"In The Halls Of Awaiting" is the debut album from Insomnium. This band is very talented and I 'm pretty sure that they will surprise us again in the future many times! Read below to see what Ville Vänni the guitarist of the band told us.
Your new album is excellent. You play melodic death metal in a way that I haven’t listened to for a long time. Introduce us the band and tell us why did you decided to form a band that plays death metal music?

V: Well, we are Insomnium, and the line-up which reached it’s present form in early spring 2001 is the following: Niilo Sevänen – vocals and bass; Ville Friman – guitar; Ville Vänni – Guitar; and Markus Hirvonen – drums. Insomnium was formed in 1997 when we were in secondary school. Each of us had been playing our instruments for a few years and some of us had done some songwriting, so it seemed quite obvious to form a band and express those musical ideas we had that time. In my opinion there are more elements in our music than mere “death metal”, but I think those death metal influences came from the music we have listened. The fact that Niilo is an able and talented death metal singer was discovered in fairly early phase of our existence, so it came quite naturally to express our music this way. Death metal –styled vocals give more feeling into lyrics and strong and powerful guitars have always sounded so good and natural that it was obvious to do things this way.

Which is the reaction of the press and of the common fans for the album? Did you expect such a reaction?

V: So far we have been very positively surprised by he reviews and interviews of the press. We have been doing lots of interviews to Europe and USA, especially to Germany. It has also felt really good that almost all reviewers have grasped the idea and concept of our music really well, leaving us the feeling that people really understand what we’re all about. Reactions of our fans have also been very positive, according to signings in our Guestbook at our website ( But anyway, people never write much critic in guestbooks so we are quite eager and enthusiastic to play live this summer and meet our fans face-to-face. I think that playing live is the ultimate meter for the reactions of fans, it always feels good to see people loosing their minds and get carried away by the music… This far we have had only one gig after the release date, (that gig was about a week ago), but there are several bookings for the summer, and we really look forward to get on stage.

Tell us some thing about the lyrical concept of your new album.

V: Our lyrical concept is quite clear to us – our songs are very story-like, lyrics build the context of the song and music itself is meant to paint pictures of the events and atmosphere in listener’s head. Lyrics and that way the stories which they tell are quite timeless, although very much nature-related, and they tell of all kinds of human emotions. There is certain melancholic atmosphere in the lyrics, and very rarely any happy endings. They are often related to concepts like sadness, sorrow, unfortunate human fates and desperate love. That’s not about any crying or wining, though, but more likely strong emotions combined to strong music, lyrics that are meant to take the listener to the murky woods and misty shores of Karelia.

Who are your favorite singers and from whom you have been influenced most?

V: This is actually a question that would need Niilo’s answering, but in our all behalf I can say that we all have listened (and been influenced by) the death metal bands of early 90’s like Sentenced, At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Paradise Lost and Amorphis. Those bands have affected our way to see music in general, so many influences about the vocals and playing come from there. But it must be added that we also listen to very different kinds of music (every one of us has at least one favorite band that the other band mates can’t stand…), so our music is a mix of wide category of influences.

Who’s idea been to baptize the band Insomnium? Is it something behind this?

V: That name was a result of brainstorming and a democratic decision. Insomnium is a latin word meaning insomnia and nightmare, and this dual meaning describes the many shades in our music and gives people something to think about. Sometimes our music is (or causes) those things both, insomnia in studio and nightmares after a liquid after-party of a live-show J

Back to your new album again. What’s the idea behind the album’s title?

V: The idea was to baptize the album after the last song, In the Halls of Awaiting, because that song has many different kinds of feelings into it and so it describes the entity of the album well. The story behind In the Halls of Awaiting is a sad tale of longing, man yearns for his love to join him again. That song is also my personal favorite on album, very sad and touching, yet aggressive and raging at some parts. Idea for that song came from J.R.R. Tolkien’s book Silmarillion, but just the idea about those halls, the story itself is independent of time or place.

Have most of your dreams been fulfilled with Insomnium? What more do you expect to gain? Do you see a long way in front of you?

V: Yes, it has been a wonderful opportunity to write and record music, and I’m also happy to play in a band where my band mates are my best friends. But somehow we aren’t much into dreaming, we pretty much do just what we want and concentrate in doing it as well as we can. We have our musical ambitions which (hopefully) will never be satisfied, and that’s the flame that keeps us going. Even though we are pretty satisfied with our debut album, I know we will do better next time due to natural development in songwriting and playing. The way before us is definitely long, and it may have many twists and turns but it’s certainly worth going through. Right now we are very eager to play live, and maybe we’ll do some touring next autumn. Our contract with candlelight lasts for three more albums, and the next album will probably be recorded in summer 2003. It’s of course nice to get good reviews and meet our fans but the most rewarding thing in music is to write and record songs we are satisfied with and express ourselves that way.

And now let’s go to some weird questions…what is the most difficult thing, that once in your life you were obligated to do, although you didn’t want it? What was that made you do it?

V: I usually don’t tend to do many unpleasant things in my life (if you don’t count throwing up in hangover,  studying to some big exam in university or things like that...). I bet the most difficult thing has been killing my ex-girlfriend’s pet. It was a shitty thing to do, but I had to put it out of it’s agony for it was severely wounded and in great pain.

What is the worst album that you’ve recently bought and what was your first thought when you listed to it? To whom (hateful person) would you give it as a present?

V: I don’t buy bad albums at all, CDs are so expensive in Finland that I always listen to them beforehand and therefore buy only the albums I like most. But maybe the worst album I’ve ever bought is My Dying Brides “Meisterverk II”, I was so enthusiastic with the “The Dreadful Hours” (absolutely great album!!!) that I carelessly bought that Meisterverk-compilation… I usually just neglect all the hateful persons, but if I had to give something to somebody, I’d give Impaled Nazarene’s Ugra Karma to my former unjust, unfair and dishonest teacher, just in educative purposes of course :)

Then imagine that your wife/girlfriend once sells your record-collection in order to buy a designer dress. How would you react?

V: Respecting, trusting and understanding your companion in the very basics of any relationship, and all those things would be violated in the given situation. That would inevitably mean a quick and unnegotiable ending for that relationship. I’d pack my guitar and clothes without a word and head for the door…

The last question is open…Tell us whatever you like as an end to this interview. Thank you very much for your time!

V: Well, a big thank you to those who have bought our album, and to those who haven’t I recommend to visit our website and become familiar with our music. All metalheads stand tall and keep the spirit alive, I hope to see you on tour!!!

by Thanos (Mc) Aggelakis