Insomnium – Anno 1696

Insomnium – Anno 1696
Century Media Records
Release Date: 24/02/23
Running Time: 50:30
Review by Rick Eaglestone

Finnish metal melancholists Insomnium tell us a tale woven with sorrow and the last crumbling vestiges of hope, based a short story by Niilo Sevänen all through their ninth studio album “Anno 1696”

The album begins with almost a storytelling aspect. The instrumental start builds to crushing heaviness, with the lyrics reflecting on ‘1696’, and some really nice melody. This continues on to ‘White Christ’, which features Rotting Christ’s Sakis Tolis.

Next, with both the ethereal and fury, is the album’s most ambitious and longest track, ‘Godforsaken’. For me the inclusion of Johanna Kurkela confirms that this is the album’s absolute highlight. This is followed up with some great, fast paced folk elements in ‘Lilian’ and ‘Starless Paths’, with touches of modern day Amorphis, making this trilogy of tracks the most enjoyable section of the album.

As it moves on into ‘The Witch Hunter’ “Anno 1696” continues with the historic age of unrest narrative and has some elements that hark back to “Since the Day It All Came Down”. Then immediately following on is the majestically acoustic “The Unrest”, which would’ve been a fantastic album closer in my opinion. But then the piano laden entrance to ‘The Rapids’ begins, and as the building crescendo of swirling guitar sounds and pounding drums grow, I had to seriously consider retyping my last statement, as Insomnium perfectly encapsulate the albums aesthetic in this final offering.

Insomnium are a band that have continually delivered, and for someone who has unintentionally started off the year reading books about, or related to witchcraft, this album came at the perfect time.

‘Godforsaken’ feat. Johanna Kurkela Official Music Video

01. 1696
02. White Christ (feat. Sakis Tolis)
03. Godforsaken (feat. Johanna Kurkela)
04. Lilian
05. Starless Paths
06. The Witch Hunter
07. The Unrest 
08. The Rapids

Niilo Sevänen – Bass / Vocals
Jani Liimatainen – Guitars / Clean Vocals
Markus Vanhala – Guitars / Clean Vocals
Markus Hirvonen – Drums
Ville Friman – Guitars


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Leave a Reply