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On disc: Persuader

- Evolution Purgatory - Claudia Ehrhardt - 6 stars

Evolution Purgatory

Evolution Purgatory
(Sanctuary Records - 2004)

The Swedish band Persuader is the second band of the Young Metal Gods who is releasing their album through Sanctuary. The youngsters first convinced the jury members with their demo and then had to convince them live. The band was founded back in 1997 and released their debut The Hunter in 2000 through Loud'n Proud Records. Several magazines chose them as 'the newcomer of the year'. Unfortunately the label went bankrupt and the album was just released in France. In 2001 guitarist Pekka Kiviaho left Persuader and got replaced by Emil Norberg (his brother is the guitarist of Nocturnal Rites). Soon after Emil joined they heard of the Young Metal Gods contest, they took part and they made it.
The first track Strike Down starts with keyboard sounds which soon got drowned by heavy, fast guitar riffing. The vocals of Jens Carlsson remind me of Hansi Kürsch and partly of Piet Sielck - who produced the album and did backing vocals - but he is sometimes more aggressive and screams. So no copy of Mr. Kürsch, just a similar voice. Even if the choirs and choruses sound much like Blind Guardian... The second track - Sanity Soiled - is an up-tempo track which is guitar-driven. Musically they leave Blind Guardian behind, but Carlsson's voice brings up this name again, even if sometimes there are other reminiscences. The band uses breaks, tempi changes to make the songs sound more interesting. The song Turn To Dust is influenced by NWoBHM stuff in the beginning, but sounds modern. Then it speeds up, get partly thrashy - guitars - and again Carlsson uses different vocal styles, but still too much Blind Guardian-like ones. On Masquerade the band use other sounds, fast guitar riffing, breaks which lead into mid-tempo parts. Beside the 'typical' vocals they work here with scold spoken words and screams, next the vocals are more in the 80's hard rock style. That different shades make this song to one of the highlights of the album. Passion/Pain is another highlight. Very heavy, partly with staccato guitar riffing, then very melodic during the chorus.
A decent album, but the band has to find their own identity. Probably it would be enough to find a singer who's voice is different... Coz musically they offer more then just the Blind Guardian sound. For song writing and skills I would give a higher rating (8/10), only the vocals make me lower my rating. Okay, I'm not a big fan of Hansi Kürsch, that might effect my rating on this album. But I think that a singer should have his own identity and that I can't hear on this disc. With their next album they might be more Persuader... Anyway, there are many new bands who can't keep this level, so take this critic as a challenge, guys.

6 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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