Insomnium have always seemed to me to be the solid melo-death band. While they have never had the popularity that bands such as In Flames or Children of Bodom have enjoyed they have been beavering away releasing albums and touring for the last decade. One For Sorrow wonâ€™t catapult the band into the big leagues by itself, but it is a damn good step.
The album gets off to a cracking start thanks to â€˜Inertiaâ€™. Beginning with a single guitar and some atmospheric synths, a soundscape is slowly constructed as each instrument weighs into the mix until bassist Niilo SevÃ¤nenâ€™s roar heralds the songâ€™s movement into some fantastic riffing. One of Insomniumâ€™s strengths is just how much melody they can pile on top of their standard chuggy guitars and this is made clear by the mass of lead guitar parts and keys that swell through the final minute of the song. â€˜Through The Shadowsâ€™ takes the momentum created by this and unleashes it in an explosion of melody. The interplay between the guitars is amazing; the catchy, cleanly sung chorus is pretty much perfect and everything is really, really impressive. While the rest of the album doesnâ€™t quite maintain this level of quality (if it had, it would have been in my top 5 albums of the year without a doubt) there is plenty to love about the rest of the tracks. There are even moments where the later tracks threaten to eclipse what has come before, particularly in the form of the titanic bridge from â€˜Every Hour Woundsâ€™ and the mournful conclusion provided by the albumâ€™s title track.
This is all great, but Insomnium are at their most interesting when they break from their standard 5 minute song structure; either for the pause for breath that instrumental â€˜Decoheranceâ€™ provides or for one of their longer, more meandering songs such as â€˜Lay The Ghost To Restâ€™. While these songs lack the immediate punch of the rest of the album and the longer ones can feel a tiny bit directionless at times, they do demonstrate the significant depth in the bandâ€™s sound once they get creative.
One For Sorrow does have a couple of rough edges: the vocals are nothing special and most of the songs have more or less the same structure which begins to get repetative. But this doesnâ€™t stop it from being an absolutely fantastic album that can easily hold its own against recent releases from even the biggest bands in the genre.