Out of the cold seas, out of the endless night rises the new tour de force of northern magic: “Winter’s Gate”, the seventh studio album of Finland’s melodic metal conjurers INSOMNIUM. A bold concept album ventures into yet unknown dark territories as it consists of one epic 40-minute song that is forged around an award-winning short story written by the band’s vocalist & bassist Niilo Sevänen.
After their most successful album to date, “Shadows of the Dying Sun” (2014), the band wanted to challenge themselves and create something that hadn’t been done before. During an autumnal rehearsal session, when the storm was raging outside the small seaside cabin, Sevänen, Ville Friman (guitar & vocals), Markus Vanhala (guitar) and Markus Hirvonen (drums) sipped some well-deserved wine and talked about future endeavors while listening to Edge of Sanity’s classic “Crimson” album. From this nightly session an idea of a long, meandering song was born. This was soon bound together with a story that Sevänen had already written almost ten years ago; “Winter’s Gate” was to become an album and a book, released in the same package. Thus the ambitious project started.
“Winter’s Gate” short story draws inspiration from history and the rich Scandinavian mythology. “It’s a tale of a group of grim Vikings who set out to find a fabled island northwest from Ireland – even though the winter is already drawing near. The three narrators pull the reader in to follow the unfolding of the story from different perspectives”, Sevänen comments. In 2007 the story won the Nova short story contest and in 2008 it was chosen as the fourth best story in fantasy & sci-fi genre in Finland in Atorox awards. The story is released now together with the album in luxurious art book size, also including the full story as an audio book read by Niilo Sevänen himself, and in three languages: Finnish, English and German. Imposing illustrations are done by the Finnish artist Teemu Tähkänen. The Gatefold LP+CD will contain a booklet featuring the story in all three languages as well and the album on vinyl and CD, while the Jewelcase CD version comes with an extended booklet including the full story in English and the “Winter’s Gate” album on CD.
Musically “Winter’s Gate” immerses deeply into stirring abysses of melancholy, but as it’s the case with every INSOMNIUM album, new elements are brought in to widen the spectrum. The band has always had their own unique way of making melodic death metal but now they are venturing deep into the realms of doom, progressive and black metal. All the varying elements are woven together into one captivating opus that follows the dramatic arc of the story. It’s a rich album full of different atmospheres and emotions; full of overwhelming, gut-wrenching and masterfully crafted music.
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