Insomnium – Ardent Moon (Century Media)

Friday, 17th September 2021
Rating: 8/10

Leave it to Insomnium to take advantage of the global sorrow and gloom that enveloped the world due to the COVID outbreak and turn it into something very Insomnium-like and depressive.  Ardent Moon is an EP featuring four songs that the band wanted to explore a more ballad-y and mellow direction.  Nothing too far out of the realms of imagination for the act, but it makes for a strong statement to just have the sorrowful, winter-y vibes without any of the upbeat stuff they usually balance it with.

Ardent Moon gives a strong impression of a cold winter night, when a little snow is coming down and you just sit around, watching the glow of the moon as it falls.  The type of EP that makes you want to get under the covers and rest.  That’s not a bad thing by any means, and it’s really all about the mood with this EP.  All four of these tracks channel that same vibe and essence from beginning to end, making it feel more death/doomy than much of what they’ve done in the past.  Each track features some absolutely beautiful guitar melodies that are bound to connect and make a lasting impression, with closer “The Wanderer” really capitalizing on that feeling and fueling it with just enough triumph to leave things on more of a high note than a downer.  In addition to the gloom, there’s also a lot of acoustic guitars and clean vocals in the mix.  “The Reticent” basks in both of these aspects, even if it does rachet up the heaviness for an equally emotive chorus drenched in lush sorrow and growled vocals.

A small little taste with only four songs, Ardent Moon still leaves a satisfying impression.  Melancholic and attention-getting melodies have always been Insomnium’s bread and butter, and here they sit uninhibited by going too far in a ‘happier’ direction.  Perfect for a quiet, reflective listen after the sun goes down.

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