I haven’t caught up with Insomnium since 2016’s excellent Winter’s Gate, so this new EP seems like the perfect point to become reacquainted with their work. Argent Moon delivers 23 minutes of material across four powerful tracks.
This EP is a break from the band’s usual style in some ways; it showcases Insomnium’s more atmospheric side, with clean singing, acoustic guitars, and melancholic introspection all more prominently displayed than usual. That’s not to say there are no distorted guitars or growls here, (there are), but these are pressed into the service of a more atmospheric, softer version of the band’s usual fare.
Each track is superbly realised and offers the listener something quite special. Dark emotions and uplifting melodies are wielded by masters to get the most out of each piece of music, and all of the songs flow to a conclusion that’s as convincing as it it confident. The songs are melodically rich, very well-crafted, and filled with emotive content. All of the band are on top form, but some of the expressive keyboards and emotive leads are especially deserving of note. The clean singing, both lead and backing, is very good, and I like what it adds to Insomnium’s sound.
This less-aggressive version of Insomnium has been realised to its full potential across this short release. If this sort of melodic metal is to your taste then this might be one of the highest quality EPs you’re likely to hear this year.