Bassist/vocalist Niilo Sevänen, drummer Tapani Pesonen, and guitarist/vocalist Ville Friman formed the Finnish metal band Insomnium in 1997. Based in Joensuu, the teenage musicians combined elements of melodic death metal, doom metal, and progressive metal to create an original sound. As the bandmates matured, so did their music. A pair of early recordings — Demo 1999 and 2000's Underneath the Moonlit Waves — attracted attention from the British label Candlelight Recordings, and Insomnium made its full-length debut with In the Halls of Awaiting. Featuring the contributions of newcomer Ville Vänni on guitar, the album was released in 2002 and repurposed many of the songs that had first appeared on the band's demos. Since the Day It All Came Down followed in 2004. Insomnium's commercial breakthrough arrived two years later, when 2006's Above the Weeping World reached Number 9 on the Finnish Albums Chart. The band charted at Number 5 with Across the Dark in 2009, then signed with a new label, Century Media, for 2011's One For Sorrow. Ville Vänni left the lineup later that year and was replaced by Markus Vanhala, who made his debut on the Number 2 album Shadows of the Dying Sun in 2014. Following that album's release, Insomnium reached Number 1 in Finland with its subsequently three albums: 2016's Winter's Gate, 2019's Heart Like a Grave, and 2023's Anno 1696. All three albums also in Switzerland and Germany, proof that Insomnium had become one of Europe's premier metal acts.

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