Insomnium: Shadows Of The Dying Sun

Melancholic Finns intensify their palette

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Despite being one of melodic death metal’s most unique and instantly recognisable modern voices, Finland’s Insomnium have perhaps struggled to craft a status deserving of that uncanny knack for a delectable, melancholic earworm.

When they hit the mark, however, they’re one of the best around, and while Shadows Of The Dying Sun stops short of being a classic, it’s certainly as good as anything the Finns have put their name to thus far, brimming with grandiose hooks, sumptuous melodies and, importantly, a few full-throttle ragers to keep the pace nice and varied.

From the infectiousness of Ephemeral, which is as catchy as this stuff gets, to Black Heart Rebellion’s blackened, blastbeat-driven majesty and the ambient folkisms of eight-minute setpiece The River, this is a polished and varied collection of melodeath gems.

Atmospheric enough to soundtrack the most glorious of fantasy epics and stirring enough to tug at the heartstrings, Shadows… offers moments of haunting delicacy and fist-pumping heroics in equal measure. A fine effort from an enduringly excellent band.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.