of it conjures visions of endless darkness, long, cold wintry nights and an almost oppressive bleakness. It is within this icy cauldron that the soul of INSOMNIUM was borne. Their music is as epic as it is melodic, as melancholic as it is majestic and as brutal as it is beautiful. To call INSOMNIUM a Death Metal band is to do them a grave disservice. Their latest release, One for Sorrow, is such an amalgamation of styles that pigeonholing them into a single category would be to rob the band of its true complexity and ignore the very essence of its sound. Recalling art¬metal titans Cult of Luna at one turn and brutal visionaries Amon Amarth at others, One for Sorrow displays the true musical breadth of a band that has clearly come into its own on this, their debut album for Century Media.
Formed in 1997 in the town of Joensuu, in Eastern Finland, INSOMNIUM released two demos that led to a deal with UK label Candlelight Records. Founding members Markus Hirvonen (drums), Ville Friman (guitars) and Niilo Sevänen (vocals and bass) added guitarist Ville Vänni to the band for the release of their Candlelight debut in 2001 Throughout the following decade, the band went on to release four more highly acclaimed albums, the most recent of which, 2009’s Across the Dark, entered the Finnish album charts at #5. Along the way, they picked up a couple of awards in their homeland for Best Band and Best Album. The band supported Above The Weeping World and Across the Dark with a furious touring schedule, traversing both the States and Europe with the likes of Amorphis, Katatonia, Enslaved and Satyricon. They capped off the album cycle with a co¬headlining tour with their friends Ghost Brigade and a Spring 2010 direct support slot with Dark Tranquillity. In the Spring of 2011, INSOMNIUM entered the studio to record what would become One for Sorrow. While drums, bass, keyboards and vocals were recorded in Finland and guitars in Gothenburg, Sweden, the album has a remarkable cohesiveness and clarity of sound.
Guitarist Friman comments on the album title, “The name One for Sorrow comes from a traditional children’s nursery rhyme. There are ten different scenarios in the original rhyme; likewise there are ten different songs and stories on our album. I think “One for Sorrow” truly depicts what this album is all about: bereavement, grief and loss.” Album opener, “Inertia” hints at a post¬Isis metal world where sound washes over the listener first in drops, then in waves. Standouts “Through the Shadows” and “Regain the Fire” blend harsh brutality with choruses that are soaring and melodic, highlighting the masterful songcraft these Finns have at their disposal. The title track, a serpentine build, that slithers its way from acoustic guitar to true aural grandiosity, is an appropriate closer to One for Sorrow.