Ich kann INSOMNIUM gratulieren - auf ihrem dritten Album lösen sie Vieles von dem ein, was mir beim Vorgänger „Since The Day It All Came Down" noch gefehlt hat. Mit „Above The Weeping World" haben sich die Finnen einen eigenen Charakter zugelegt und ihrem Melodic Death Metal die gewünschte Portion Eigenständigkeit beigefügt. Klar, sie klingen nicht plötzlich total anders, aber die Songs kommen schneller auf den Punkt, erinnern nur noch selten an OPETH und Co., und an einigen wenigen Stellen höre ich heuer sogar ganz leichte Einflüsse aus dem Metalcore-Bereich heraus (bei den ersten zwei Minuten von "Change Of Heart" oder am Anfang von "Devoid Of Caring"), eine weitere interessante Note in der enorm wuchtigen Soundwand.
Kleiner Wehrmutstropfen: Durch die Wandlung hin zu mehr Gitarrenattacke und Druck blieb ein wenig das wehmütig-melancholische Element ihrer Musik auf der Strecke. INSOMNIUM bleiben zwar catchy und leicht zugänglich, hin und wieder mangelt es mir jedoch ein wenig an Abwechslungsreichtum. Einiges klingt auf Albumlänge doch etwas ähnlich, eventuell hätte ein wenig mehr Besinnung auf die gefühlvolle Seite der Musik noch einen Tick mehr herausgeholt, mehr cleaner Gesang beispielsweise, denn auf diesem Album wird nahezu durchgängig gegrowlt.
Nun, jeder wird das anders sehen, und alles in allem ist „Above The Weeping World" ein verdammt dickes Ding geworden, das mich mit seinen verstärkt folkloristische Melodien hin und wieder sogar etwas an AMORPHIS erinnert. Hört Euch beispielsweise „The Killjoy" an - ein grandioser Song, der alle Stärken bündelt und die Essenz der Band auf den Punkt bringt.
Ich bin mir sicher, dass die angelaufene Europatour der Band viele neue Fans bescheren wird - mit diesem Album im Gepäck kann nichts schief gehen.
Anbei ein "Song-By-Song"-Special, geschrieben von Sänger/Bassist Niilo Sevänen und Gitarrist Ville Friman:
INSOMNIUM - Above the Weeping World "Song-By-Song"
1. The Gale
Ville F: We have traditionally used soft acoustic or piano preludes as intro for our albums and we made no exception this time. But instead of a short introduction we let the opening piano theme grow to actual song with all instruments in it. The whole piece was born during one stormy autumn night in 2005 and in my opinion it captures the essence of this particular type of weather. For me this song also carries personal significance as I got news about the passing of my uncle during the mixing of this song.
2. Mortal Share
Ville F: This is the first song I wrote for this album already in the year 2004 I think. After the "Since" I yearned for more aggression and speed and went to more traditional "Swedish melo-death" direction. However, the 7/8 time signature brings more tension to your average trash-beat and the interlude has also nice rhythms in it. I think we arranged this song something like 2 years (pretty long, eh...). Mainly I like the simplicity of it: you have only 3 different chord structures but end up still building 4 minutes of music of them. Lots of melodies, fierce riffing and we even made video of it. Niilo's lyrics are based on Hölderlin's poem "Hyperions Schicksalslied".
3. Drawn to Black
Niilo: With this song I worked a long time. It became quite fast and straightforward piece though it has three different acoustic parts. It has a crushing verse, ultra-melodic chorus, haunting interlude and an ending which grows into a crackling storm of guitars. In the studio we invented some very nice vocal parts for the ending. The lyrics tell a tragic tale of elusive and star-crossed love. All in all this must be one of the easiest songs to comprehend when you hear the album for the first time.
4. Change of Heart
Ville F: Contrary to our composing methods, the basic idea for this song was born in rehearsal room (even though it had different time signature and about 40 bpm less tempo back then). This is pretty simple structured song that was born quite easily and within short period of time. Aleksi Munter (from Swallow the Sun) made really great string arrangements to it and what really bugs me is that they should be higher in the mix. In melody-wise the song is quite emotional and has a bit acoustics in it so I went for this love-thing with the lyrics. What an extraordinary choice by the way. I think this might be the easiest song to digest for a start.
5. At the Gates of Sleep
Niilo: The painful birth of this epic song took about 4 years! We actually recorded this on our second album but we dropped the finished song in the mastering because the album would have been too long. And the song wasn't good enough back then. After that we changed almost everything but the ending and recorded a new and better version. There is even a bass lead included in the interlude which I'm of course happy about! The guitar solo and the Aleksi's synth in the end are also unforgettable works of art! Lyrics are done in the form of a dreary lullaby.
6. The Killjoy
Ville F: This is probably second oldest song I made for the album. It has also parts with 7/8 time signature and other nice rhythms in it. We had trouble in finding for proper C-section to it but finally work paid off and heck, I even made solo for it! The end of the song just keeps growing from the start of the C-part and I'm personally very pleased with this one! Aleksi Munter helped us again with the keys and came up with really exceptional arrangement! This one grooves!
7. Last Statement
Ville F: This song is definitely one of the "epics" in this album. It has quite long C-part where we used e-bow and lots of acoustic guitars. Again I really like how this song transforms from fierce beginning to the relentless verse and collides straight with "soft" and melodic chorus. The ending of the song is really atmospheric and honestly I spent weeks before I came up with idea how to raise the "roof" even more. This time hard work paid off. Lyrically this song is about hating and forgiving.
8. Devoid of Caring
Ville F: This one is about riffing and groove and it even got drum intro! Labour was quite easy process and I think it hardly changed since the first demo I made at home. We got out of hand during one of the last rehearsals and decided to use even short bit of blast beat in it. The ending is quite long and very "doomy" with slight "positivism" in it, at least in music-wise. With string arrangements in it and all you could even say it sounds pop-music, or HEAVY PoP-Metal or something like that. Well, at least now you know who to blame for it.
9. In the Groves of Death
Niilo: The epic ending which we like to have on every album! This song has many kind of parts, different atmospheres and changing time signatures so it must be the most progressive piece on this album. And I still believe that it's not that difficult for the listener. Every one of us (except Markus) made some parts for this so there is real teamwork behind this. The ending grows to a wild feast of crazed drum fills, guitar solos and Hammond-organs! After the pinnacle it all calms down to a lonely guitar which eventually fades away into the sound of rain. The end.