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On disc: Persefone



Shin-Ken - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Shin-Ken - Mike Thompson - 10 stars


www.persefone.com







Shin-Ken

Shin-Ken
(Kolony Records - 2010)


Now I'm not the biggest fan of melodic death metal or progressive metal so an album that fits into both these genres has to be exceptional for me to really take notice. You wouldn't really expect a little known band from Andorra to produce just such an album, but Persefone have with this, their third offering, hit the proverbial nail right on the head.
Shin-Ken is an album based on Japanese war stories and the oriental feel comes out in each and every part of the release. The cover artwork is a gorgeous and striking watercolour in an oriental style and the song titles have a very Japanese feel to them Death Before Dishonour, Rage Stained Blade and Kusanagi for example.
Musically Persefone play, as alluded to above, progressive and melodic death metal. The music is similar in parts to other bands such as Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium and Opeth, but the Andorran sextet have a truly fresh and unique sound which marks them as different to any of their contemporaries.
The vocals and instrumental sections are all top class and very varied. The vocals switch from almost black metal screams to clear, albeit heavily accented, clean vocals. The music itself ranges from the most melodic, almost Sonata Arctica-esque, passages of guitar and keyboard work to frenetic and intricate riffs and lead guitar work.
The whole album is a joy to listen to over and over and certainly one I'd recommend to any metal fan. A wonderful album from an outstanding band. Could it be improved? I'm really not too sure! I can't think of one bad thing to say about this album at all. Welcome, Andorra, to the upper echelon of the metal pantheon!


10 stars

Mike Thompson
 

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Shin-Ken

Shin-Ken
(Kolony Records - 2010)


If you would have asked me, I couldn't have named a band from Andorra, but perhaps more people will now name Persefone. The band is presenting their 3rd album which is called Shin-Ken and is based on Japanese war stories.
Musically the sextet is combining melodic death metal with atmospheric sounds, raspy clean vocals and progressive elements. After the intro The Ground Book they present Fall To Rise which shows them complex and riff-based, but also with a symphonic edge and atmospheric parts. Death Before Dishonour is a complex symphonic tune when it opens up, but then the Andorrian band storms off into a black-ish bast attack - with growls. The songs of Persefone take you onto a sonic journey and like some roads it has a lot twists and turns. The tracks which have 'book' in the title are instrumental interludes and gives the listener a break before Persefone head back into their complex tracks. At The Endless Path singer Marc Pia switches between mean growls and black-ish screams, then a break and the guys offer a quite melodic passage with clean vocals. Very cool!
At Purity they leave the extreme elements behind and present themselves more progressive... Like a heavy, melancholy version of Dream Theater... Or Dream Theater meets Opeth... At Rage Stained Blade the black-ish vocals and growls are back and build a sharp contrast to the instrumental frenzy! After the instrumental The Fire Book they are back full force! Heavy riffs, neo-classical leads and melodic keyboard lines take you into Kusanagi. After almost 3 minutes whispered vocals accompany the keyboard-laden passage, but the 8 min. long tune has more to offer! A sonic roller coaster ride! With Japanese Poem they finish this chapter in their sonic history the way they started Shin-Ken.
I recommend every metal fan to check out the new Persefone album, even if you usually don't listen to melodic death or symphonic black metal, coz these labels don't fit as much as progressive metal would do. The band from Andorra is presenting a mix of all this! Check out: Kusanagi and Fall To Rise.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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