Review by George on March 2, 2020.
Ephemeral is a jewel of an EP by Insomnium. Despite a length of only 12 minutes, it packs enough emotion in to be well worth listening to.
To me, the EP is effectively split into two parts. The first is Track 1, which is a differently produced version of the song off 'Shadows of the Dying Sun'. While I don't believe either version is superior, this one fits the atmosphere of the EP well; its muddier production gives it an almost otherworldly feel, which perfectly matches the other "part". The second half of this release consists of three instrumental tracks, with 'The Emergence' representing birth, 'The Swarm' representing life and 'The Descent' representing death. Each song plays its part incredibly well, with 'The Emergence' having a wondrous atmosphere supported by violin and piano in addition to the acoustic guitar and soft synths which are present throughout the three instrumental tracks and give the listening experience a far more ethereal tone. The rest of the EP develops the ideas found in the second track, with 'The Swarm' adding a developing structure that feels like taking a long journey (Think "Life" by Shylmagoghnar but condensed to a three-minute acoustic piece). 'The Descent' is a bittersweet ending which combines the ethereal and wondrous synths with descending chord patterns which give a sense of melancholy and finality.
"Ethereal" is really the best way Ephemeral can be described. It is a short, peaceful piece which allows the listener to reflect on life, the journey they have taken and the choices which have led them there. Its length combined with the stark contrast between the first track and the latter three prevent it from reaching a score higher than 80%, but don't let this discourage you - these twelve minutes are still well worth your time.
Rating: 8 out of 10270