Review: Immortal Souls

by bushman

It’s cold in Finland. All the bands from there are obsessed with this frozen imagery. If you are an old D&D kid like me, that can hold a certain charm. Mix it with some of that melodic contemporary European metal that seems to be making a noticeable dent in the metal scene as of late and it starts to take shape. Lyrics get very dramatic, painting landscapes of medieval woodlands driven through with snow that purifies us all for the battles that lie ahead! (Roll your d20 to see if you score a hit). Mix that up into some In Flames aspirations and you are getting close to the vibe put forth by Immortal Souls. A collaborative effort between Fear Dark, a label out of Holland and southern California’s Facedown Records (known more for their hardcore roster) brings the Immortal Souls debut full length “Ice Upon the Night” to American shores. The guitars accomplish that healthy mix of crunching contemporary thrash riffage with heavy amounts of dual lead work and soaring solos that nod toward their European metal roots. Vocalist A. Sarkioja sounds like the end result of smoking two packs a day, then running in sub-zero Finnish winter-wastelands to the point his lungs froze up with a crackling, harsh grumble. Lyrical content is a bit too heavy leaden with the whole ‘walking alone through the frozen battles under starlit skies without fear of the raven of hate’ (roll a d10 for percentage of random attack). Some might call it dramatic imagery, I get fantasy role-playing flashbacks. But it’s sort of par for the course with these ‘Norse gods of Metal from the cold northern wastelands’ type bands. In fact, it’s part of the attractive charm. A personality. A trip they are on and seem to embrace not because it’s ‘cool’, but because it’s their lineage. Let the war horns blow and we shall ravage our enemies at dawn on the ice-covered fields of my father’s birth.

2003 “Ice Upon The Night” (Fear Dark / Facedown)
2001 “Under The Northern Sky” (Fear Dark)