Review by Adam M on September 29, 2016.
Insomnium comes forward with their concept album Winter’s Gate. This is the perfect place in their career to make this move as they would starting to sound a bit too much the same recently.
It’s an epic single movement similar to Edge of Sanity’s Crimson. This suits the melodic death sound of Insomnium fine as they able to pull melodious themes out of the blue and meld them together. Still, this album is ever-changing and always putting new types of material to the fore. The entire album is an invigorating exercise in melodic death metal prowess. By now, one is used to the powerful riffs this band brings to the table and they are much in the same vein as previous albums. The concept approach seems to make the band more hungry and focused than they were on their previous album. I still get more of a kick from the album before that One For Sorrow and classics like Above the Weeping World and Since the Day It All Came Down, but this is really close to the same quality as those albums. The melodic moments still have a great deal of impact and can be seen to move the listener. They simply aren’t as fresh as they used to be. Though this is a nice trek in a different direction, the band still needs to be more innovative in the future. I still enjoyed the new focus on a concept that takes place here as some new directions are traversed at least. There is, for example, a nice enough definition between softer and louder portions that further reinforces the comparison to Edge of Sanity. This is necessary on this singular concept approach.
On the whole, the album is a winner, but not the best the band has ever done. Still, Winter's Gate fits perfectly into the band’s discography at this point in time.
Rating: 8 out of 10