For a Melodic Death Metal band to come into view under the name ‘Swansong’ seems suspicious. For such a gentle namesake being tacked onto a genre that boasts intensity and brutality in its very roots comes off as odd, but one that urged me to immerse myself within.
Fully established in 2020 in Finland, Swansong consists of former ‘Up Yours’ vocalist Jemiina, and guitarist Topi Pitkanen from ‘Verjnaurmu’ who began their journey together in late 2019. Soon, the duo was joined by ‘Omniversum’ drummer Markus Tikkanen, with members Mika Tikkanen and session member Tomas Ahlroos soon joining along.
Clean vocals were explored first but soon evolved to an attempt at death metal growls that were more than successful. Jemiina’s love for scream vocals exploded and the band soon acquired their Death Metal foundation. Unfortunately, as recordings completed for the EP in July of 2021, and the year came to a close, band member Mika had to depart for personal and scheduling reasons. This paved the way for Tuomas Leskinen (Carnal Desire, Tornado, Bad Baron) to join in.
Unveiling their new style in the Melodic Death metal scene, Swansong mixes heavy/power/and melodeath with aggressive female-fronted growls, spine-tingling riffs, and beautiful male vocals, and melodies. On February 25th, 2022, the band unveiled their 3-song EP titled “Winter Maiden”, which they had begun recording in July of 2021.
“Lovely Bones” tears into reality with ferocious growls and mind-melting guitars. Jemiina’s passion for death growls is immediately prominent as melodic rhythm soon backs her power. It’s a mix of intense guitars, rich solos, and steady drums that keep everything moving together. Vocals really shine on this track with their strength really taking hold in the foreground to show the dedication the band has taken in exploring their own techniques.
“Here I Stand” rounds in second with soaring riffs that get you moving your head from the get-go. It’s a heavier track that boasts musical skill and flare with solid drumbeats, terrifying riffs, and fueling bass. Smack in Jemiina’s screams of absolute ferocity and you’re knocked back by one hell of a tune. The combination with clean vocals really adds another layer of wonder to an already amazing track that quickly earned it a replay on my list.
The title track, “Winter Maiden” completes this 3-track EP and starts on a slower, lower note in an almost acoustic feel. Drums ramp things up, building the anticipation of what this track has to offer; the result is an ear-piercing solo that ascends to give this track energy and otherworldly force. Jemiina’s vocals come in harsh against a solid backing melody, with lyrics like “she’s the one you’ve been waiting for” only creating further tension. An awe-inspiring chorus quickly follows, with the mixture of passionate clean vocals and Jemiina’s demonic growls stunning listeners. Not only is it backed by an amazing melody but, one that is layered with musical technique; from tear-jerking riffs to battering drums, this track is a stunner from end to end.
For a simple, 3-song EP, this one is an absolute bombshell. There is passion, technical skill, creativity, and power that is displayed throughout by each band member. There is no shortage of beauty or brutality which makes “Winter Maiden” a tease but, a solid listen, nevertheless.
Release Date: February 25th, 2022
1.) Lovely Bones
2.) Here I Stand
3.) Winter Maiden