Insomnium - Anno 1696 (2023)


Mostly stable line-ups and consistency have been the fundamental pillars behind Insomnium and their music. For “Anno 1696” the band continues to deliver their highly melancholic Melodic Death Metal but with a few additional elements that nicely revamp their signature style and keeps it fresh. The majority of die-hard fans for the band will find what they want here, but it also provides that little extra that for some of us that were looking for something a bit different.

Opening with “1696” we get mood setting clean guitars and atmospherics that quickly transform into Melodic Death Metal bliss with the signature Insomnium riffing. However, the band chooses to go faster rather than safe and typical, creating a bit of a different pace before settling into their traditional superbly melodic leads and headbanging passages. Having a couple of guests like Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) and Johanna Kurkela on “White Christ” and “Godforsaken” respectively, gives the band a different edge while still oozing melancholy.

As one of the best tracks in the release “Starless Paths”, is the quintessential Insomnium piece filled with atmospheric bliss, a mixture of slow melodic passages and aggressive onslaughts, something the band has perfected over the years. For those Amorphis fans, “The Witch Hunter” has a certain Amorphis-esque edge alongside soaring clean vocals, making it quite memorable. Closing with “The Rapids”, the band opts for a darker (yes! More than usual) and more complex atmosphere, allowing this track to be a bit more experimental and different sounding.

Overall, “Anno 1696” goes beyond just being another excellent Insomnium release and actually shows the band trying new things and shifting elements around to create familiar but more diverse and engaging music. Filled with sweeping melodic guitars, dramatic leads, and a solid combination of clean and harsh vocals, this release will have you headbanging non-stop for over 50 minutes.

Band: Insomnium Album: Anno 1696

Label: Century Media Records

Release: February 24th, 2023

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Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Country: Finland

Rating: 95/100

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