As has been the case with many bands, Insomnium has utilized their pandemic break for creating new material. The result is a four song EP going by the name “Argent Moon”. The material on this EP showcases the lighter, more atmospheric side of Insomnium, as quite fittingly represented by the beautiful cover art portraying the titular silvery moon.
The songs are heavily focused on atmosphere which is built in a stylishly restrained and often storylike manner. This is most prominent in “The Conjurer” and “The Antagonist” where the instrumental storytelling complements the lyrical narrative beautifully. The former has a tasty guitar solo and the atmosphere of the latter resembles Amorphis at times. “The Wanderer” brings the EP to a strong conclusion with its faster second half and simple, yet effective bassline. Also, the beginning of the song is the best acoustic material on the album, at least to my ears.
Despite all that, there is something that left me unsatisfied: the scarcity of memorable hooks and melodies. There are some good moments on this EP, but nothing that compares to the best offerings of the band. The chord progressions are regular old Insomnium, and as always with this band, that automatically makes even the weakest songs listenable. However, something more would be needed to prevent the material from just exiting through the other ear.
This is most notable on the second song “The Reticent”. I can’t really remember anything interesting about it, even after several listens. It’s not a bad song, or anything that outright bothers you when listening to the EP. Still, the whole thing would be a tighter package with “The Reticent” left on the cutting room floor.
Insomnium, at best, is capable of producing some truly unforgettable melodies and I would have hoped to find some from this EP as well. Especially when the rest of the package, including the sound production, is top notch. “Argent Moon” is basic Insomnium in both good and bad. It’s quite listenable, but I’m not sure if I’d ever pick this one to listen to, out of all the band’s output. Well, perhaps apart from “The Conjurer”, it’s a pretty neat song.
“Argent Moon” will be released on 17 September via Century Media. Three of the songs have been released as singles: