- Aki Särkioja – Vocals, Bass
- Esa Särkioja – Guitars
- Marko Pekkarinen – Guitars
- Juha Kronqvist – Drums
Immortal Souls is a melodic death metal band from Kokkola, Finland, formed in 1991. They released a split album and their debut on Little Rose Productions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2002, Immortal Souls signed with the Dutch label, Fear Dark, which released their second and third album as well as a compilation. They have performed at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival. Their musical style is characterized by their use of melodic guitar riffs and singing which shifts between growls and shouting. Their music has been called winter metal since Immortal Souls utilizes frosty metaphors in their lyrics and usually creates a cold, wintry atmosphere. The album Wintereich was released in 2007 in Europe on Dark Balance and in the USA through Facedown Records.
In December 1991, Aki Särkioja (bass, vocals) and Esa Särkioja (guitar) founded Immortal Souls. During the years 1992-1994, Immortal Souls recorded some demo tapes including a tape called Vision of Hell (1993). These demos have never been officially published. In 1994, drummer Antti Nykyri joined the band. At the end of January 1995, the band recorded a demo tape called Immortal Souls, which included six songs. 100 copies were made of the demo tape and it contained straightforward heavy metal with growl vocals. After the Immortal Souls demo, all of the band’s album covers have had a wintry theme in the artwork. Nykyri left the band after one year due to other personal interests.
During the years 1995-1996, Immortal Souls wrote new songs and shaped their musical style. At the time, the band members were interested in doom metal style, and with that influence they recorded their most depressing and oppressive demo called Reflections of Doom in November 1996. The most stylish output of the doom metal experiments was a song called “Realm Of Hatred.” In the recording sessions, Immortal Souls had to use a drum machine, because a new drummer Jupe Hakola was signed in a couple of months after the recording sessions. The song “Hate Sender” was published in the TOB zine’s 7- inch vinyl record. The song “I`am Me” was published later on the From Kaamos To Midnight Sun compilation album. Also songs “Hate Sender”, “I am Me” and “Realm of Hatred” were later published on the Once Upon A Time In The North compilation album as remastered versions.
After the release of the demotapes, Immortal Souls signed a record deal with a Finnish record label called Little Rose Productions. At that time the band had already left behind the doom metal influences and their musical style had changed to fast, melodic death metal and the winter theme in the lyrics had settled as a regular. Their first recording with the new style was Divine Wintertime EP, released in 1998. It was published as a split-CD with the dark metal band called Mordecai (Through the Woods, Towards the Dawn EP). This publication got a lot of appreciation among the metal fans and the song “Snow Soul” became one of the most top-rated Immortal Souls song.
Growing numbers of concerts required additional members to the line-up. In 2000, Pete Loisa (rhythm guitar) joined the group when the band was preparing to record their first full-length studio album. From the material of the February 2000 studio sessions at the Studio Watercastle was first published the Cleansing EP which gave a taster of the forthcoming album. The debut album Under the Northern Sky was published in 2001, and it is perhaps still the most top-rated Immortal Souls album. At that time, Little Rose Productions was closing their operation, and therefore the band started to search for another publisher.
Immortal Souls already had connections (as a distributor) to the record label Fear Dark from Netherlands, and therefore the deal was easy to make for both the band, and for the record company. After signing the deal, the band would embark on a central European tour. They also became a regular performer in the record labels` annual Fear Dark Fest events. After the tour, Immortal Souls started to write new material and in November 2002, they went to Studio Sonic Pump to record the next album called Ice Upon the Night. This album made the band more known also in Finland, and, it opened the opportunity to perform at Tuska Open Air metal festival in Helsinki. This album is licensed to the US and Canada by Facedown Records in the year 2004.
Immoral Souls would make occasional concerts throughout the year. Drummer Jupe Hakola decided to leave the band, and he was replaced by Jukka-Pekka Koivisto. But Jukka-Pekka Koivisto had to leave the band after the Germany-Switzerland tour, because he was busy with his other band, Silent Voices’ new album recordings. The band found a new drummer from the close friends circle, in early 2005, when Juha Kronqvist joined Immortal Souls. Because the Immortal Souls publications had been sold out long time ago, Fear Dark decided to publish them as remastered versions on the Once Upon A Time In The North 2 CD-compilation album at the end of 2005. From the label request, Aki Särkioja wrote the publication history into the compilation CD cover booklet.
The band started to write new material and played occasional concerts at the same time. In 2006, Immortal Souls announced on their website that they were working on a story-based concept album, which was to be called Wintereich. The band went to the studio in December 2006. The album was mastered in the first quarter of 2007. Their new label, Dark Balance, released Wintereich on June 1, 2007. Like the album Ice Upon The Night in 2004, Wintereich has been distributed by Facedown Records and was released in the U.S. on August 21 of 2007.
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Wintermetal / 2015
1. First Snow of Winter
2. Calm Before the Snowstorm
3. Dawn of Northern Coldness
4. The Trail in the Snow
7. Cold and Barren Land
8. Northern Star
9. The Grave of a Poet
Wintermetal is the fifth full-length album by Finnish melodic death metal band Immortal Souls, released in 2015 on Rottweiler Records.
IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death / 2011
1. Art of Death Act I: Soulbells
2. Evil Believer
3. Nuclear Winter
4. I Wept
6. Art of Death Act II: The Last Journey
7. Reek of Rotting Rye
8. Last Day on Earth
9. Hypnotic Atrocity
10. Thought of Desolation
11. One Last Withering Rose
12. Art of Death Act III: The Requiem of the Funeral Eve
IV: The Requiem For The Art Of Death is the fourth full-length album by Finnish melodic death metal band Immortal Souls, released in 2011 on Dark Balance Records.
Wintereich / 2007
3. Frozen Inside
4. Icon of Ice
5. Color of My Sky
8. Heart of Cold
9. Winter of My Discontent
10. Black Water
Wintereich is the third studio album by Finnish melodic death metal band Immortal Souls. It is Immortal Souls‘ first album released by the Dutch Dark Balance record label. It was released on June 1, 2007 in Europe.
Wintereich was recorded during December 8, 2006 – February 18, 2007 at Studio Watercastle and Studio 3rd Track. The album was mixed by Arttu Sarvanne during February 5.–13, 2007. Wintereich was mastered by Svante Forsbäck at Chartmakers, Helsinki on March 8, 2007. The album layout was designed by Jeff Arwadi through Soundmind Graphics.
Wintereich is a story based concept album divided to 4 chapters. It continues on the band’s melodic death metal style.
Ice Upon The Night / 2003
2. Welcome to North
5. Edge of the Frost
9. Man of Sorrow
Ice Upon the Night is the second studio album by Finnish melodic death metal band Immortal Souls. It is Immortal Souls‘ first album released by Fear Dark Records. It was released in March 2003.
Ice Upon the Night was recorded in November 2002 at Sonic Pump Studios, Helsinki, Finland. The mixing and mastering was done by Nino Laurenne, and Mika Jussila mastered the album at Finnvox Studios, Helsinki. The album was produced by Immortal Souls.
Musically, the album continues on the band’s melodic death metal approach as well as the wintry lyrical theme, although the overall tempo has gotten somewhat slower compared to the previous efforts. Session musician Kimmo Pulkkinen sings clean vocals on the song “You” as a duet with Aki Särkioja, in contrast to his death growl vocals. Pulkkinen also sings clean vocals on “Man of Sorrow.”
Ice Upon the Night received a positive reception. For example, Mape Ollila, reviewer of Imperiumi.net the biggest metal music site in Finland, gave the album 8 out of 10 and wrote that the band was technically good and that there nothing wrong with the song material. Some fans, however, were not too excited about the slight metalcore influences on same songs, the overall calmer output, nor liked the less wintry cover art on the European release.
Ice Upon the Night was especially marketed to Benelux countries, Germany and Switzerland, and to the United States and Canada through Facedown Records that issued the album with a different, wintry cover.
Under the Northern Sky / 2001
2. The Cleansing
3. The Cold Northwind
4. Blue Flamed Fire
6. Dark Night Under the Northern Sky
7. Love Demise
Under the Northern Sky is the first full-length album by the Finnish melodic death metal band Immortal Souls. This album was the last recording to be released by previous record label, Little Rose Productions in 2001.
Under the Northern Sky was recorded during the same studio sessions as The Cleansing EP on February 26–30, 2000 at Studio Watercastle, Jyväskylä, Finland. The studio technics were handled Arttu Sarvanne, and the album was produced Manu Lehtinen, co-founder of Little Rose Productions and the band Deuteronomium.
According to the liner notes of the vocalist and bass player Aki Särkioja, during the recording of the album “the winter was extremely snowy and that boosted the lyrics more and more to the wintertale direction.” “Frostmind” contains some of the fastest guitar riffs Immortal Souls have written and combine traditional metal to death metal. The album contains two instrumental songs: “Snowfalls” and “Metsäkukkia.” The first is calm song that is characterized by folky clean guitar playing that creates a wintry atmosphere. “Metsäkukkia” is a speeded up melodic death metal adaptation of the traditional Finnish folk song. “Painthings” is about an artist’s misery. “The Cold Northwind” was released on Little Rose Productions’ compilation album titled The Metal Rose Collection.
Under the Northern Sky received a positive reception among fans and critics, although it remained rather unknown for years because Little Rose Productions did not have enough resources to promote the album widely. Under the Northern Sky was the band’s last release on that label.
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