How many people are needed to make a melodic death metal album? The man behind the project GRIEFSOUL proves that one person is definitely enough. Emppu Kinnaslampi, a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Mikkeli, independently released his debut EP “Griefsoul” on September 22nd, 2021. The EP, which is available on streaming platforms, contains three songs, touching the concept of limited time, interestingly combining melancholic lyrics with powerful guitar sound and heavy drums.
The opening track, “Unrelenting Time,” immediately catches the listener’s attention with an intriguing drum pattern and guitar intro. Smoothly introduced pace changes, drums bringing heaviness, and lead guitar making the song lighter – all these factors give an overall impression of a dynamic yet well-balanced track. The vocal growls are harmonized nicely with the melody, while the lyrics discuss the concept of passing away and limited time. Their meaning is especially emphasized by the mystical sounds at the opening of the song and the guitar parts in the background. According to the artist’s post in social media, he came up with the melody of this track while watching the Moomins cartoon – looks like inspiration can be found everywhere!
The second song of the EP, “Calm of the Grave,” released as single on September 1st, 2021, brings back some memories of lockdown isolation. It is written in a similar style as “Unrelenting Time” – drums combined with growls keep the heavy, dark mood, while guitar parts and pace changes drive the flow, bringing even more energy and lightness to the composition, making the song a little more emotional.
In opposition to the leading two powerful, energetic songs, the last track of the EP, “My Ultimatum,” is filled with nostalgia. Once more, it’s the lead guitar that creates the mood, but this time it expresses grief and longing. The structure of this song is also more complex than the previous tracks – the short piano inset is especially worth mentioning here. Whispered lines of “fear / worry / where to go from here? / the time is near” serve instant chills and goosebumps to listeners. With this last track, Emppu leaves the listener with minor disappointment – why is it already over?
Impressive guitars – both in solos and riffs – as well as a background for vocals, are undoubtedly one of the most important reasons that listening to “Griefsoul” is a great pleasure. Adding some diversity and experimenting more in vocal parts would definitely make this EP even more attractive, as the vocals in all three songs are quite simple and repetitive; nevertheless it doesn’t make them too monotonous or boring. GRIEFSOUL is not afraid of rhythm changes and pays attention to details in the composition. With his EP, Emppu brings some freshness to the genre he represents. Fans of WOLFHEART will appreciate “Griefsoul” EP for sure; early BEHEMOTH enthusiasts may also find it worth listening. If this is just a taste of what GRIEFSOUL has in his artistic arsenal, I truly hope to hear a full-length album from him soon.
Written by Paulina Goździk
1. Unrelenting Time
2. Calm of the Grave
3. My Ultimatum