Persefone - Aathma
ViciSolum Productions
Progressive Death Metal
13 songs (63' 42")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy

Hailing from the microscopic land of Andorra, Persefone has released a few melodic death metal LPs in the past to decent reviews, heading in a more progressive style with Spiritual Migration, their last album. Aathma, their latest, is wilder still, much more progressive and with a stronger focus on the instrumental and keyboard portions, which were always their strong points.

Gone are most of the initial melodeath influences of the band's early days, replaced by the logical continuation of Spiritual Migration: A lush, symphonic sound filled with choruses and separated by hushed silences, dripping with tinkling keyboards and soulfully ringing clean-chorus guitars. Prison Skin and Spirals Within Thy Being both grab the listener right away; sour and blackened indeed is the soul that would write off the magnificant guitar work as mere djent fret-wankery. Filled with melody and perfectly balanced with the equally fine keyboard work, the tone of the guitarists' product is at least as good as their technique. Marc Martins is not an amazingly original voice, switching between a clean baritone and a melodeath growl, but he does a solid job, never disrupting the atmosphere of the tunes.

This is an uplifting album; I didn't bother trying to figure out the philosophical and spiritual bits crammed into the lyrics, the deciphering of which only gave me a headache, but everything's positive and spacey, kind of like a modern Cynic album, complete with the habit of singing through phase-shifters, but with a lot more power and fire to everything -- once they get going, at least -- and far fewer nasal vocals, although every once in a while they get too carried away with Cynic worship, especially on Living Waves. It's forgivable. The band also has a trick of stacking their substantial repertoire of seemingly-dissimilar musical riddles together in a complex puzzle, till it reaches a crescendo and descends from the heights in a landslide of triumphant keyboard symphony and neoclassical arpeggios. For those who like long, intricate progressivism, Stillness Is Timeless will be a delight; a masterpiece of virtuosity, it's the one the band pulls all the stops out for at the end of all those lovely instrumentals and crazy riffing to give the listener just a bit more.

Aathma is in my opinion the best album Persefone has done so far, and validates their continued foray into progressive metal that they started in 2013. Prog-metal and death metal enthusiasts alike should go grab this.


Killing Songs :
Prison Skin, Spirals Within Thy Being, Stillness Is Timeless
Andy quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Persefone that we have reviewed:
Persefone - Metanoia reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 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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