A new Insomnium album is a good reason for every melodic death metal fan to celebrate because these guys from Finland are one of the best bands of their kind out there. For “Winter’s Gate” they tried something different than before, something that metal bands don’t do in general. This is a concept album based on a short story written by Niilo Sevanen (bass, vocals). It is about a group of Vikings who are driven by their greed for gold and treasures and seek an island despite the raging winter’s storm that is nearby.

“Winter’s Gate” is actually a 40-minute song that consists of six parts and for the purposes of streaming services it was divided into seven songs. The truth is that it takes a lot of guts, talent and special treatment in order to release something like that. Actually, the band forces you, sort of speak, to listen to one song altogether without skipping anything. The result? Impressive. Dark, melodic, melancholic, as we know them all these years now. The music is great and ideal for the story that unfolds with each minute. It is strongly suggested to listen to this album while reading the lyrics in order to experience in full what the band is trying to present. And unlike their latest albums, Insomnium use much less clean vocals here. After listening to it many times, all I have to say is congratulations for the effort that they made. They succeeded in creating an epic music journey.

If you seek the limited edition, you will find a second CD (audiobook) in which Sevanen reads the story and a 16-page booklet featuring the story in Finnish, English and German with expanded artwork. It seems that Vikings are quite famous this year, because this is the second concept album about them after Amon Amarth’s earlier release.

For the fans of: Omnium Gatherum, Be’lakor, Dark Tranquillity