Infinite shades of winter in a tiny space – a review of Swansong’s “Winter Maiden”

Author Silvia Tortiglione - 7.12.2022

The beauty of winter depends on the complexity of its harmonies. On the one hand, the enchantment of purity, on the other, the brutality of the storm. Snow and steel – the Finns Swansong are forged of both these materials. “Winter Maiden” is a small EP, composed of three tracks, but capable of saying a lot. Put your ear to a frozen sea, and that’s what you’ll hear. Echoes from the past, refined melodies, and battles, and long-lost sorrows.

“Lovely Bones” is a bombastic beginning. This first track explains perfectly what I mean by snow and steel. A sentimental lyric backs up a fiery andante, which manages to be modern while retaining the typical structures of melodic death metal. Topi Pitkänen crystallizes reality with his solo, an unmissable highlight.

More classical vibes in “Here I Stand”. Jemiina can best express the potential of her voice and manages to be versatile without falling into the sweetness of excessive melody. The peculiarity of this song is its legendary flavor, evident in the verses and echoed by the sound technique. The choral alternation adds, once again, that sense of distance that underlines the oxymoronic symbolism of Swansong – the delicacy of the swan in the folds of an ever more pressing drum.

A tendentially symphonic opening, with shades of power metal, for the title track “Winter Maiden”. A few acoustic notes border on the gallop of darkness. Definitely, a pompous moment, but in a good way. Swansong have a remarkable aesthetic, clearly evident in the photo shoots and in the official lyric video of the song in question. In other words, it almost seems that the visual component, so preponderant, has its sonic realization with “Winter Maiden”. A refined richness, especially in chords and silences.

“Winter Maiden” is a must-listen for all lovers of the genre and beyond. I could say that we’re in front of an almost experimental EP, which mixes melodic and death with courage and clean skills. Snow and steel once again. Between love problematic desires and icy battles, today and in the most ancient past, despite their complexity, Swansong‘s little opus seems to speak to everyone.