Immortal Souls – IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death

By Taylor C. on April-3-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , , | Share

Immortal Souls – IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.9 (13 votes)

Band: Immortal Souls
Title: IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death
Label: Dark Balance (Facedown Records for U.S. distribution)
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Reviewer: Taylor C.

Tracklisting:

  1. Art Of Death Act I: Soulbells
  2. Evil Believer
  3. Nuclear Winter
  4. I Wept
  5. Absolution
  6. Art Of Death Act II: The Last Journey
  7. Reek Of Rotting Rye
  8. Last Day On Earth
  9. Hypnotic Atrocity
  10. Thoughts Of Desolation
  11. One Last Withering Rose
  12. Art of Death Act II: The Requiem of the Funeral Eve

It seems that April is upon us—the month which T.S. Eliot describes as “the cruelest.” I hate spring too, so let’s take a temporary journey back to the colder parts of late 2011.

Half metal, half ice, it’s no surprise that the band Immortal Souls “hails” from Finland—the freezing land where amazing metal seems to surge. Since 1991, the band has lived up to the Finnish standard and developed a distinctive sound and atmosphere with their music that they appropriately call winter metal. In the vein of similarly named “genres,” like Viking metal, ocean metal, swamp metal, pirate metal, troll metal (even Christian metal), where the adjective generally describes the lyrical content, Immortal Souls uses wintery metaphors and imagery to convey both spiritual and physical concepts that are beautiful, cold and refreshing. If I had to compare their music to something, I would say it’s like getting a brain freeze from mint chocolate-chip ice cream.

As far as sticking with the icy imagery and technical melodies, IV: The Requiem For The Art Of Death is no different than any of Immortal Souls’ past releases. However, I did find that the album is a lot darker than their previous work—both musically and lyrically. Even the cover’s artwork breaks from their traditional frozen landscape theme of past albums and shows a rotted body lying in a shallow grave. According to an article uploaded to their Facebook, the Särkioja brothers (vocals, bass and lead guitar) suffered through their father’s death during the album’s creation, and I think it shows through the sinister riffs, emotionally driven vocals, and lyrics that center around physical death, spiritual confusion, and acceptance of mortality. In short, the theme of this release is death, but it isn’t like the typical bands that do it for kicks; IV is a very mature album—genuine and human—driven by furious passion.

The composition of the album itself is great. A lot of melodic death metal bands have trouble creating songs that are distinguishable from the other tracks, but here there’s no mistaking which song is which. Each song has a riff and rhythm that is its own, and occasionally, like the cleanly vocalized “One Last Withering Rose,” breaks out of the genre’s confines and into one or more of its primary influences. Still, the band manages to retain its well known sound in songs like “Nuclear Winter”—the fast and complex guitar work of E. Särkioja and Pekkarinen, backed by Kronqvist’s insane drumming, all march in sync with A. Särkioja’s wolverine snarls and thick bass riffs. Also noteworthy are the Art of Death Acts I, II and III that provide the listener with a haunting instrumental/church-bell opening, another instrumental near the middle, and, finally, a nine-minute conclusion which incorporates the first two melodies and themes into a gloomy requiem.

The lyrics also play a huge roll what makes IV such a great listen. Along with his trademark winter imagery, A. Särkioja creates an emotionally rollercoaster of concepts that range from the spiritual doubts of “Evil Believer” to the spiritual submission of “Absolution.” Even more impressive than the lyrical content is the music’s ability to compliment it perfectly. For example, “Reek of Rotting Rye” is one of the album’s darkest songs whose main riff just smells nasty, and the psychotic riffs and guitar solos of “Hypnotic Atrocity” fit wildly with the deliciously paranoid, lyrical theme of wicked confrontation:

Gather words in this heap. Is this Christianity? I proudly take this leap, to haven of insanity… Hypnotic atrocity, Schizophrenic antagonist, Transorbital lobotomy, Hypnotic atrocity.”

I feel like I’m in a straightjacket when listening to this song—it’s awesome.

As a side note, you can check out Immortal Souls’ Facebook and hear a track called “Blood for Blood” that was omitted from the final cut. It’s a sick track that goes well with the entire album; other than time constraints, I don’t know why it was left off.

Overall: Hi! I know this review is extremely long, but IV: The Requiem For The Art Of Death is an amazing work of art that every fan of melodic death metal or 80′s-styled technical metal should check out. The music, lyrics, themes and artwork fit together like puzzle pieces. In short, Immortal Souls has created yet another frozen masterpiece that is such a great combination of ice and metal that your tongue might stick.

[iTunes]

Immortal Souls - IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death, 3.9 out of 5 based on 13 ratings

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About the author Taylor C.

"I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter." —T.S. Eliot View all posts by Taylor C.

43 Responses to 'Immortal Souls – IV: The Requiem for the Art of Death'

  1. Greg says:

    “Nuclear Winter” is an amazing song with an amazing video. I really need to take a listen to the rest of the album now.

  2. Anthony says:

    Didn’t care for this album. Good music but the vocals were a huge turn-off.

  3. Finaly a review 4 this album, lol. I agree wit the overall asesment, but i gave it a 9. Hily undarated band that needs mor recognition. They neva disapointed me, altho i believe wintereich is ther weakest album, but stil a gud album.

    • Anthony says:

      Says the guy who can’t use proper grammar and doesn’t have an avatar in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with not liking this album, I reviewed this album last year on christianmusiczine.com and even though I’m from Alaska I just didn’t like the vocals. And yeah, I’m 22,married, college student with a 5 year old so I’m far from a “lil kid”

    • Lol. ah yes, anotha 1 of the “intanet grama police”. Yur not even worth the explanation if u cant figure it out by now. And i dont need an avatar wen ive been postin here 4 years, noob. Thers plenty wrong wit liking a crapy+ ovarated band like showcrap beta than imortal souls, anybody wit gud taste in music wud agree, lol. Gud 4 u, and? Just cuz u got sum chik knoct up at 17+ decided 2 get maried yung duznt make u an “adult”, nice try tho.

    • Brandon says:

      Hey Phil, I get your sarcastic sense of humor sometimes but that was a low blow attacking his personal life. We don’t know his story (it could be an awesome one) so don’t go judging. After all, my wife got pregnant at 15. I started dating her when her son was 6 1/2 months old, then we got married like 2 years later. I adopted him as my son in 2005 and have been living happily together for 14 years now. I became an instant husband, father, and adult at the age of 19. So let’s just be nice to each other and hopefully Anthony will realize that your sarcasm through improper grammar is a part of you ;)

    • Anthony says:

      Thanks Brandon, cool story man. Glad to know how similar our stories are. I guess I realize his humor but resorting to ironies and sarcasms to insult me hurts a bit, but there’s better things to do then continue this, like finals coming up =)

    • Brandog,

      Read my response 2 Joshs post. “Anthony” was the 1 that brot his personal fam situation into this, not me. As u can c “Anthony” was the 1 who felt the need 2 try 2 defend himself by bringin his personal life into it, i was just pointin out the irony of his avatar wile he chose 2 criticize 1 of my fave bands. I wil not b the only 1 around here that is bein held down+ singled out just cuz of my diference of opinion. Wev had diferences of opinions b4 as wel, but i neva took it personal or seen it as a prob in our frendship. Thats nice that yur fam/ personal situation seems 2 b workin out 4 u as wel, but my opinion stil remains.

  4. WarriorSam says:

    not their best but a nice album.. 7/10

  5. Bear Prince says:

    Bought this for my girlfriend for Christmas, still not sure what to think. Loved One Last Withering Rose and the intro drumming on Thoughts of Desolation, pretty sure that’s the one. After many, many listens (she really likes it) I’ve gotten a little tired of this album as a whole.

  6. jthejust says:

    The vocals really aren’t my cup of it. It’s interesting though, I think “Nuclear Winter” is based on the novel “A Canticle For Leibowitz”, based on the the song’s subject matter and use of Latin. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Christianity and post-apocalyptic wastelands mixed togather.

  7. Lurker says:

    I visit IVM daily. It is a great site. But I am a lurker and have never posted and the main reason is because of people like phil metalhed. Why would someone want to post on here when they get attacked?? I get that Phil thinks the bad grammer is funny in a strange juvenile sort of way. But very few other people find it funny. And many people are turned off to the whole site because of it.

    No one wants to read someone acting like a 12 year old ridiculing other peoples posts. It’s not funny….It’s obnoxious.

    If this site is going to keep growing people like phil need to back off…..

    Just my opinion. Rip me if you want.

    • DT says:

      wut, phil 12? hes no noob.

      Seriously, you’re right about the ridicule and kudos to you and Brandon for calling him out. Phil’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors on IVM are at times a weak representation of Christ, and even general humankind. Others shouldn’t sit idly by while he consistently insults people with a lack of respect.

      Phil… anybody wit gud taste in music wud agree that comparing two bands from completely different genres is just silly.
      It seems you want to be better than other people for some reason that God only knows. There’s no need for you to prove that you’re enough, not a noob, know tons about good music, or whatever, to anyone here. You are enough. Your thoughts are valued already, and you don’t have to coat them in elitism and put downs. It’d be in everyone’s interest if you would accept that and not feel the need to put down other people’s views.

      If you believe it’s all your sense of humor and nothing deep like that, then you should easily be able to stop. You’re hurting this community. I know I want you to be a part of the community, but stop with the stuff that’s having a damaging effect.

    • JoshIVM says:

      I think Phil is funny at times & his posts do not bother me in the least. Never have, never will. We are also a very tame site for commenting. Most of the big music sites are worse, if not much more so, in regards to language & personal attacks. We’re growing just fine & Phil has no effect on that one way or the other.

      To those people who are turned off to the whole site & those that are bothered by other comments. It seems like everyone needs to get a little thicker skin & not take things personally these days. Not just on IVM, but with life in general. I can honestly say that there are very few people in my life who I would choose to be offended over. Notice, I say choose. It’s everyone’s choice whether they want to get upset or not.

      There are much more important things to spend your time worrying about than what someone, whom you don’t know nor will probably ever meet, said on a website. It’s really not worth getting upset over. Phil could mock me constantly on here if he wanted to & it would not affect my day (no offense Phil, haha).

    • “Lurker”= typical coward wit an anonymous sn who thinx ther the only 1 wit a rite 2 ther opinion. The only “strange juvenile” is u budy. Get ova it+ get a life.

      “DT”, heed yur own advice then talk 2 me b4 hurlin stones, budy. Ive been “a part of this comunity” since b4 u probly even herd of this site, nice try tho. Everybody has a rite 2 ther opinion xcept 4 me, rite? U sound like a typical libtard. Thers my asesment of yur “weak representation of Christ, and even general humankind.”

      JoshIVM, thanx 4 havin my bak, 4 the most part, lol. I agree wit yur asesment+ i wish people wud stay on topic insted of tryin 2 nitpik+ play “intanet grama police” (as u can c “Anthony” was the 1 who felt the need 2 try 2 defend himself by bringin his personal life into it, i was just pointin out the irony of his avatar wile he chose 2 criticize 1 of my fave bands), but unfortunately it looks alike that prob wont go away anytime soon. We all apreciate the hard work u do on this site+ i think that we hav simila senses of huma in that it wud take a lot 2 ofend us. I wudnt “insult” anybody who duznt take life so seriously such as ourselves, so dont wory, lol. Just believe that i wil not b the only 1 around here that is bein held down+ singled out just cuz of my diference of opinion.

    • DT says:

      I’ve been checking out IVM since 2003. That’s not relevant to community, but now you know. And you?

    • “DT”,

      1. I hily dout that, considerin u acted shoct+ surprised that i actualy think 4 myself+ hav my own opinions in an outspoken mana (since this sites inception).

      2. Its plenty “relevant”, considerin ive known Brandon 4 years+ suported his label+ website since 2000.

    • DT says:

      “metalhed”
      1. Maybe I’m just surprised you haven’t grown as a person in this area. What you said to Anthony (“Just cuz u got sum chik knoct up at 17+ decided 2 get maried yung duznt make u an “adult”, nice try tho.”) was way beyond being justified by someone’s own opinion, personality, or humor. That wasn’t ok. You can spin it however you want (Isn’t that what “libtards” do?) and say you didn’t make things personal first, or start pointing fingers at me for “hurlin stones,” but this isn’t about me, it’s about you, Anthony, and the IVM community. By making a comment about something personal, his age (“Sez the lil kid”), you were the first one to make it personal by belittling his opinion on the basis of who he is as a person, not just his musical tastes. Then you took it to an extreme. All because he didn’t like the vocals, even though he said the music was good! Maybe it would help you to take Josh’s advice to other people and get some thicker skin for when your favorites are criticized.

      2. That’s awesome for you. I can tell you’re extremely proud of that. You may think it gives you privilege, regarding how you treat the community, to have been around since launch but no amount of l33t points or seniority changes the way you make yourself look. I don’t think “Just cuz u got sum chik knoct up at 17+ decided 2 get maried yung duznt make u an “adult”, nice try tho” looks good to anyone.

    • “DT”,

      1. Maybe im surprised u havent grown up+ moved on. Yur the only 1 “spinin” anythin 2 try 2 bak up yur lame+ weak “argument”. But at least yur rite about u displayin typical libtard behavia, wer everybody has a rite 2 the opinion xcept 4 the person u disagree wit, lol. All i did was point out the irony in him criticizin a very talented+ underated band wile he has 1 of the most overated bands eva as an avatar, in a jokin mana, it seems like yur the only 1 around here who cant get that thru yur limited brain capacity. Judgnin by his response, he seemed satisfied wit my explanation+ has decided 2 drop it. Yur the only 1 stil talkin about it+ “takin it 2 an extreme”, smart 1. “Maybe it wud help” if u took yur own advice+ joshs as wel, cuz i dont take ofense 2 peoples opinions on here, u do, aparently. I wil defend everybodys rite 2 ther opinion, howeva dum it mite b, thats the beauty of an open forum, wich u hav failed 2 realize, obviously. I dont hafta agree wit u+ u dont hafta agree wit me, end of story.

      2. Ya, i am “proud” of the fact that ive been suportin Brandon+ his site since its inception+ helpin him promote the site, if thats wat u mean. Seems like yur just jelous+ resentful 2 me, so get ova yurself. Nobody sed anythin about “privelege” xcept 4 u. The only priveleged ones wud b the admins, moderators+ owna of this site, wich duznt include me or u. “No amount of” but hurt points changes the way u make yurself look by stikin yur nose into an a- b conversation that neva pertained 2 u. U can try all u want in tryin 2 gain the respect of the esily fooled, but u get nun from me. My opinions on the subject wit remain, get ova it, get a life+ stay on topic. End of story.

  8. DT says:

    Good review. I’m definitely a fan of Mitch and, now, Taylor’s reviews. Great writing style. Plus, I’ve read several reviews of this album and always felt like they didn’t quite capture the album. Maybe it’s their association with Facedown Records for distribution and the listeners that go along with that, but Immortal Souls often seems misunderstood. I saw where people were coming from with Winterreich, but this album is solid. It’s good to see a review that captures that.

  9. rowdyrob says:

    Great review. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a long review if it’s well written and interesting!

  10. JoshIVM says:

    I do like the album, but it’s a pretty average release so it’d probably land a 5-6 in my book.

  11. Mike K says:

    I’d really like to have this album now;)

    and I’m really tired of “phil metalhed”. He’s becoming a symbol of someone annoying and negative on this site. and what he said to Anthony.. it’s just.. complete lack of manners.
    Anyway I wish him best and I hope he’ll change one day.

    • I’m really tired of “Mike K ”. He’s becoming a symbol of someone annoying and negative on this site. and what he said to me.. it’s just.. complete lack of manners.
      Anyway I wish him best and I hope he’ll change one day.

      Fixd it 4 u, lol.

  12. Taylor C. says:

    I absolutely love you, Phil.

  13. Mike K says:

    yeah Phil you fixed it for me! you got that right! hahaha soooooooooo funny! you’re THE funny guy here no doubt about that! thanks Phil!

    • Na, yur funia+ hav much beta “manas”, lol.

    • Anthony says:

      Instead of replying in hatred toward our brother metalhed’s ironic humor, let’s pray for him and hope he understands Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

    • Anthony says:

      Instead of replying in hatred toward my attempts at “humor”, let’s pray for me and hope I understand Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

      Word up bro, lol.

  14. Bob says:

    My 8 year old is more mature than Phil.

  15. Smacky X says:

    Josh, Bob’s comment is less ironic than your argument that places priority on people having a thicker skin over other people showing common decency and respect. What makes more sense: actually calling one person out on their garbage and holding them accountable for the multiple negative interactions they initiate, or telling every other person in that mass of negative interactions that the problem is with them?

    Let’s take your reasoning to its logical end, throw accountability and respect out the door, and have everyone else act like phil, because we should all have thick enough skin to take it. Do you know how quickly things on this site would decline? “We threw respect out the window because we all developed thick skin. Instead of guarding our words, speaking with some semblance of sensitivity and cultivating mutual decency we decided that people need to tolerate whatever we throw at them…If you stick around long enough you’ll develop a thick skin too!”

    I get the “life lesson” in there- “let it roll of your back.” But if you think that equipping a community to let things roll off their back is a greater priority than creating a community of mutual respect, then you are addressing the issue from the wrong angle.

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