Insomnium: "Trends come and go but metal will survive and flourish"
We catch up with Niilo Sevänen to talk new album, new tour and Finland being the most metal country on Earth
2014 proved to be a landmark year for Finland’s Insomnium, whose mesmerising melodeath tour-de-force, Shadows Of The Dying Sun, enjoyed prime real estate in many of the planet’s Albums Of The Year lists. Behind a siege of taut, punishing riffage, darkly emotive lyrics and the kind of chest-beating melodies that should only be played from the peaks of very tall mountains, the album would eventually reach #2 in their home country. In January, Insomnium kick off a year-long tour, beginning in New York, and eventually taking them across Europe and though festival season.
We caught up with vocalist/bassist Niilo Sevänen for a look back at their massive year and to find out what’s next for the band.
Was there any point during the recording of Shadows Of The Dying Sun that the band realised that they had tapped into something special?
"We had a very good feeling when we were entering the studio because we knew that we had written strong songs. But the studio experience itself was somewhat stressful because our schedule was too tight and we were running out of time. I remember it as a stressful time, especially the mixing. At one point we were thinking, 'We’re not going to make it in time. This album’s going to be delayed another half a year...' But luckily we made it in time. When it was finished, everyone was very happy and I sort of knew that we’d get good reviews and positive feedback, but of course it’s been far better than we had thought. It was number two on the Finnish album charts and number 18 in Germany, which is very good for a Finnish band. Then our shows during the European tour were quite good as well. We had a high percentage of sellouts and I think things have really progressed this past year more than we could have predicted, so we’re really happy at the moment."
The new album showcased considerably broader diversity than 2011’s One For Sorrow. How intentional was that?
"It wasn’t intentional. Everything evolved normally and not at all forced. We try to evolve all the time and we try to bring something new to the table so that we don’t endlessly repeat ourselves, but of course the most obvious change was our new guitarist, Markus Vanhala. He wrote some of the songs and though he’s really well-adapted to creating the mood of Insomnium songs, he also brings a new element to our sound. He’s also affected the arrangements and he’s an amazing guitarist, so there are more solos on the record than we’ve had before."