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Persefone Shin-Ken album cover
4.21 | 55 ratings | 4 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ground Book (intro) (1:19)
2. Fall to Rise (6:13)
3. Death Before Dishonour (7:11)
4. The Water Book (2:26)
5. The Endless Path (6:41)
6. The Wind Book (2:27)
7. Purity (5:07)
8. Rage Stained Blade (4:38)
9. The Fire Book (2:42)
10. Kusanagi (8:02)
11. Shin-ken Part 1 (5:35)
12. Shin-ken Part 2 (5:18)
13. The Void Book (0:25)
14. Japanese Poem (3:13)

Total Time 61:17

Bonus track on 2009 Japan edition:
15. The Sword of the Warrior (Cacophony cover) (5:18)

Line-up / Musicians

- Marc Martins / lead vocals
- Carlos Lozano "Rüdiger" / guitar
- Jordi Gorgues "Alden" / guitar
- Miguel Espinosa "Iawr" / keyboards, orchestration, clean vocals
- Toni Mestre "Fragment Of Silence" / bass
- Marc Mas / drums

- Kumiko Kiso / haiku voice (7)
- Ikue Asazaki / vocals (9)
- Sergi "Bobby" / backing vocals (11,12)

Releases information

Artwork: Wi-Z Garage

CD Soundholic ‎- YZSH-1013 (2009, Japan) With a bonus track
CD Kolony Records ‎- KR008CD (2012, Europe)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PERSEFONE Shin-Ken ratings distribution

(55 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PERSEFONE Shin-Ken reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Shin-Ken is the 3rd full-length studio album by Andora based progressive metal act Persefone. The album was released in July 2009 by Soundholic Records.

Dream Theater were a big influence on Persefone´s sound on the band´s first two albums, but while the influence from Dream Theater still pops up from time to time, I think Symphony X ( especially the keyboard work on Shin- Ken), Opeth, Edge of Sanity and this time around also the Swedish melodeath of In Flames are more obvious influences. Take a listen to a song like Purity. That´s like listening to the mellow acoustic part of Opeth playing over a Symphony X piano theme with Dan Swanö singing. I realize some might be thinking that Persefone is a clone band then, but don´t worry because that´s far from the truth. The many different influences are combined into something that thankfully sounds unmistakably like Persefone. I´ll label the music eclectic progressive metal with extreme metal vocals. The vocals vary between high pitched and raw/ raspy vocals and deeper growling ones. But there are clean vocals on the album too. As mentioned above lead vocalist Marc Martins Pia has a pretty similar voice to the voice of Dan Swanö, which means that it´s warm and pleasant to listen to. The vocal melodies are actually very strong too. Compared to the mammoth 20+ minutes tracks on Core (2006), the tracks on Shin-Ken are much shorter and more compact. Some seque into each other to form longer concepts though, but none are as elaborate and epic as the tracks on Core. There are some really impressive tracks here like Kusanagi though so don´t expect this to be simple vers/ chorus structured music. The cover version of Sword of The Warrior by Cacophony that ends the album is also greatly enjoyable.

The production is the best yet on a Persefone album and the issues I had with the sound production on the first two albums are almost erased here. The keyboards are still a bit too high in the mix for my taste, but I´m sure that´s an aquired taste.

Shin-Ken is another great album by Persefone and the fact that the band opted to make their songs shorter and more compact compared to the songs on Core is not a bad idea at all. I find Shin-Ken recommendable for fans of harder edged progressive metal with extreme metal vocals.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Shin-Ken' - Persefone (7/10)

The third album by the Andorran progressive metallers Persefone shows a steep development in the band's presentation. With my introduction to the band being through the band's second work 'Core', it is difficult not to compare the two, but for the first time, Persefone appears to have finally achieved a production value that properly showcases their talents as a band. Sound like a somewhat more extreme version of Symphony X or Dream Theater with 'Shin-Ken', Persefone appears to have changed up their sound to accommodate the less underground approach, and while it may lack the same strength as 'Core', Persefone has conjured another great album with 'Shin-Ken'.

An album notably themed with Far East and oriental motifs, 'Shin-Ken' adopts many traits that one would typically find in most concept albums. A running sense of musical flow, recurring musical ideas, and an epic scope of ambition fuels Persefone here. Certainly a promising set-up by any standard, but in their transition to a more typical prog metal sound, they do seem to have lost part of what I originally found so endearing in them. Instead of the melancholic riffs and dark, complex compositions that I first heard Persefone play on 'Core', things are much more typical of mainline prog metal. This will not necessarily be a bad thing for all listeners, but as someone who really enjoyed their heavier death metal sound, it would have been nice to hear a little more edge from these guys.

The more streamlined nature of 'Shin-Ken' aside, Persefone does some great things with this modified style. Finally now through some solid production standards, one can hear the band play heavily, softly and everything in between without the muffling effect the weaker production values had in the past. The heavy parts feel somewhat tame here, although Persefone is a big winner when it comes to technical moments. The band is common to kick into a burstfire keyboard solo or soulful guitar lead at the peak of their intensity on 'Shin- Ken', then lapse into a mellow section. As has been typical for these guys, Persefone writes and performs their mellow moments with great beauty. Although some of the interlude pieces here feel somewhat unnecessary to the overall flow of the record, 'Shin-Ken's strength lies in the moments where they let the melody take over.

All in all, Persefone's 'Shin-Ken' is a winner, if not the glorious masterpiece other listeners have made it out to be. New wave keyboards, guitar solos, heavy riffs and interludes aplenty give Persefone a big resonance with the Dream Theater fan inside of me, but for all of its grand improvements, I am still not certain that Persefone moved in the right direction with 'Shin-Ken'.

Latest members reviews

5 stars What these guys from Andorra have been able to accomplish on this Shin Ken is incredible. I don't think I can recall another album as violent and sometimes even brutal as this one and yet at the same time so accessible and easy to listen to. I've read of comparisons to Opeth but in my opinio ... (read more)

Report this review (#291308) | Posted by Camel666 | Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I discovered Persefone with this release and I felt very stupid for not having listened to this band previously. Persefone's music is a mix of death metal with heavy growls and 'ripped- off' vocals(I call the vocals that are lighter than the brutal ones and remind black metal) combined with bea ... (read more)

Report this review (#239338) | Posted by mel from hell | Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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