Persefone
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Persefone

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"Persefon on progarchives.com"

I discovered Persefone with this release and I felt very stupid for not having listened to this band previously. Persefone's music is a mix of death metal with heavy growls and 'ripped- off' vocals(I call the vocals that are lighter than the brutal ones and remind black metal) combined with beautiful,melodic music with touches of heaviness of course. I totally disagree that are similar to Opeth.The Swedish band delivers an atmospheric and melancholic sound full of complexity surrounded by a very dark veil. Persefone are not so dark and they create atmosphere but with a different way. So what about the music? The disc is full of Japanese-sound keyboards.I think that the concept of this album has to do with the eastern country(you can figure it out by the name of the album and by the bame of many tracks). There are many interludiums which totally fit with the album. Each interludium has to do with a specific book(book of earth, book of fire etc) and maybe it is related to an eastern philosophy. Whatever, the first track 'Rise To Fall'(I exclude the intro) is amazing.Technical and rapid,edgy riffs,a death metal element, combined with melody and progression.The keyboards enter at 0:51 and after a brutal growl crushes which is followed by the Japanese-style in the background. The clean voice that accompanies the song is actually good.The end of the song is perfect and guess,again the keybords close the track. Next song emphatically called 'Death before dishonour', initiates quite slow but then there is a rage of guitar and drum work along with angry growls and some american death metal influences after the second minute.Again,keyboards play a huge role in the music especially at 4:46 where the Asian sound appears again. The drumming is furious during the song.The guys know how to handle their instruments,that's for sure. After the interludium, comes 'The Endless Path'.The beginning shows Swedish death metal influences. After a catchy minute(from first to second minute) the dark tone returns and at 3:46 it is the time for the keyboard section accompanied with impeccable melodic guitars. The instrumental part ends at 5:35 and the song ends with heavy drumming. After the 'Wind Book', 'Purity' follows. It is an emotional,slow song that has only clean vocals.It is embellished of course with instrumental parts(mainly solos). The clean vocals are very nice in this composition. If you hear that a song is called 'Rage Stained Blade' what would you expect? Oh,yes it is till now the most intense song of the disc,with its mellower breaks. Persefone are a progressive band, not a pure death metal one. 'Kusanagi' is maybe the best song of the album. An interesting start with drumming rythm and hard riffs which suddenly retreat to the piano melody at 2:35 which is accompanied by clean vocals. Then the edgy riffs return along with modern keyboards, combination that reminds me Evergrey. It is time for brutal vocals which continue till 5:35.Then, some soft music,a harsh break,solos from both guitar and keyboards, some 'ripped-off' vocals and powerful drumming end this song. 'Shin Ken Part 1' is in the same mood as previous songs.Keyboards,hardcore(not in terms of the music genre)drums,aggressive vocals and solos.It is a nice song though. 'Shin Ken Part 2' is the mellower brother of the previous track. Slow tempo,brilliant piano work,clean vocals and exceptional melodic arrangements. 'Japanese poem' is a sentimental outro which mainly consists of piano/keyboards work. In retrospect, one of the best works for this genre in this year and nothing similar and copy- paste to things that I've heard till now. I would prefer only brutal and clean vocals and not the 'ripped-off' ones but ok. 4.5 stars, with the rounding 5 stars.
- Progarchives.com (by mel from hell)


"Persefone on metalstorm.ee"

Persefone comes from Andorra (the little country in the mountains between Spain and France) and this is probably not the first time that you hear something about this band on Metal Storm. Maybe that some of you remember my (old) review about their first release "Truth Inside The Shades" which was, back in 2004, was one of my best discovering and surprises of the year. Finally, the band has the chance to release their second album in 2006 and I will let you know why it was a mistake that nobody here (including me) have tried to talk about this band before today. "Core" is a masterpiece of extreme Progressive Metal, don't miss it if you want to discover that extreme Metal and Progressive music can perfectly be associated.

"Core" has nothing to do with the word that we use to name some kind of music, you know Metalcore, Hardcore etc… Actually here, we're in front of a Greek word which means daughter and since that this new concept album is about the Greek legend of Persephone, I suppose now that you understand why the band has used this title. Now that this important explanation is done, let's talk a bit about the last album of Persefone. Their first release was an excellent piece of Melodic Death Metal with strong progressive parts. It was a great release but let me tell you that "Core" in comparison is a lot more complex and progressive, that's just impressive. The album is divided in three big parts (which are all divided in sub-tracks), the main lyric theme, of course is about Persephone and the album, through is music, perfectly describe the legend of this beautiful girl which finally became the queen of deaths. The music of Persefone is really smart and intelligent, I don't really want to compare the band to other combos but it's hard to avoid the name of Symphony X. Though, the Andorran band is an extreme Metal act and this is not the voice of the female singer Marta Masafret which kill the violence that we were able to find in the first release of the combo, "Truth Inside The Shades". Maybe that "Core" is a bit softer but if we lose a bit of violence in the riffs, we win a ton of excellent progressive parts and that's a good thing in my opinion. "Core", obviously is a pure album of Progressive Metal with excellent guitars and keyboards soli. The riffs are strong like iron but they're always smart and useful. If you like Progressive extreme Metal (we're not in front of Necrophagist), with good Death vocals (and nice clean too by the way) in addition of killer riffs and superb progressive passages, this album is a must!

The album was recorded in Andorra but mastered in Sweden by Peter In De Betou. The work is perfect and the sound is just great. If you add that the artwork was done by Annika Von Holdt and that of course the performance of the musicians is perfect, it's really hard to find anything wrong here. Maybe, but that's a small maybe, that some people will not enter easily in the music of Persefone which is really complex but it's just a matter of time in my opinion and if they try to listen to the album, it should be ok with a bit of time. I know that the album is full of break, it's pure Prog but a "song" like "Seed: Core & Persephone" is catchy as hell so I'm sure that 99% of the metalheads should be attracted by the release. This is just perfect!

It's maybe weird to read that Persefone comes from a tiny little country like Andorra but there, Metal is popular and it's great to see that a band like Persefone is becoming famous and that some young bands now are following their steps. I really hope that Persefone will get the success that they deserve soon but I'm sure that their upcoming album will definitely open the doors of the heaven of Metal bands. Before that day, please have a look on "Core" (and don't forget their first release too), we're just in front of a great album of Metal.
9/10 - metalstorm.ee (by Jeff)


Discography

"Truth Inside the Shades" (2004)
"Core" (2006)
"Shin-ken" (2009)

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Bio

Hailing from Andorra, we now bring you one of the most exciting new acts on the ever-growing metal scene; Persefone.

The band was formed in 2003 and after just a year, the first album, “Truth Inside the Shades”, was recorded. Carlos Lozano (Guitar and vocals), Miguel Espinosa (Keyboards and vocals), Jordi Gorgues (guitar) and Toni Mestre (bass) parting from Death metal, through progressive passages and even acoustics, demonstrated to have a great musicality. Bands like Opeth, Borknagar, Arcturus, Symphony X or Cacophony are all a reference for this album.

Teaming up with Intromental Management, the CD was released in 2004 in Russia/Baltic States by CD-Maximum, Japan by Soundholic and the rest of the world by Adipocere. The album was soon distributed and great feedback was received from the press. Persefone created their own little niche, through the original, complex, melodic and at times even aggressive metal that floated out of the speakers!

After the release, the band played a lot of local shows and began working on the second CD, “Core”, with two new members in the band: Aleix Dorca as drummer/producer and Marc Martins as vocalist. “Core” is an intense crusade in which the band relates Persephone’s story, the Greek goddess from the Underworld. A concept tribute divided on three epic passages where the band defies “Truth Inside the Shades”. The music of Persefone has reached a new level of complexity, originality, virtuosity, melody and aggressiveness. Mixed and produced by Aleix Dorca and mastered in Sweden by Peter in de Betou (engineer of top bands like Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Dark Tranquility and Katatonia), “Core” shows a new, huge and modern sound.

The fantastic cover art was conceived by Danish artist extraordinaire Annika von Holdt. She created a great ambience of beauty that goes well along with the music.

“Core” was released in late 2006 on Soundholic. In 2007, the Greek label Burning Star Records signed the band for the rest of the World with an early autumn 2007 of “Core”.

2008 was spent composing and demo’ing the next album - a conceptual album based upon ancient Japanese war-stories. The album, called “Shin-ken” has been finally released in Japan through Soundholic Records on 22nd July 2009 and the band is currently searching for a suitable label to release it worldwide.

Persefone, a band not easy to put a genre-description upon, now comes back with “Shin-ken”, an album that goes further and beyond what has been heard until now. With so many new and upcoming bands in the heavy metal world, Persefone has got a hard task in front of them, but the band members have total confidence in themselves and their music, and we’re convinced that you’ll feel the exact same way, as soon as you’ve sat down and listened to their albums.

Persefone is simply put innovative music for the open-minded listener.