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Persefone - Metanoia review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
9.0

224 users:
8.15
Band: Persefone
Album: Metanoia
Release date: February 2022


01. Metanoia [feat. Einar Solberg]
02. Katabasis
03. Architecture Of The I
04. Leap Of Faith
05. Aware Of Being Watched [feat. Merethe Soltvedt]
06. Merkabah
07. Consciousness Pt. 3
08. Anabasis Pt. 1
09. Anabasis Pt. 2 [feat. Angel Vivaldi, Steffen Kummerer & Merethe Soltvedt]
10. Anabasis Pt. 3


Andorra’s greatest export continue to transcend.

Persefone’s early career was very promising, with the likes of Core (with its gargantuan compositions) and Shin-Ken making the band notable for more than just being from a microstate that only otherwise makes headlines for losing painfully in European football qualifiers. However, 2013’s Spiritual Migration was an album that has really come to define the group; the focus on spiritual lyrical content, mixture of intense technicality with stirring melody, and rich atmospheres that combined so well on that record have laid the template for their subsequent records, first Aathma and now Metanoia.

Yes, this album is in a very similar vein to Persefone’s previous two albums; it’s clear that the band have worked out what works best for them and are now focused on writing the best music that they can within this niche. Well, it’s now a 3/3 success rate on that front; Spiritual Migration was a stunning album, and although I wasn’t quite as enamored with Aathma (I felt at times the band could be a bit too prog for their own good), I still thoroughly enjoy it. Metanoia, however, is a step up again from Aathma, and arguably the equal of Spiritual Migration.

In terms of general style, Metanoia is, as already said, very much like its two predecessors; there is a mix of very technically-minded, progressive melodeath, featuring frenetic bursts, ripping vocals and elaborate instrumentation, contrasted with very melodically-inclined and evocative clean sections, whether it’s a moving clean vocal section or something more atmospheric and ambient. The band’s MVP, Miguel Espinosa, continues to make the difference on both of these fronts; his cleans are often beautiful, and his keyboard work/electronics are an integral aspect of Persefone’s distinctive sound. However, performances across the board are predictably strong; the instrumentation is very tight considering how effortlessly the band throw themselves into sequences of highly complex arrangements, and Marc Martins’ growls remain an effective counter to Espinosa’s cleans, although there are a couple of times on the record where I feel they sound slightly rough (such as during the fastest parts of “Katabasis”), although that may be due to the production over anything else.

Now, with the basics covered, is there anything that differentiates Metanoia from Spiritual Migration or Aathma? For me, the thing that I feel distinguishes it from the former is that Metanoia focuses less on direct hooks akin to songs such as “Mind As Universe” or “The Great Reality”, and more on the general melancholic vibe; the music is very memorable on this album, but I feel like there’s a greater emphasis on stirring the soul than going for the jugular. On the flip side, I feel like it veers away from some of the excessive progginess that seeped into moments on Aathma; there’s nothing on this album that makes me recoil due to it feeling out of place or disjointed. One thing it does carry over from Aathma is the use of guest musicians; rather than Paul Masvidal, this time it’s Einar Solberg from Leprous who appears on the opening track, adding a haunting quality to the introductory title track that reminds you how good Leprous can sound when pursuing dark atmospheres such as these. Additionally, Merethe Soltvedt follows up her cameo on the multi-part closing title track of Aathma with a cameo on this record’s multi-part closing song, “Anabasis”, which also features Angel Vivaldi and Steffen Kummerer.

It’s pretty clear that I’m very enthusiastic about Metanoia, so by now you may be wondering what the highlights of the album are. I’m half-tempted to write ‘all of it’, as I think pretty much every song brings something great to the table. “Metanoia” sets the scene perfectly for “Katabasis”, which, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, veers away from immediate choruses; instead, Espinosa first sustains the ethereal approach of Solberg, before delivering a more forceful, impassioned climax in the final minute of the song, while the track features infectious grooves, gnarly technical riffs and pyrotechnic guitar/keyboard lines.

On the topic of the instrumental parts, there are a couple of excellent instrumental tracks on Metanoia; “Leap Of Faith” builds ever so slowly, with synths, strings and drums gradually solidifying before finally the guitars arrive in the closing moments, while “Consciousness Part 3” is a hugely successful callback to the “Consciousness” tracks on Spiritual Migration. The songs that do feature vocals are varied in approach and structure, but all feature killer moments, with the greatest of them perhaps being Espinosa’s climactic section in “Anabasis Part 2” (which actually namedrops Spiritual Migration), where he duets with Soltvedt.

Metanoia is very much as case of Persefone doing what they do best; everything positive that they’ve built across the previous two albums is further cemented across a captivating musical journey, one that provides all the grandeur and euphoria that their typical subject matter strives towards.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8





Written on 03.02.2022 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments

Comments: 21   Visited by: 301 users
03.02.2022 - 10:25
Rating: 9
musclassia

Just noting now, I am going to be writing a lot of very positive reviews this month - I've already got 3 more written, and at least 2 more albums I expect to excel, so be prepared for a lot of big 8+ scores
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03.02.2022 - 10:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by musclassia on 03.02.2022 at 10:25

so be prepared for a lot of big 8+ scores

I am ready.

I will trash all of them.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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03.02.2022 - 10:28
Rating: 10
Callisto

Man, how I'm waiting for this one.
Great review! it helps pass this last 24h an at the same time it makes them much more hard to endure...
Thanks!
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03.02.2022 - 10:47
Deadsoulman

I haven't listened to a Persefone album since their debut. But your review convinced me to at least take a peak at this one once the Awards are over

I also need to point out that here in the southwest of France, Andorra is famous not for the abysmal results of its national football team, but for being the place where you buy extremely cheap alcohol, cigarettes, perfume, hi-fi hardware, fuel, etc. Also for being an excellent hiking and skiing spot, but that's much less important than the alcohol and cigarettes buying thing
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03.02.2022 - 10:58
Rating: 10
Callisto

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.02.2022 at 10:47

I haven't listened to a Persefone album since their debut. But your review convinced me to at least take a peak at this one once the Awards are over


Why wait? Spiritual Migration is a beast of an album and it's already there
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03.02.2022 - 11:00
Deadsoulman

Written by Callisto on 03.02.2022 at 10:58

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.02.2022 at 10:47

I haven't listened to a Persefone album since their debut. But your review convinced me to at least take a peak at this one once the Awards are over


Why wait? Spiritual Migration is a beast of an album and it's already there


Because February is dedicated to listening to as many Awards nominees as possible But I'll add Spiritual Migration to my post-Awards playlist if that makes you happy!
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03.02.2022 - 11:02
Rating: 9
musclassia

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.02.2022 at 10:47

I also need to point out that here in the southwest of France, Andorra is famous not for the abysmal results of its national football team, but for being the place where you buy extremely cheap alcohol, cigarettes, perfume, hi-fi hardware, fuel, etc. Also for being an excellent hiking and skiing spot, but that's much less important than the alcohol and cigarettes buying thing


I actually have a real wish to go to Andorra - I've had a loosee plan to do a trip there for years (I want to walk the entire country, i.e. walk over the french and spanish borders, so that I can say I saw an entire country just on foot, but I don't know how possible it is to get to/from the borders via public transport lol), good to know if I did ever manage to pull off that trip I could get pissed on the cheap, knowing that I didn't need to drive afterwards
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03.02.2022 - 11:37
Rating: 9
Nejde
Philosoraptor
Written by musclassia on 03.02.2022 at 10:25

Just noting now, I am going to be writing a lot of very positive reviews this month - I've already got 3 more written, and at least 2 more albums I expect to excel, so be prepared for a lot of big 8+ scores


Well written as always. Can't wait to hear the album when it drops tomorrow. Since it's mostly you who review the albums I anticipate the most you always manage to get my hype up. So keep the 8+ reviews coming. Looking forward to them.
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"You have the right to believe in what you want. I have the right to believe it's ridiculous." - Ricky Gervais
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03.02.2022 - 11:46
Rating: 10
Callisto

BTW:
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03.02.2022 - 11:48
Rating: 10
Callisto

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.02.2022 at 11:00

Because February is dedicated to listening to as many Awards nominees as possible But I'll add Spiritual Migration to my post-Awards playlist if that makes you happy!


I'm sure i'll make you happy too
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03.02.2022 - 12:18
Deadsoulman

Written by musclassia on 03.02.2022 at 11:02


I actually have a real wish to go to Andorra - I've had a loosee plan to do a trip there for years (I want to walk the entire country, i.e. walk over the french and spanish borders, so that I can say I saw an entire country just on foot, but I don't know how possible it is to get to/from the borders via public transport lol), good to know if I did ever manage to pull off that trip I could get pissed on the cheap, knowing that I didn't need to drive afterwards


Offtopicness continued:

Dude, coming from the steep prices of the UK, you're going to be in heaven

Getting to anywhere in Andorra is easy, there are buses going into the country from the train stations near the border in France and Spain. I know there's the GRP Andorre (link is in French), a 100km+ hiking trail that circles around the country from border to border. I hear it's quite difficult but splendid and rewarding. You could do much worse than Andorra for a trip destination, it really is a wonderful little country
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03.02.2022 - 14:14
Dream Taster
The Enemy Within
Written by Callisto on 03.02.2022 at 10:58

Written by Deadsoulman on 03.02.2022 at 10:47

I haven't listened to a Persefone album since their debut. But your review convinced me to at least take a peak at this one once the Awards are over


Why wait? Spiritual Migration is a beast of an album and it's already there

I second that!
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03.02.2022 - 18:42
Chidder

Got it before the official release date. Did not listen to it to this day... I guess it's time to catch up?
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04.02.2022 - 02:31
Rating: 8
Steiner

Can't wait to hear this. I thought Spiritual Migration was a unique album so yeah...more of that please.
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04.02.2022 - 08:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
That was quite a trip
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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04.02.2022 - 10:45
Rating: 10
Callisto

Ok, I've listened the whole thing now, and obviously I need to digest it, but my first impression it's that this an album as good as Spiritual Migration but more varied.

In SM and Aathma, the whole lot of influences appeared in every song. Here I have the feeling as if every song had an unique feel to it.
So all in all, another step forward from them...
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04.02.2022 - 12:51
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I can show Andorra in a map, but that's it, besides this band and painfull loses in a football, i dont know much about that country
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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05.02.2022 - 00:20
TheBigRossowski

Written by Bad English on 04.02.2022 at 12:51

I can show Andorra in a map, but that's it, besides this band and painfull loses in a football, i dont know much about that country


Whoa - this comments section broke down real fast around this whole Andorra point XD.

Regarding the album, I think it's brilliant and easily deserves a 10. Well, I'm not positive... BUT a 10 seems legit. I mean, I haven't listened to it yet, but it's Persefone...and I'm sure RaduP is gonna have something to say on the matter.
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That rug really tied the room together, did it not?
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06.02.2022 - 01:36
Rating: 8
Steiner

Having spent a few days listening to this I totally agree with musclassia's positive review. This album flows and grows. I'll hear new things every time. It also doesn't sacrifice quality for technicality. In terms of quality releases, it's been a slow start to '22 but we've officially got a banger now IMHO.
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06.02.2022 - 03:31
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
I quite like this album, but I think I might like it more over time, it could be a grower for me. It's not a band I've really listened to much of, so I think I need to check out some of their earlier stuff. Good review
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27.05.2022 - 18:54
Rating: 8
tintinb

Really love the instrumental tracks here.
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Leeches everywhere.
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