(On February 24th the Finnish band Insomnium will release their ninth album, Anno 1696, via Century Media Records. Today we present DGR‘s extensive review.)
It’s an odd realization when it occurs to you that there are now bands where you can almost speak to their entire history since you started following them. While I can never claim that I got in on the ground floor with Finland’s Insomnium – I was one of the class who got into them via the “Mortal Share” music video – it wasn’t that difficult to dig backwards into the group’s discography, considering that 2006’s Above The Weeping World was only their third full-length.
Hindsight being as it is, it isn’t too hard to see that with Above The Weeping World, Insomnium had already laid out much of the groundwork for what would become ‘their sound’ over the following decade and a half. At the time, every Insomnium release was like a nectar of the gods as the group’s profile seemed to grow slowly but steadily, and it seems like it has only been with the past few releases that they’ve been able to really reap the rewards of that effort.
Of course, numerous lineup additions – with very few full-on member exits – have added to the band’s formula over the years, but 2019’s Heart Like A Grave left them in an interesting spot. It was an album full of ideas and a lot of different contributions, but like many albums of that sort, a whole collective of different ideas and directions can often seem like a collection of completely separate songs with no clear throughline. At times it seemed like Insomnium were working really hard to figure out what an Insomnium release was like after having existed for over twenty years.