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PERSEFONE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Andorra


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Persefone biography
Founded in Andorra la Vella, Andorra in 2001

PERSEFONE were formed in the small country of Andorra in 2001 by Carlos Lozano Quintanilla (vocals,guitar),Jordi Gorgues Mateu (guitar),Toni Mestre Coy (bass) and Xavi Pérez (drums).The band added keyboard player Miguel Espinosa to the line-up in 2002.

PERSEFONE started out playing cover tunes of bands such as DARK TRANQUILITY,IN FLAMES and ARCH ENEMY,but soon that wasn't enough and the band wanted to start writing,recording and performing their own original material.While composing their first song "Niflheim (the eyes that hold the edge)",PERSEFONE had an idea of the way they wanted their band to sound:melodic,yet complex and aggressive.

PERSEFONE began recording their 6 track demo,which eventually turned into their full-length debut "Truth Inside the Shades",which was released in 2004.Xavi Pérez then quit the band and producer Aleix Dorca joined the band as their drummer.Carlos Quintanilla dropped his vocal duties and the band recruited vocalist Marc Martins Pia to be their frontman.

When the band sat down to write their new album the decided to push the envelope,and go beyond what they had done on their debut.Three of the four tracks on the new album clocked in at over 20 minutes each,and the new album would be a concept album,telling the story of Persephone,the Greek goddess that the band named themselves after.this album,"Core" was released in 2006 and the band consciously included more progressiveness in the music along with more aggressivity and symphonical melody.After the release of "Core" Alex Dorca left the band as both producer and drummer,and was replaced with new drummer Marc Mas Marti.

Similar to OPETH without being derivative or a clone,PERSEFONE'S music is highly recommended!

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PERSEFONE discography


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PERSEFONE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 20 ratings
Truth Inside The Shades
2004
4.06 | 39 ratings
Core
2006
4.19 | 51 ratings
Shin-Ken
2009
3.70 | 37 ratings
Spiritual Migration
2013
3.82 | 28 ratings
Aathma
2017

PERSEFONE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PERSEFONE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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PERSEFONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Truth Inside The Shades by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.12 | 20 ratings

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Truth Inside The Shades
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars When it comes to nations of the world that have produced some great metal bands, the tiny little nation of Andorra sandwiched between Spain and France doesn't exactly come to mind but as the odometer moved on to the 21st century, this tiny forgotten principality high up in the Pyrenees Mountains finally got a bit of attention in 2001 when one of its best musical exports hit the scene. Named after the daughter of the mythological Greek goddess Demeter, PERSEFONE expanded past its origins in this nation's capital city Andorra la Vella and took the international metal world by storm.

While this band has gone through a few lineup changes over the years, it all began with the founding members of Carlos Lozano (guitar), Jordi Gorgues (guitar), Toni Mestre (bass) and Xavi Pérez (drums) who started as a cover band and slowly gained the confidence to craft their own musical visions. The four members worked hard and long on this first album TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES and after adding two more members, Aleix Dorca (Drums) and Marc Martins (lead vocals), found the perfect chemistry to finish off this debut album and unleash it on an unsuspecting planet. The band experienced instant feedback as the album was a surprise hit at least in terms of the metal underground which has led to a two decade career that has found many slots at various festivals across the European continent.

TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES actually started off as a demo but after months of crafting new tunes, PERSEFONE found it had enough decent material for a bonafide official full-length release. The style of PERSEFONE is quite diverse and is usually described as a progressive death metal band but those tags only take you so far. It is indeed a progressive metal band that stitches together myriad elements including Chopin-esque piano rolls, symphonic touches, complex Opeth inspired compositional flow and a plethora of time signature deviations, tempo changes and abrupt hairpin turns from aggressive brutality to placid atmospheric contemplation. While guitar riffs rampage, symphonic prog inspired keyboard runs are just as prevalent. Neo-classical guitar shredding sits side by side with black metal screams and death metal growls.

While considered the most underdeveloped of the PERSEFONE canon, TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES certainly debuted with a bang. While the tracks often begin with classical piano and keyboard melodies, the musical procession offers twists and turns that fuse the elements of power metal, death metal, neoclassical shredding and even elements of black metal in the vein of Cradle of Filth. There are the expected blastbeats, double bass banging and chugging riffage of metal madness but there are also clean melodic moments with clean vocals that offer a glimpse of a true progressive metal album delving into the mellower aspects of progressive rock. The tracks come off as epic with lengthy journeys of musical processions that take on disparate characteristics that at times even mimic operas especially with some of the brief choral vocal moments.

PERSEFONE would go on to craft even more adventurous albums with the following "Core" sending shockwaves into the prog metal community but for a first time effort this debut is not slouch however some of the keyboards do come off as a bit cheesy and there is something missing to the overall effect that really makes this a top notch release but after all is said and done, TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES delivers an excellent mix of stylistic approaches coupled with outstanding instrumental interplay. The guitar playing is particularly impressive with Jordi Gorgues Mateu displaying some impressively rapid fire shots of shredding. The musical flow runs the gamut of soft and heavenly to hellish and chaotic. Andorra is one of the oldest nations in Europe having been formed in 1278 but finally in the 21st century the tiny microstate at long last had produced a musical artist that put it on the map!

3.5 but rounded down

 Core by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.06 | 39 ratings

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Core
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by sgtpepper

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.
 Spiritual Migration by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Spiritual Migration
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Spiritual Migration" is the 4th full-length studio album by Andorra based progressive death metal act Persefone. The album was released through ViciSolum Productions in March 2013. The news value and the novelty of Persefone being an Andorra based metal act (which is the first time I´ve ever heard of a metal band from that small country) has passed by now, and while the band´s debut album didn´t exactly make waves (it did turn heads), the two predecessors have really helped Persefone make a name for themselves. Not because the band come from an exotic country, but as a result of their high quality music on those releases.

The high quality of the output has not decreased on "Spiritual Migration". If anything the quality level has increased a notch or two. Persefone play a progressive type of melodic death metal. Soilwork is an obvious reference to my ears, but Persefone are generally far more progressive and keyboard heavy. There are extensive fast-paced harmony guitar/keyboard parts throughout the album. The vocals alternate between aggressive growling vocals and clean vocals.

The tracks are structurally challenging and features great dynamics, and as a result "Spiritual Migration" is a relatively varied listen. The tracklist includes both vocal tracks and a couple of instrumentals. The musicianship are outstanding on all positions. Persefone are arguably a very talented bunch. "Spiritual Migration" features a clear, professional and powerful sound production, so it´s safe to say that the band fire on all cylinders on this one. And with great success I might add. The only issue with "Spiritual Migration" is the 70:34 minutes long playing time. It´s not that the quality of the music drops at any point during the playing time, but a playing time that long is bound to exhaust the listener, when the music is as busy, detailed, and bombastic as the case is on "Spiritual Migration". On the other hand there is real value for the money here, so maybe I´m being a bit unfair. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Spiritual Migration by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Spiritual Migration
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Unadulterated chaos? Check. Tasteless screaming? Check. A million beats per second? Double check. Barely distinguishable from about 2 dozen other bands? Triple check.

This album came highly recommended from a friend of mine, so I had to give it a shot even though tech metal and I do not have a charitable past. Last year, every one was raving about Enslaved: I thought the album was juvenile. I have similar feelings for this album.

Persefone's style features double bass mania with little or no variation, djenty guitars, and really harsh vocals. This describes many, many other bands, and Persefone definitely does nothing to sound different at all. The one exception to this is the fairly good symphonic arrangements that are very strong in the overall mix, and they range from very simple to slightly complex. In other words, they can't save the album.

Not every track on this album is a thumbs-down for me. There are several instrumental songs that are generally slower, more dynamic, and melodic. In fact, there is some piano on these tracks that is quite good. "Zazen Meditation", "Consciousness 1 and 2" and also the "Outro" are all fairly good. I actually enjoyed them,as they do feature some rather interesting chord progressions and musical hooks. However, I really can't overlook the rest of the album. I mean, I'd love to discuss the seemingly profound themes, but I can't understand even one word of the lyrics. Tech metal and I are not friends, and this seals the deal. I was hoping for something along the lines of Sybreed (the one and only tech metal band that I LOVE), but all I got was a giant mess masquerading as music.

 Spiritual Migration by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Spiritual Migration
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Hrvat

5 stars What a monster of an album. Every album this band has released I have enjoyed greatly, but Spiritual Migration is something else. This is Persefone at its best, firing on all cylinders. This is some of the most jaw dropping technical musicianship that I have heard in a long. It is unrelenting. Yet the technicality never overpowers the songs, with the music being highly melodic and memorable with many moments that will stick in your head long after the album finishes. This is very much a record where not a second or note is wasted in its 70 minutes duration. This is just another example of where prog metal is most exciting for me at the moment, in the realms of extreme metal.
 Truth Inside The Shades by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.12 | 20 ratings

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Truth Inside The Shades
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Truth Inside The Shades' - Persefone (6/10)

Before developing onward to the potent progressive death metal of their magnum opus 'Core', Andorran metal act Persefone was something fairly different. Something I have liked about this band is their ability to switch up their sound with each album, and on 'Truth Inside The Shades', their sound falls within the realm of keyboard-dense extreme gothic metal. Although the band's technical strength and flair for the dramatic is here early on, Persefone would not visibly reach their potential until a couple of years later.

The sound here is composed of blistering guitar licks rolling drumbeats, symphonic keyboards and raspy growls. The song 'The Whisper Of Men' aptly describes the direction the band takes here. Galloping riffs and heaviness abound for much of the song, but there is always room made for a few acoustic respites, in which some clean vocals take a showcase. For all intents and purposes, the sound is quite powerful, if perhaps a little unoriginal. However, while Persefone will certainly draw comparisons for the likes of a great many symphonic metal bands, their complex and energetic approach is laudable.

Where the sound of Persefone starts to grow weak is in the band's unabating focus on keyboards. Although keyboards are a staple for virtually all symphonic or progressive metal bands, the sheer amount of weight the keyboards have in the mixing here makes the music here sound somewhat cheesy, made no better by the fact that the keyboard tones are fairly weak. That being said, the musical skills of keyboardist Miguel Espinoza are not in question, but there is the sense even a minute into the second track that Persefone could have done alot better with a more guitar-centered sound.

'Truth Inside The Shades' is my least favourite of the works that Persefone has released, but that is no shame to them; they would only improve from here on, and later release 'Core', a truly excellent album of progressive death metal. For the sake of the band's debut however, 'Truth Inside The Shades' has some great moments, but the effect gets lost in the cheese.

 Shin-Ken by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 51 ratings

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Shin-Ken
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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'.

 Core by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.06 | 39 ratings

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Core
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Shin-Ken by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 51 ratings

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Shin-Ken
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Camel666

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 opinion the two have not much in common. Where Opeth is slow-paced and atmospheric, with arpeggios and clean vocals to build up a sort of evil feel, Persefone is fast and brutal, with classic metal guitar and keys solos, Vocals are also very different. Persefone's are higher-pitched and sit half way between death and black metal. They actually sound a lot like Chuck Schuldiner. What they do have in common is a passion for extreme music and long tracks, as well as the incredibly high quality of their output. You can't really categorize Persefone and their musical offer. They sometimes have something from Meshuggah but are way more accessible and less djent and overall sound more classic progressive rock. This looks like the perfect mix between brutality and accessibility. Many have tried, but few managed to find the right balance. Persefone lead this list.

The biggest quality of Persefone is the aforementioned ability of sounding very heavy, both instrumentally and vocally, and yet so melodic. Death metal vocals, even some black metal passages here and there, and still after just one listen you'll find yourself humming riffs and solos. Another great quality of Shin Ken is its variety. The album is not a monolithic block of violence, you definitely won't get bored, as often happens with this kind of music. The pace varies a lot, you'll find clean vocals, symphonic breaks, acoustic parts, all perfectly written and executed.

Considering I am giving 5 stars to this, you can be sure the whole album is top notch but songs like Death before dishonour, Purity and the two masterpieces Kusanagi and Shin-Ken deserve a special mention.

If you like it heavy and are not scared of extreme vocals, go buy this album. It's amazing what incredible peaks some extreme bands are reaching nowadays. This is the future. Hop in.

 Shin-Ken by PERSEFONE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 51 ratings

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Shin-Ken
Persefone Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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