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Review of the Album "Shadows of the Dying Sun" by Insomnium

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


About Insomnium and Shadows of the Dying Sun

Shadows of the Dying Sun is the 2014 studio album by longtime Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium and they are a band that I discovered can sometimes take some getting used to because of the dark vocal style as well as the dark kind of riffs and mood that is an indirect cause of those riffs. Stylistically, they are not that different from other similar bands from Finland such as Noumena. While Niilo Sevanen’s vocals are not as guttural and or bad like that of Antti Haapanen, they are rough enough that you sometimes have a hard time understanding what he is saying. This album also has that modern melodic death metal feel like the album Fiction by Dark Tranquillity. There’s no real electronics influence but it just sounds like a more modern kind of melodic death metal as opposed to the neoclassical style of death metal or the kind of music that Norther wrote during their career. I would say that Insomnium as a band is better than Noumena for instance but that comes down to personal preference.

Markus Vanhala


Markus Vanhala of the Band Omnium Gatherum Makes His Debut On This Album

This album also features the debut of Markus Vanhala, the guitarist for the band Omnium Gatherum. In spite of the fact that the album titles of Insomnium tend to be of a more sorrowful nature, the music certainly does not bring your mood down and that’s a major positive quality in this sub-genre of metal.

About the Songs and a Special Dedication

“The Primeval Dark” stylistically shifts to that Swedish modern melodic death metal like Dark Tranquility while you know that it is still Niilo Sevanen doing the vocals. “While We Sleep” features a clean vocal performance, something that fans of Insomnium may not have seen at the beginning of one of their songs. There is more of an emphasis on including clean vocal parts compared to Insomnium’s earlier albums and this album just feels like it is more “light.” Insomnium changed their style only slightly while still maintaining that melodic death metal style.

“Ephemeral” is one of those songs that lyrically show the wisdom of these band members perhaps beyond their years. The song is about the fact that we only have one life and one chance to accomplish whatever we set out to accomplish. The song also says that death does not make the world a dead place but that it is a part of life. The song encourages people to do whatever they can to increase their knowledge and thus have more light in the world instead of darkness. “The Promethean Song” is another song that at least partially encourages us to ward off our fears and just rebuild ourselves if we have been damaged in any way.

This album review is dedicated to the memory of Alexi Laiho (1979-2020) May you rest in peace great guitar player and musician. You will be missed.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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