Review Summary: A fantastic progressive death metal album soaked in Greek mythology.
Find anyone near you upon the time of this reading and ask them how many countries separate Spain and France. When they say “none,” tell them of the 181 square miles of earth called Andorra, which spawned progressive death metal sextet Persefone. A band as little known as the country they came from, Persefone's sophomore album, Core
, is a testament to Iron Maiden style storytelling and Opeth style presentation, guaranteed to appeal to any fan of heavy music.
is a concept album that I really had no idea was a concept album until several weeks after I had my first listen. It was a simple act of curiosity that led me to discover that the band’s name is a slight spelling difference from the Greek Queen of the Underworld, named Persephone. Interestingly enough, their album Core
is also a slight spelling difference from the Queen’s name, Kore, meaning "young maiden" in Greek. The album is based on Kore’s elaborate mythology, telling the story of her capture by Hades in a fit of jealousy and eventual trickery into forcing her to become a permanent citizen of the Underworld.
The album starts with a tranquil piano melody that beautifully sets up the entire album, as well as many of the main sections, especially on the last track, “Seed: Core and Persefone.” The album is three songs of a little over twenty minutes each that are meant to be listened to as a whole. They are all in the same key and flow together rather nicely, as all of the songs carry a great balance between high-tempo death metal bits, melodic interludes, and even dissonant harmonies. One of the most interesting parts of the album is that all of the first person lyrics spoken by Kore are sung beautifully by a guest female vocalist, whose name I don't know since there is so little information about this band and album. Regardless, her voice is a great contrast to the growling vocal work of Marc Pia, who does a supreme job of keeping the heaviness flowing. However, he also takes a few instances to explain the story thus far in his charming European accent.
All in all, Core
is an excellent example of contemporary metal that never finds the time to make a mistake. Though there are a few segments near the end of the album that repeat a couple times too many for my tastes, the album is so great that to hold that against it would be nitpicking to the highest extent. If you have any self respect, you will find this album somewhere, whether you have to look it up online or pay the money to have it imported from Europe, it’s time and/or money well invested.
Fantastic metal retelling of a seldom-known mythological tale
You’ve got to be kidding me.