Immortal Soul’s fifth full-length studio release (and eleventh over-all, if you count the demos, the one split CD with Mordicai, EPs, singles and the one compilation) once again shows this band in top form, doing what they do best while further polishing their brand of melodic death metal. While the previous release was a bit of a thematic departure, I’m finding that Wintermetal seems to be back on the regular track for this band, keeping the whole winter theme going.
Now on the Rottweiler Records label for US distribution (really, Facedown just seemed to be an odd one, even for just distribution and not style), Wintermetal seems to be a continuation of what the band does best, but after a few more listens, you notice a bit of a nuance to the compositions. Comparatively speaking, while they were starting to go in this direction since Wintereich, Wintermetal is probably the best I’ve heard them since Ice Upon The Night. It’s some tasty, tightly played melodic death metal that has some fantastic playing layered upon a heavy base of blast beats and slamming brutality, mixed in with some acoustic touches to give texture to the music. The vocals are mostly the harsh death type that one comes to expect of Immortal Souls, with maybe a couple of times when the clean vocals come into play; something I’m not normally a fan of, but at least it doesn’t seem out of place and jarring as I’ve heard from other death metal bands trying that out.
Overall, I found Wintermetal to be a decently solid release of much needed melodic death metal. Sure, some may consider the style to be a bit of a relic from a bygone era; but for me, the sound is a much needed balm in this era of pointless metalcore hipsters being passed off as “metal” here where I dwell. Check it out.