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4 stars Is it per-se-fo-ny or is it per-se-fon? Before listening that's all that seemed to be going through my head. But as I played Core that immediately dissipated and was replaced by sheer astonishment in that a little band from Andorra is equal to great progressive bands of our time.

This cd seems to take a lot of influence from many different bands which leads to a problem at first. Usually bands have their own sound and use influences to create their original sound. This band seems more so a compilation of different sounding bands somewhat tweaked and edited to their desire. At one point I found myself going, This is Opeth, isn't it? But of course it is not. Many of the beats, sounds, and melody's seem somewhat familiar to me which also leads to this idea. But if the sounds really are original then it is composed brilliantly and deserves a lot of credit.

The vocal styles are easily differentiated between 3 sections with one person doing black metal vocals, another doing death metal vocals, and finally a women doing soft melodic singing each with small variations. The black metal and death metal vocals go back and forth in a waltz throughout songs creating a beauty not found very often. The female vocals always go in tangent with the flow of the song becoming very soft and docile which at first is nice but is somewhat annoying because it is the only time it appears. Each of the male singers, or just the one guy, also has a lighter mellower voice similar to Opeth and Edge of Sanity.

The cd is composed fairly well with parts accenting each other and every instrument adding to the mood of the current situation as it sways. Though with the addition of the softer parts one cannot help but wonder if they did not know how to transition that part so lets just have it fade out then pick it up again later. This is not a big complaint just one thing that comes up. Also an annoying thing is that it has 3 songs each 23 min long. Now I am not normally against long songs but when you have a transition that is dead silent for 6 seconds and then completely feels like a new song...then it needs to be a new song or maybe part 2.

This gets 4/5 because it could become better and I am extremely excited to see what they come up with. But if it was 5/5 then it would be equal to In a Flesh Aquarium and Imaginary Sonic Scape and it is not.

Report this review (#208883)
Posted Thursday, March 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Core is the 2nd full-length studio album by Andora based progressive metal act Persefone. The album was released in August 2006 by Soundholic Records.

The band´s debut album Truth Inside the Shades (2004) showed an adventurous approach to writing music, but Core takes the band´s many great ideas even further. The 70 minute album consists of only 3 tracks that each exceed 20 minutes. All 3 tracks are very complex in structure and filled with challenging playing, tempo- and time signature changes and a generally intricate approach to songwriting. The music is still very keyboard/ synth heavy but while Dream Theater and Symphony X are still a very obvious influences, the music on Core is also influenced by both melodic black and melodic death metal. I´m reminded of both Opeth and especially Edge of Sanity at times. The riffing is generally heavier and more raw than on most progressive metal releases but it´s the vocals that make comparisons to harder edged genres valid. The main vocal approach is raspy but there are growling and clean vocals in the music too. In addition to those vocal styles there are some female vocals in the music too that reminds me a bit of Anneke van Giersbergen ( The Gathering). The female vocals give the music a goth metal elements in addition to the many other styles represented on the album. There´s a nice development in the songs, and even though there are many different sections and riffs in each song, there´s a coherence between the sections which means that nothing seem awkwardly placed. That´s a rare achivement in songs this long.

The production on Core is much better than the sound on Truth Inside the Shades, but there is still room for improvement in that department. I still think the keyboards a bit too high in the mix.

Core is an excellent progressive metal album, and while there are things on the album that I´m not too fond of ( the production could have been better), it´s seldom that I´m entertained all the way through a 70 minute long album, like it´s the case here. A 4 star rating is deserved. Core is very recommendable to fans of epic progressive metal who can tolerate extreme vocals.

Report this review (#290156)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Core' - Persefone (8/10)

Hailing from the tiny European nation of Andorra, this tourism hub would not be the first place someone would expect great progressive death metal to be born. Regardless, here is Persefone, an Andorran act that certain leaves no stone unturned when it comes to their musical vision and ambition. The second album of this band as well as my first introduction to the music of Persefone, 'Core' has proved to be an excellent find; a deep and complex journey of progressive extreme metal that screams 'epic' in every sense of the word. Suffice to say however, the album takes quite a few listens before one is able to truly appreciate the scope of it.

From the track listing alone, one can tell that this is not your typical death metal record. At three tracks each over twenty minutes in length, one can expect a foray into epic compositions with 'Core'. In terms of how well the band actually does this, I was pleasantly surprised. Often, I have been disappointed by bands that promise great things, and fail to deliver. While 'Core' may not have the perfection I would associate with a masterpiece, each track is wrought with incredible musical ideas. The band's sound is rooted in melodic death metal, at times sounding like a rawer version of Opeth. Throughout the course of one of these tracks, the listener is transported through a variety of different moods, each contributing to the mythical story the album seeks to tell.

Of particular surprise are the great female vocals here, which pop up several minutes into the album. Wonderfully harmonized, they provide an unexpected respite from the thrashy heaviness of the heavier segments. The death metal moments are done with almost as much success as the mellow parts however, although it does feel as if the rather lacking production of the album deters from what would otherwise have been a consistently stunning listen. Although the somewhat lo-fi studio work is typical of most underground metal and doesn't always hurt the product, the complexity of 'Core' doesn't lend well to being conveyed through anything less than clear production.

Another issue here is the fact that while Persefone makes good use of the track time for each song, each piece doesn't feel so much like a structured composition as it does a stream of great musical ideas, flowing one after the other. There are undoubtedly attempts to provide a sense of cohesion (especially in the first track, 'Sanctuary') but while all excellent pieces, they often feel scattered as compositions. The slight disorganization aside however, this does not stop 'Core' from being a consistently intriguing listen.

A fantastic piece of progressive death metal, and as much a grower as any other album you fill find in its genre; Persefone's 'Core' is an excellent concept album that begs not just a handful of listens, but a long lasting experience.

Report this review (#428163)
Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The album is stronger than their debut one and shows extreme versatility of the band, to be compared to Between the Buried and me. You will find quiet keyboard sections, death-metal growls, a lot of progressive metal moments and great melodies. The second track has even some female vocals. The fourth track has blistering keyboard solos, while the sixth track has nice acoustic guitars. Growling vocals are acquired taste and I don't like them much. Overall, this is not a highly compositional work but displays a lot of various styles and offers plenty of moments that need to be listened to multiple times to be digested.
Report this review (#2288164)
Posted Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | Review Permalink

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