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Take your time! It's worth it! - 100%

andreipianoman, August 8th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, ViciSolum Productions

Persefone isn't a very popular name in the progressive metal scene even though they've been around for over 15 years now. Coming from Andorra, a country with a very small metal scene, nobody would know what to expect from these guys. I wasn't even aware of the existence of this country before finding their music. But regardless of their humble origins, they've worked a lot throughout the years and definitely evolved a lot too.

I didn't have high expectations about their music when I first gave it a spin and the album "Spiritual Migration" was far down my list of preferences mainly because no song on the album seemed to make much sense. I could easily observe their instrumental virtuosity and had great respect for that from the very beginning but most of their songs just couldn't make me tick.It just seemed too much. The time signatures were too difficult, everything was really fast and the screaming seemed useless in comparison to the concept of the album. I just kept getting lost in it. But after a few more thorough attempts to get what on earth they are trying to say, I realized this is the kind of music that grows on you. And it kept growing on me. So you should really take your time before jumping to a conclusion.

I'll be totally honest. Many people, especially those who don't listen to prog metal, probably won't like this album. The music is very hard to follow and the patterns are always changing. They just never stop and repeat the same idea a second time without a least tweaking it a little bit. This is one of the most complex and evolved pieces of music I know and also one of the heaviest. And it's pure genius any way you put it. It is so chaotic yet perfectly balanced. Every instrument goes wild and all over the place but it does so in perfect harmony with the others.

The songwriting is simply epic. And so it should be, because the message of this album is very powerful and most importantly, real. The lyrics are very direct and beautiful. When you read them it seems as if a teacher is actually speaking to you and guiding you, explaining how the universe works. This album changed my life! It showed me that I have so much to be grateful for and helped me understand what it means to be aware and ultimately, how to be happy. It is meditation, expressed through metal. And that can be seen in the music. There is not a single note in this entire album that was just thrown in there and believe me when I tell you, there is a shitload of notes!The genius of it all consists in how they merged so many different moods and ideas together. It is empowering and energetic but also peaceful and soothing. And I really like the fact that they could get some beautiful melodic themes and fit them into the most extreme songs. Take the chorus for "Inner Fullness" for example. It sounds beautiful and calming but the massive wall of sound remains in background.

And then there's the guitar and keyboard solos, full of extreme technicality and raw power. And since I already mentioned "Inner Fullness" before, I should probably also say that it has THE BEST guitar solo in all of prog metal as far as I'm concerned. It probably isn't the most difficult out there but it is my personal favorite.

Another amazing song is "Consciousness". It is a nine minute instrumental piece starting from a slow and beautiful theme and evolving slowly to more and more complex riffs and leads before ending in a beautiful piano part like the ones you might find in a classical piano concerto. As instrumental songs, "Zazen Meditation" and "Metta Meditation" are also worth mentioning. An amazing idea was to put the theme from "Zazen Meditation" also at the end of "Inner Fullness" and in the "Outro". This album also contains my favorite ever Persefone song and that is "Spiritual Migration". The title track of the album has this amazing part in the middle where a certain theme evolves slowly, starting with keyboard and adding drums and guitar riffs and ultimately the solos. It sounds like an ascension towards infinity! And of course after the ascension there comes a fall which is why the last song, "Returning to the source" describes death as the soul, returning to the source of life, leaving the material world. A nice touch is the introduction of the riff from "Fall to Rise" (from Shin-ken) in this song.

To sum it all up, "Spiritual Migration" brings a whole new meaning to the concept of progressive music! It is a massive journey through the layers of mind in the pursuit of awareness and happiness and a game changer in the world of prog metal. And I've got a feeling like the whole thing was born out of the honest attempt to make the world a better place. Whether that's the case or not, they certainly have done it for me.