Persefone - Aathma review

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Band: Persefone
Album: Aathma
Release date: February 2017

01. An Infinitesimal Spark [feat. Paul Masvidal]
02. One Of Many...
03. Prison Skin
04. Spirals Within Thy Being
05. Cosmic Walkers
06. No Faced Mindless
07. Living Waves [feat. Paul Masvidal]
08. Vacuum
09. Stillness Is Timeless
10. Aathma
    1 - Part I. Universal Oneness
    2 - Part II. Spiritual Bliss
    3 - Part III. One With The Light
    4 - Part IV. ...Many Of One
11. Prison Skin[Instrumental] [Limited edition bonus]

And so begins the next chapter. One band from Andorra has torn the fabric of space-time continuum to deliver another one-of-a-kind album. Persefone has undergone some lineup changes in recent years but the quality of musicianship hasn't been affected one bit. With prior outstanding works such as Core, Shin-Ken and more recently Spiritual Migration, the expectation level was high. However, the guys managed to release a really high-quality effort of progressive melodic death metal yet again.

The controlled madness that became the signature of the band is whole, with a renewed emphasis on piano-driven atmospheres layered with gorgeous guitar licks over proggy rhythms. The most drastic departure from their previous sound is with the vocals. This time around, the register is more varied with a definite post-metal influence making a grand entrance. Oftentimes, I had to remind myself that I wasn't listening to Riverside on some musical passages. Being Persefone, the musicians manage to transition seamlessly from one thing to the next with tour-de-force simplicity. The influences are many. I hear some Cynic, some Gojira, some Meshuggah, a dash of Dimmu Borgir keyboards here and there. It is like they grabbed every element from bands successful at creating oppressing atmospheres and fit them in on one record.

While each track has its own merit and would deserve a mention, I find it is unthinkable not to listen to this opus as a whole. Persefone don't do simple. This is what you get as a result, impossible to skip a track and an album that flows as one unit. Featuring gorgeous artwork by Travis Smith, a grand production by Jens Brogen, and guests such as Paul Masvidal (Cynic) and Oystein Landsverk (Leprous), it is very hard to pinpoint a weakness about Aathma.

The devil is in the details. Persefone paid attention to those details and smoothed them out like you wouldn't believe. As a result, Aathma is a slow but steady grower. It comes across as massive on the first spin then gradually unravels all of its magic through repeated listens. There is a renewed energy about this band that is refreshing, even after all they have already accomplished. Here comes the new standard of progressive death metal. Inhale, exhale, listen, enjoy.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Written on 18.03.2017 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 343 users
18.03.2017 - 21:49
Thanks. Best review of anything I've read about in a long time. This encourages me to dive in again. My current ultra project is having collected and listened to all their albums from beginning to end. Now that's one hell of a unit and project. This album is pretty wicked.
19.03.2017 - 12:34
Very well written review. I still think this album is lacking a bit of the charm of Spiritual Migration, even if it does have most of the core elements of what makes Persefone great intact. Prison Skin, Living Waves and the title track are the clear standouts for me at this point
19.03.2017 - 18:26
Au Pays Natal
I want to try this but I'm scared to death. Excellent review and thanks.
20.03.2017 - 01:07
Written by tea[m]ster on 19.03.2017 at 18:26

I want to try this but I'm scared to death. Excellent review and thanks.

You heard their previous stuff? I'm a huge fan of Spiritual Migration, and Shin-Ken's a really good album too (although the vocals on that album kinda suck, especially compared to SM and Aathma). I'd recommend SM as an entry point and if you like that, this is well worth listening to
21.03.2017 - 19:02
Very good review, I will listen album for sure, SM was very good
04.11.2017 - 12:29
Excellent album indeed.

It does take time to digest, as always with progressive metal, but it's so worth it and satisfying.

Persefone continue to impress me and making interesting music. My hats off to them.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
06.12.2017 - 21:59
Good Metal from Andorra. Very technical álbum, with awsome moments.

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