Persefone - ‘Spiritual Migration’ (ViciSolum / Sound Pollution) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 05 August 2013 03:55

PersefoneProving that metal, and good metal at that, is increasingly spreading its intoxicating tentacles into nearly every corner of the known Überverse, Persefone come hurtling out of the tiny little mountain retreat of Andorra, best known for its skiing, being the second lowest rated European footballing nation and (according to my very distracting midweek drinking buddy Rich) a rather nice line in Pinot Noir, with the velocity of a Starbucks accountant with a horde of HMRC inspectors at his heels with this, their rather impressive fourth full length album ‘Spiritual Migration’.

 

At first listen, though, ‘Spiritual Migration’ comes across as a rather confusing album, veering as it does between the death, power and progressive genres, but, on repeat spin, this quickly becomes part of not only its attraction but also its strength, as the band prove that they can slip seamlessly between the cracks which these apparent divisions open up, to expand new dimensions of aural experience.

 

Spread across an epic 13 tracks clocking in at an awesome 70+ minutes, the band describe ‘Spiritual Migration’ as a summation of their first decade, providing the platform for them to move onto the next stage of their development: certainly, having taken the trouble to track down (via my ever knowledgeable brother) the band’s first trio of releases – ‘Truth Inside The Shades (2004), the high concept ‘Core’ (2006) and the symphonic death metal magnificence of ‘Sin-Ken’ (2010) – I can certainly see the point… but that is only the start as far as this opus (which as I previously stated grows in strength with each repeated listen) is concerned.

 

Drawing as much on Dream Theater as Enslaved, it is an ambitious album, seeking to meld all the best elements of the symphonic death metal genre – in which the band’s sound is very much rooted – with the progressive sensibility of bands such as Nile, Leprous and Opeth, while also drawing on the spiritual elements which are such a big feature of the Scandinavian BM scene, such as on the ambient, almost transcendental meditations which punctuate the album.

 

Beautifully constructed and brilliant throughout,, with hugely effective switches between avalanche-inducing heaviness and soaring melodies, as evidenced on the superb interplay between the two vocalists, Marc Martins and Miguel Espinoza, who balance each other with their contrasting styles in a way which many acts have endeavoured to do but failed to do – or at least not deliver as effectively as Persefone.

 

Musically, the performances are nigh on perfect, guitarists Carlos Lorenzo and Jordi Gorgues tread the fine line between overblown and understated with almost perfect aplomb, the rhythm section of Toni Mestre (bass) and Marc Mas (drums) are tight in all departments, be it laying down the basic backbone of each song or adding embellishment where necessary, while Espinoza’s keyboard flourishes are reminiscent of the role Rick Wakeman played in early Yes, again underpinning the melodies or taking the sound to the next level as and when required (and his solo piano piece at the end of the second part of ‘Consciousness’, which dominates the middle section of the album, is sublime in both its delivery and understatement thoughtfulness, especially when you contrast it with the sheer progressive black metal brutality of ‘Inner Fullness’, which follows hot on its heels!).

 

This is a richly rewarding album, on so many levels, which brings more with each and every listen.

 

www.persefone.com

www.facebook.com/persefoneband

www.vicisolum.com

 

To pick up your copy of 'Spiritual Migration' - CLICK HERE