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Review: Insomnium - Anno 1696
Anno 1696

Label: Century Media Records
Year released: 2023
Duration: 50:26
Tracks: 8
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 10, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Anno 1696

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)

Anno 1696 is the ninth studio album from Finland’s Insomnium and my first time hearing them. Over the past 15 years, I’ve learned to appreciate, if not outright love, death metal, and the kind of melodic death metal Insomnium play hits the sweet spot for me. The harsh singing isn’t so harsh I can’t pick out the lyrics (with a little effort) and there is some serviceable clean singing as well, but it is the music on this album that is the feast for my ears. Huge and often haunting melodies abound, and whether they are the result of power chords or acoustic guitar they are beautifully executed. The lead work is another exceptional aspect of Insomnium’s performance, being both exciting on their own and skillfully integrated within the songs. I’ve never been one too concerned with lyrics, but the story of famine, witch trials and werewolves seems tailor-made for metal and the accompanying short story (which was not included with my promo) apparently gives the album more context. I’ve read reviews that recommend listening to Anno 1696 as a whole and I agree as that is when it has worked best for me, when I’ve been able to listen all the way through uninterrupted. I can’t recall specific songs, but I think that is more of a me thing and fans more in tune with death metal will likely find a lot of Insomnium’s work on Anno 1696 hard to get out of their heads. Fans of Amon Amarth, Mors Principium Est and melodic death metal in general should be checking out Anno 1696.

Other related information on the site
Review: Across the Dark (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: One for Sorrow (reviewed by Adam McAuley)
Interview with bassist and vocalist Niilo Sevänen on August 10, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and bassist Niilo Sevänen on August 7, 2021 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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