Immortal Souls, formed in 1991, has recently performed at Rainbow Rock, based in Sweden. The band itself has been around for such a very long time throughout the metal scene in Europe, that music critics label their music with various terms as speed metal, doom metal and melodic death metal. Their sound of the recent years can be considered as leaning most towards the melodic death metal. Their musical style is characterized by the use of melodic guitar riffs and singing which shifts between growls and shouting.
Immortal Souls is based in Kokkola, Finland. With this nation being the country in the world with most metal bands in the world per capita, it´s no surprise that new metal genres are created and discovered here.
It was back in 2003, when the band were working on finishing their second album, that the band came up with the concept of winter metal. All their songs were so far tied with nature and winter and its absolute beauty. A colleague at the label that they worked with at that time, had the idea that musically in it’s contrasts, the songs held a winter metal spirit through everything they were trying to create and that it wasn’t just any death metal. They liked the idea immediately and with that it was added completely to the album. Ever since then, Immortal Souls have utilised frosty metaphors in their lyrics and created a cold, wintry atmosphere.
They have had many releases behind them through different record labels over the years, but most recently with U.S. label Rottweiler Records.
Their discography is quite long and impressive and it started with two demos:
Immortal Souls (1995) and Reflections of Doom (1997).
After that they released their debut album and later a split with Little Rose Productions in the late 1990’s and in 2000.
In 2002 Immortal Souls signed with a Dutch label, Fear Dark, which released their second and third albums as well as a compilation.
EPs: Divine, Wintertime/Through the Woods, Towards the Dawn (1998) and a Split EP with Mordecai, The Cleansing EP (2000)
They also appeared on various compilations which can be found listed on their Wikipedia page. There has been a number of releases with some different labels during the years like the album Winterreich, released in 2007 in Europe on Dark Balance and in the U.S.A. through Facedown Records. On March 24, 2015 Immortal Souls released their 5th album, Wintermetal, via Rottweiler Records.
Under the Northern Sky (2001)
Ice Upon the Night (2003)
Ice Upon the Night – US Version (2004)
Winterreich ( 2007)
IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death (2011)
The band has been touring for a very long time and have visited many countries including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, France and Switzerland and with big name bands of the day like Becoming the Archetype (USA).
They also played at Brainstorm, 2014 in the Netherlands and also a notable thing to highlight is that they performed at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, in Helsinki, Finland in 2003, which is the biggest metal festival within Northern Europe, with over 43.000 people visiting in 2019.
Current members and line up is:
Aki Särkioja – vocals, bass (1991–present)
Esa Särkioja – lead guitar (1991–present)
Marko Pekkarinen – rhythm guitar (2011–present)
Juha Kronqvist – drums (2005–present)
I’m so glad that these guys found their way to Alfta, Sweden and to Rainbow Rock. In my own opinion “Calm Before The Snowstorm” is one of the coolest melodic death metal songs ever released (…see what I did there…). As Immortal Souls and their prowess instantly set a string in my melancholic Finnish heart, I simply loved it immediately, from when I first listened to the album thru for the first time, up til now. Despite winter being one of their main topics, they still came to Rainbow Rock in the middle of the summer with good moods and gave us a great show. We really experienced one the hottest summer days this summer, with 32c (89.6 F) temperatures and with the largest sun ever seen, which is said by some of the locals. So within the extreme heat they really gave the audience a hot and very heavy Friday night.
What I personally liked the most about the performance was the lead guitar solos that tied together tightly with how the band is a fantastic and well-composed unit. Their vocal techniques, their melodic guitar riffs, their consistent bass sounds and the powerful drumming delivery, give it all a bit of a power metal undercurrent. I also feel I need to compliment how well the rhythm guitar underlines the amazing riffs and goes hand in hand with the lead guitar. And all of this along with their very fast playing techniques…
Immortal Souls are truly skilled musicians, playing fast-paced and technically advanced melodic death metal. As I wrote in another article that in my opinion, a scene called Christian Finnish melodic death metal should be established. Immortal Souls should be considered as one of the founders together with Hilastherion (2003) and also the more recently started band Inborn Tendency (2017).
Since these guys don’t seem to have any plans to quit any time soon, I so much hope to see them live again and then give you a new review about that.
The Wintermetal album is available for purchase on many different platforms online, The Metal Onslaught store, White Metal Shop and also available via the most popular independent site Bandcamp.