CD review INSOMNIUM ‘Heart Like a Grave’

(8/10)  Insomniun started more than two decades ago in Joensuu, a small town in the Eastern parts of Finland. What started as a band of some teenagers at the time evolved to a great band with musical ambitions.

Insomnium can build on a rather stable line-up but life’s also demands decisions. In 2018 guitarist Ville Friman couldn’t combine anymore band touring activities and his career as a lecturer at York University. A third axeman was needed and found in person of Jani Liimatainen, a guy that was already on tour with the band in the past.

Being a quintet from now on Insomnium started to work on new material. ‘Heart Like a Grave’ is the result of the work down. Album number eight features ten songs, again being rooted in Finnish roots, poems and tales. And it’s not only the lyrical approach that reflects the mentioned. The music of ‘Heart Like a Grave’ reflects the dark beauty of the North too.

It’s tough to pick some of the songs, for two reasons. First of all it’s the new album that can be certainly seen as the most mature one when it comes to songwriting. Secondly it’s not solely the songs that shines, it’s the record in its entirety being more a Gesamtkunstwerk than a set of songs. The beauty of Northern landscapes is what’s reflected in each of the ten songs and I will use ‘Pale Morning Star’ as an example. Calmer moments create a peaceful atmosphere, the musical equivalent to morning sunrays shimmering through the endless forests of Finland. Slowly but steady a growing guitar intensity announce a storm that wipes away any comfort. It’s these counterparts being the emotional fuel for ‘Heart Like a Grave’. Combined with some well-crafted, but not cheesy melodies, each of the songs blossoms a grey right away.

‘Heart Like a Grave’ is a dark and intense album. It showcases a band that matured over the last years, crafting melodic Death Metal that fits perfectly into the darker days of autumn and winter.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


  1. Wall of the North
  2. Valediction
  3. Neverlast
  4. Pale Morning Star
  5. And Bells Tehy Toll
  6. The Offering
  7. Mute is My Sorrow
  8. Twilight Trails
  9. Heart Like a Grave
  10. Karella

Label: Century Media

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: October 4th, 2019



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