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Progressive metal meditation ! - 100%

Livingwave17, October 20th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, ViciSolum Productions

When progressive metal is at hand, anything can be expected. If you are a prog nerd like myself you know this to be true better than you know yourself. It is a genre that accepts tons of influences from other genres and it probably gives you the widest variety of choices. And in the realm of progressive music, Persefone are kings. The one band that places Andorra on the heavy metal map has definitely given that small state a name to remember. Because no matter how much music you know, and how much information you can take in, these absolute gods of the instruments will blow your mind. Get ready for a record that will twist your brain and soothe your soul at the same time. An album that will challenge your capacity to absorb information, and that will bury your senses under a storm of energy. This band is as unpredictable, unmatched and unprecedented as it gets. And Spiritual Migration is their most memorable release so far. It is a record for the ages.

When one says Persefone, one says, technical performance, complexity, power, virtuosity and everything pushed to the limits. And in these terms, Spiritual Migration is their most extreme album ever released. It is defined by complex rhythmic structures and melodies, and it is as loaded as music gets. Every instrument has it's unique role and blends perfectly in the mix, creating the perfect progressive death metal cocktail. Persefone have everything. They have both crazy, fast and technical guitar riffs and solos, but also clean guitars. They have both harsh and clean vocals, a keyboard that enriches the whole show and a drum section that puts almost any band to shame.

The guitars show harsh, insane fast and long riffs with lots of variations and complicated rhythm. The solos that come on top are Dream Theater level, very evolved and very melodic. The most memorable ones are the solos for "Inner Fullness", "Spiritual Migration" and "The Majestic of Gaia". The keyboard gives a trance-like background sound to the whole album and joins the insane guitars as well. Solos are plenty as well as duels between keyboards and guitars. The instruments often take turns on a musical pattern to approach an idea in different ways, and give it more moods. The drums are the foundation on which everything is built and they keep that steady complex groove perfect for creativity to come on top. Yet the drummer isn't shy to join the storm of duels between instruments, and quick strums often follow the guitars. Marc Mas is the most impressive drummer that I know, and his role on the album is essential. Check out the official video for Spiritual Migration to see some beastly drumming.

It's obvious that there is a lot to take in when listening to this album. It is very hard to follow and will get you putting some effort to understand everything. Persefone isn't for everybody and you have to appreciate the genre in order to like this. It is definitely one of those records that grows on you, and you just need to give it some patience. Listen to the second track "Mind as Universe" for a quick sample. After a few spins you should be able to see what I'm on about.

The concept that joins this album is worthy of the music. The titles might have given you hint. This album is like heavy metal meditation. The lyrics speak of awareness, awakening, and gratitude. The concept teaches us how to control our perception, how to find the connection of earth, soul and universe and to overcome our difficulties. If you are depressed or going through some hard times, this album will snap you right out of it and it will show you the right path. You can easily associate the concept to the music. It sounds powerful and majestic and it sends that power to you. The idea of connection and awareness can be seen in a musical idea that keeps popping up in more songs of the album (the songs are "Zazen Meditation", "Inner Fullness", "Outro"), like an omnipresent mind. It's settled then. This album shows you that you can achieve anything, and Persefone's skill comes to show that they practice what they preach. Listen to Consciousness for a very expressive instrumental masterpiece that covers lots of moods and captures the concept despite having no lyrics.

You will see that this album isn't all crazy complex and fast technical ideas. You get some room to breathe. Some slow, simple sections in the middle of a long powerful song will allow you to absorb all the energy that was thrown at you. Such sections are the clean guitar solo for "The Great Reality", the slow bridge in "The Majestic of Gaia" and the middle section in the title track. You also get entire calm soothing songs with a trance-like keyboard background ("Zazen Meditation", "Metta Meditation", "Outro") that come to send out those positive vibes. I would say that these songs show what inner peace sounds like, and they send out a relaxing mood.

The main feelings sent out by this album are power, energy, grandeur and peace. And they way the album contrasts between these vibes is just perfect. One song will make you feel powerful and fill you with life and the next will allow you to calm down and let all that power sink in.Sometimes the contrast is instant. Check the quick alternation between clean and harsh vocals in songs like "Inner Fullness" and "The great reality" to see these sudden shifts in perspective.

After listening to this album you will feel different than before, even if you didn't catch any of it, even if it feels like it's too much. Trust me, it's not. It sends out pure, raw emotion, and it positively influences you directly.

Persefone isn't just another band, and I think we can all agree on that. They have so much more to show us, and it would be wise to listen to them. "Spiritual Migration" isn't just music. It is a way of life.