October 2020 Feature Release - The Horde Edition
It's now October which of course means that we'll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we're asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We're really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don't be shy.
This month's feature release for The Horde is 2006's classic third album from Finnish melodic death metal icons Insomnium entitled "Above The Weeping World".
I did my review, here's its summary:
I've listened to a few songs from Insomnium before writing the original review, but I still don't really feel any interest in this band. But how can that be? They're like a Finnish Amon Amarth with the viking lyrics taken out and acoustic atmospheric elements taking their place. Their largely consistent style is close to early Gothenburg-style melodeath with slight occasion helpings of other Finnish melodeath bands such as Kalmah and Norther. Their appealing taste comes from the ability to deliver their sound just right, staying in one element for a decent amount of time before switch to the next without any overtly progressive pretension. Apparently, their audience really likes rage and sorrow, so that's what the band has given them, all bottled up in a disc. Here they picked up the pace and a slight power metal-like approach. They have a highly effective attempt to avoid any common repetition and the mundane verse-chorus formula that has infected Swedish melodeath bands like Amon Amarth and sometimes The Crown. Recurring themes occur often but the embodied ambiguity makes clear choruses not too obvious. While catchy and memorable, the flow of melody isn't clearly symmetric in design, though the broad acoustic sections each mark a cadence in the sound of separation. Though there are a few flaws, many of the songs come together in a dark epic journey creating a well-formulated adventure without being too adventurous. This melodeath is something any metal band can appreciate for a mix of melodic and extreme without any excess similarities to other bands. The only flaw is their sound not being expanded. However if every melodeath band expand that genre, it would lose its unique recognition. So enjoy the awesome melodeath while it's still around!
I don't usually participate in Horde clan challenges. This is in part due to my lack of knowledge within this clans subgenres, and the stuff that I have listened to does not leave me with a lot of positive stuff to say. So when I saw this months clan challenge was from a Melo-death band that I have had lots of success with in the last five years, I had to share my thoughts.
And while I do enjoy Above the Weeping World, my enjoyment of this record is hindered by this bands later success. The album sure does have its great moments, but the albums previous to this one show that the band were not willing to take that many risks within the subgenre beyond some production adjustments and minor tweaks. Meanwhile the bands 2010s output is far superior as both death metal records, and progressive metal albums. This is good, but not deserving of legendary status, in my opinion. I think that this record had the band only scratching the surface of what they could accomplish.
I tried, I really tried. My ongoing battle with melodeath still leaves me cold and empty after most listens. It’s not that the album is terrible by any means. It is consistent and obviously delivered by a band accomplished in their field, but this is also the problem for me because largely the album sounds the same throughout and as a result I get bored really quickly. I have heard these riff structures on virtually every Amon Amarth record and if they were going to grow on me they would have done so by now.