Persefone - Metanoia
Napalm Records
Progressive / Melodic Death
10 songs (57:47)
Release year: 2022
Persefone, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Goat

One of very few metal bands (or indeed, bands of any sort) to hail from the microstate of Andorra, Persefone have been playing a compelling form of progressive/melodic death metal for over twenty years now. And Metanoia, their sixth full-length, is arguably their most impressive, taking the biggest leaps towards wholeheartedly embracing the grandiose and epic side to their sound. Some will indeed prefer the more progressive and even folk-imbued earlier albums but like that pillar of light on the cover, Metanoia is hard to look away from. It's easy to argue, too, that the earlier albums were more fun, a much-underappreciated aspect of both death metal and prog, that's easier to achieve than bad bands would have you believe. Yet so cohesive and impressive is Metanoia that it works as an advocate for itself smoothly and easily. And sure, the Muse-esque introductory title track featuring Leprous mainman Einar Solberg and building electronics is cheating a little, even as a fan of the Norwegians...

But here's the thing; it works! Launching into the galloping Katabasis, Persefone immediately pull back some metal cred with symphonic backed epic chuggery that's somewhere between Scar Symmetry and Strapping Young Lad's most dramatic moments, switching between widdly leads and grandiose falsetto singing from Marc Pia before switching to tech-death riffs and snarled bellows. The band work in chorus hooks and limited electronic effects extremely well, here, and elsewhere, and although the production is quite sterile, it doesn't hold the music back. Switching between the more death metal side of their sound (a la Architecture of the I, with its jagged riffing and plentiful lead guitar like they're cosplaying Gorod) and the progressive/symphonic side (such as the moody Leap of Faith, even as a glorified interlude it still goes on for over five minutes and keeps your attention throughout!) shows Persefone off well already, even before they throw in the female-fronted prog Aware of Being Watched (with previous collaborator Merethe Soltvedt), one of the most diverse pieces present.

The sole over-indulgent song present is the 11-minute Consciousness (pt 3) which would be obnoxious enough even if it wasn't an instrumental where nothing particularly happens for the first half before a shreddathon in the second. It's very skippable, and on an album whose length reaches nearly an hour, a real black mark against the band. Fortunately, it's the only one, the following three-part Anabasis trilogy building up well in part 1, pounding through epic prog/tech death territory in part 2, and ending with restrained but still epic finale part 3. As a whole it's not perfect, sure, but it is impressive and rewards time spent; whether you prefer this Persefone or the earlier one, those new should definitely investigate.

Killing Songs :
Katabasis, Architecture of the I, Anabasis
Goat quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Persefone that we have reviewed:
Persefone - Aathma reviewed by Andy and quoted 90 / 100
Persefone - Shin-Ken reviewed by Vrechek and quoted 79 / 100
Persefone - Truth Inside The Shades reviewed by Crims and quoted 76 / 100
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