On February 24th 2023, Finnish metal melancholists INSOMNIUM will release their ninth full-length, Anno 1696, via Century Media Records. The third single and music video for ‘The Witch Hunter’ is available now.
Watch the music video HERE.
Guitarist Markus Vanhala comments about the track:
“This is a good example of a song growing and finding its own wings during the studio process. This one definitely has a cinematic feel; the storyline needs the essence of journey moving forward. In fact, I made a Finnish vocal demo for this one, reading and screaming Niilo’s storyline, but only the name stayed and translated from “Noidanmetsästäjä” to English. But that’s another story and a secret version never to be found by outsiders.”
Bassist/vocalist Niilo Sevänen adds:
“This is Markus Vanhala’s composition; it actually does not really sound like the archetypal INSOMNIUM song and has some very interesting elements. One of the songs that improved the most in the studio in my opinion – and became one of the singles. Lyrically it continues to tell the story from the witch hunter’s point of view.”
Guitarist Ville Friman concludes:
“For me, this song has a really strong cinematic feel to it, and I can easily travel into the story in my head when I close my eyes.”
Anno 1696 is a gateway into another world. This time around, INSOMNIUM tell us a tale based on a short story by Niilo Sevänen (bass/vocals), woven with sorrow and the last crumbling vestiges of hope, plus wrath and morbid lullabies. Welcome to 1696. Welcome to hell. This is an age of unrest. The age of great famine in the North. The witch hunt is in full swing all across Europe and the gruesome witch trials have even reached the remote and majestic landscapes of Finland and Sweden.
“The Torsåker witch trials were a horrible source of nightmarish inspiration,” Sevänen says of his ghastly muse. “All that talk about 70 women beheaded in this small Swedish parish? It’s real stuff from history! And as if that weren’t enough, there are also some very dark tales of cannibalism and child murder from the years of the great famine.”
Stories don’t get any more metal than this.
Preorder the album HERE.
Mixed by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Orgone Studios) and mastered by Tony Lindgren (Fascination Street Studios), Anno 1696 is a tornado of tormented souls, set to a tragedy of Greek proportions. No doubt: this is INSOMNIUM‘s most delicate tightrope walk yet – between sadness and anger, between silent desperation and cries of anguish. Trying to reach that fading light that still glimmers from beyond the trees. And at that, it’s the epitome of the Finnish melancholy.
“Can’t deny it,” guitarist Markus Vanhala laughs. “INSOMNIUM is a soundtrack to both the Finnish mental and physical landscape. We all are strongly feeling melancholic Finns.”
And as if a stunning feat like Anno 1696 is not enough, INSOMNIUM continue the epic story on their addendum-like EP Songs of the Dusk, featuring three more journeys into a dark and foggy past.
“We simply had eleven great songs, and we thought that this material is too good to be just bonus tracks,”Sevänen states. “They are part of the big story, so you can think of them as the director’s cut material that tells a little extra. For those who want to have more.”