Review: INSOMNIUM “Winter’s Gate”

Review: INSOMNIUM “Winter’s Gate”

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insomniumINSOMNIUM “Winter’s Gate”
Century Media records

What keeps you awake? Is it your thoughts? Or fears? Or maybe it can be music, exciting book…  Insomnium band decided to deprive you of sleep with all the everything mentioned above at once.

Finnish band Insomnium was established in 1997 as a melodic-death-metal project that is still adhered to the frameworks of the style, while certainly having its own features of sound. But on September 23th the new album Winter’s Gate will be released. It is already known among the fans that the entire album will consist only one, but 40-minute lasting track. Music has changed a bit , there will be more progressive sound, but epic side is still as powerful as on previous release. In addition, the album will be accompanied by a short story about a Viking journey to a mysterious island. Actually, the story written by guitarist and vocalist, is what the album is based on. It has already received positive feedback from literary critics.

The album telling us the story that is inextricably linked with the added book. Winter’s Gate sounds continuously and the main themes of each separate piece flow one into another. Leitmotivs of winter, fear, cruelty, tenderness, love and courage are interwoven and forming the whole picture. This makes the listener feel that the characters described in the book are just standing in front of him.

Track opens with the light sounds, similar to ice flowers appearing on the windows with the first frost. It spreads gently, slowly, evenly, until the uncontrollable wall of blast bits breaks the painted window.

Does it make sense to tell what can be drawn further by such an inspired imagination draws while listening to this album? Probably not, but must be ready to take a great journey through cold sea waves, looking for the secret shores of the country where winter is born. You should be ready to go through a blizzard and then feel the warm breath of tenderness that you will have again for sure.

Sensual acoustic theme with clean vocal and mysterious recitatives parts interrupt passages full of cruel Vikings spirit, desperate itch for gold, glory, aspiration for battle and unexplored Winter’s Gate’s mystery.

The theme, which starts at 16th minute, took me to the state of silent and sacred feeling. If you are a very busy person or you don’t digest very long tracks, simply turn the album on 16th minute to realize that it is worth to be listened from the very beginning to the end.

Notwithstanding all the above mention, I was falling asleep for two times (the first two times I was trying to get through the album) 15 or 20 minutes just before the end of the album. It is true, the album that gave birth to such extraordinary emotions inside of me, lulls me like a lullaby. Indeed, the idea to release a 40-minute track was a risky one. Not everyone can withstand marathon, no matter how fascinating sound this music has. My advice: just do not start listening to this album before going to bed, if you are aimed to listen till the end. And it isn’t for night driving too. Perhaps, after these words, you think that “Winter’s Gate” is one of those kind of boring albums. But just avoid this wrong thought.

Anyway, this time Insomnium surprises us with an exclusively impressive track. So do not pay attention to the duration. Just enjoy it!


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Ann Solovey
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