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Persefone - Core CD (album) cover

CORE

Persefone

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.06 | 39 ratings

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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.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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