Finnish metal melancholists Insomnium’s ninth masterpiece, Anno 1696, released in early 2023, led the listener into deep into the dark and troublesome past of Northern Europe, a time of witches, of superstition, of bloodlust and frenzy. On November 3rd, Insomnium continue the epic story of Anno 1696 on their addendum-like EP ‘Songs of the Dusk’, featuring 22 minutes of music and three more journeys into a dark and foggy past.
Niilo Sevänen (bass, vocals) states:
We simply had eleven great songs, and we thought that this material is too good to be ‘just’ bonus tracks. They are part of the big story, so you can think of them as the director’s cut material that tells a little extra. For those who want to have more.
How good was Anno 1696? We, like everyone else, are still listening to it many months later, so the idea of having three new fresh efforts from the album’s sessions, is infinitely appealing.
Do you know what is even more appealing? The fact that each track has hefty runtime. Suggesting that Insomnium are going to get quite elaborate here. Which is very much the case, even if the opener, Flowers of the Night, is quite ‘traditional’ by all Insomnium counts. Darkly melodic, intensity heavy, dripping in miserable beauty, it’s very much a continuation of the Anno 1696 vibes and Insomnium sound.
Things start to get more intriguing with Stained in Red, but not removed from the sound of Anno 1696 in any way. It just happens to have some of the EPs most extravagant riffs, macerating drumbeats, and captivating vocals. All tied up in a gothic melodic splendour that makes this such a wonderful listening experience. The track of the EP, and up there alongside the very best of Anno 1696.
Finally, it’s the title track and here, Insomnium push things to their limits with a track that nearly hits the ten-minute mark. A track that features an immense amount of gloom, an immeasurable amount of energy, and an insurmountable amount of heavy melancholy as only this band is capable of.
The EP is brilliant, it’s as simple as that.
Insomnium – Songs of the Dusk Track Listing:
1. Flowers of the Night
2. Stained in Red
3. Song of the Dusk
Insomnium - Songs of the Dusk (Century Media Records)
The Final Score - 9.5/10