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Review of the Album in the Halls of Awaiting by Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band Insomnium

Updated on May 6, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Album Cover for In the Halls of Awaiting

The album's cover shows a series of trees that are near a large lake.
The album's cover shows a series of trees that are near a large lake.

In the Halls of Awaiting Is an Album That Starts Off Very Strong

Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium may have come up with their finest, most comprehensive studio album with their 2002 release called In the Halls of Awaiting. The album is a range of musical influences including Theatre of Tragedy and In Flames. I hear the Theatre of Tragedy influence in the beginning of the song Ill-Starred Son.

One Example of How the Album Starts Off Strong is the Song "Ill-Starred Son"

The first song called "Ill-Starred Son" is a really terrific song and this one is one of the finest songs in the band’s career. The song is basically about a woman that is mourning because she lost her stillborn child. The woman becomes tired of this rough life as there seems to be no light at the end of this dark tunnel. Where has her dearest son gone to she asks? But before that, the man asks where his dearest has gone to? The lyrics in this song are very much of a despondent and sorrowful nature but the song itself should be considered one of the best in melodic death metal history. As of September 2018, I would state that Ill-Starred Son is a more catchy song than Norther’s Betrayed though that one is excellent as well.

"Ill-Starred Son"

Don't Let the Lyrics Discourage You From Listening to the Album

The common lyrical theme for this band and for several others are the themes of pain, sorrow, sadness, and grief. The song Medeia is an example of these themes as the song says that where there was once love, hatred now resides. Sometimes we are taken advantage of by the ones that we love. The next song called Dying Chant is a sort of story about a person that is on his deathbed and he is crying for what he has done and he asks for salvation. However, we should not wait until the end of our lives to ask for salvation. We should do this while we are still alive. Lyrically, this song is similar to that of the song A Tout Le Monde of Megadeth. But one thing is for sure: I write these album reviews because I know that there are many people out there that will enjoy them and perhaps recommend them to their friends. One thing that can be said about this album is that it is highly melodic in spite of the lyrical content.

A Piano Cover Version of the Song "Ill Starred Son"

Main Vocalist is Niilo Sevanen


Other Good Songs Are "The Elder" and "Black Waters"

The Elder has this sort of Amorphis musical feel to it as the song is about this older man that starts to sing as the winter comes upon the land, bringing with it snow, ice, and barren land. Some people have to find ways to get through those long, dark winters and some people do it by singing. The melodic song Black Waters tells the story of a somber man that feels that no matter how many tears he sheds that he cannot escape from his somber mind and what he calls dead emotions. The album in general is much more moody and somber in comparison to Insomnium’s later albums but the album sort of gels very well musically.

"Black Waters"

Final Thoughts About the Album In the Halls of Awaiting

Shades of Deep Green musically sounds like early Opeth (think of the years 1995 through 1999 or so as the progressive death metal influence is felt somewhat). There is the feel that the character described in this song has the urge to experience a world where the birds stop singing and the river water lies still. He knows that this kind of world is a very despondent and sorrowful world for him to walk in but this is how this man feels. “The Bitter End” is a song about a man that has lost his dearest one and even though he opens his eyes as the dusk fades, in his view it still feels very dark. Is In the Halls of Awaiting the best album by Insomnium? It is a tough call for someone like me that has listened to so much melodic death metal spanning over 20 years.

"Journey Unknown"

Ville Friman

"Dying Chant"

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© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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