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Persephone's Dream - Pan: An Urban Pastoral CD (album) cover

PAN: AN URBAN PASTORAL

Persephone's Dream

 

Heavy Prog

3.98 | 77 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Impressive is the word

Persephone's Dream is an american progressive rock band which I have my first contact a couple of years ago when they were kind enough to spare an album of their to me for the purpose of reviewing it.

The band presents us, with their album Pan: An Urban Pastoral, some quite pleasant progressive rock symphony about the Ancient World's mythology, more specifically Greek mythology, dealing about Pan's endeavors and the dealings he is in on both pastoral and urban life. The theme of the album, however interesting it might look, pales when compared to the music and its beautiful melodies presented by the band, the real front-runners of this piece.

Without any previous knowledge of this band and with absolutely no source of information to retrieve anything from, I was skeptical about their ability to deliver, but fortunately I was wrong. The album manages to smoothly evolve from start to finish, without any somersaults or bumpy occasions, and work every musical idea well enough to make them stretch out a complete "sentence", but for the right amount of time so that it does not get tiresome; they also make a very decent usage of the multiple vocalists they have, balancing them throughout the album and stirring even more variety into their musical melting pot.

As far as the instruments go, it is important to point out that the focus is shared between the guitars and the keyboards, with the bass, the drums and the percussion, in spite of being very important for the end result, only have a secondary place in the scheme of things here; they don't actually get overshadowed, but they do not stand in the forefront either, they are just there, complementing the lines, filling the layers and making the music, the band, sound whole, complete, good, filling the bases for the harmony to be built upon.

The songs develop into eachother, one becoming the other as they progress, what is absolutely necessary in an album that tries to encompass a story in a single piece; developing a musical theme or idea from a song eventually leads to the main or opening theme for the next song ans so forth. Another point that give the impression that the whole album is one single piece is the recurring themes: from time to time themes are introduced and reintroduced, giving the impression that everything is connected and is only one piece that just happen to be divided divided for whatever reason.

The production and mixing aren't special, but do their job very well, portraying the instruments and the voices clearly and without letting anybody be hidden by the others, for the most part. The male vocals, however, are an exception; I feel that they sound as a buzz, as if they were being singed by a kazoo, in a gross exaggeration, and correcting that would be great, even though it does not threat the experience.

Rating and final thoughts

Pan: An Urban Pastoral is, from start to finish, a pleasant and coherent piece of progressive rock in a way that few can be. It feels complete, finished, having everything from start to finish well assembled and organized, without any noticeable gaps. I feel, in spite of all that, that Pan still lacks the amazement factor of a true musical masterpiece, even though that is the only piece that I feel it lacks, as it has everything else needed. For that reason, the best rating in my judgement would be four stars. If the band ever manages to improve what they have here, then I believe we would truly have something very special on our hands.

CCVP | 4/5 |

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