Persefone
Shin-Ken


4.5
superb

Review

by Eric USER (5 Reviews)
July 24th, 2010 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Persefone manages to make their sound much more interesting and dynamic, but they don’t do a whole lot to refine it.

Any experienced Persefone fan first listening to Shin-Ken will notice right away that not much has changed since the album’s 2006 predecessor, Core. The band still maintains their progressive influenced melodic death metal style while playing around with calming passages and winding instrumentals. Like Core, Shin-Ken is a concept album revolving around the Japanese samurai and their devotion to bushido (Japanese for “honor”), life on the battlefield, and the experience of death.

Gone are the accompanying female vocals that were integral to the storyline of Core. Instead, Persefone experiments much more with different styles of vocal delivery, often contrasting Marc Pia’s death growls with higher pitched screaming, which weren’t very prevalent on Core. There is also a much greater use of clean vocals, sung in the same charming accent that graced Core. The album begins with the tranquil ambience of “The Ground Book,” which serves as a sort of calm before the storm, as things quickly decrescendo into the beginning of “Fall to Rise.” Within a matter of seconds, the theme of the album truly becomes apparent, and the track stands out as one of the best due to its highly tasteful use of a Japanese sitar, probably a shamisen, which is also featured in the next track, "Death Before Dishonour." The various “Book” tracks that dot the album are also a real highlight to the album, providing a stark and beautiful contrast to the heavy songs, as well as a much welcome break in the mood and style of the album.

Shin-Ken takes more of an old school Dream Theater approach to songwriting, including more direct song structures, wandering instrumentals, and guitar and keyboard solos. This seems to help Persefone a lot because it gives much more variety to their music. While Core more or less wrote one really great song and turned it into an hour long epic, Shin-Ken focuses more on telling its story from multiple angles not only through the lyrics, but through songs of varying time signatures, tempos, and keys.

All in all, Shin-Ken is a fantastic record, and while Persefone manages to make their sound much more interesting and dynamic, they don’t do a whole lot to refine it. The album cuts down on some of the repetition that formed my only complaint of Core and, more or less, delivers more of the same progressive and melodic twists on death metal as always. Although the album does everything right as far as music goes, there doesn’t seem to be much evolution from the band as writers or musicians. However, the music makes this fact negligible since Persefone has written some great songs and truly lives up to their expectations. All that remains to be seen is if they can live up to their potential.


Pros:

More individual melodies than on Core
Extremely unique
Japanese sitar in “Fall to Rise” and "Death Before Dishonour"

Cons:

The lyrics can be hard to understand
The band has not significantly improved

Recommended tracks:

Fall to Rise
The Water Book
Purity


user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ShinobiDaisuke
July 24th 2010


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ah crap, my summary has a typo. How do I edit this?

pizzamachine
July 24th 2010


12571 Comments


Go to your profile and find the "Edit my reviews/albums" button. It's on the left.

BeyondSanity
July 25th 2010


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this band.
I love this album.
SLIGHTLY less than Core though.

DDconjoined
July 25th 2010


326 Comments


love this band. I have not listened to this enough though.

ShinobiDaisuke
July 25th 2010


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ah, thanks.

lobby
July 25th 2010


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

can't remember this album.

the japanese sitar...hahaha, maybe i should give it another spin and listen out for it

ShinobiDaisuke
July 26th 2010


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You definitely should, it's so great. If you ask me, it really wasn't used enough. If it had been a really prevalent effect, I can't even imagine how incredible this album would be.

BreakdownsXplease
July 26th 2010


56 Comments


Heard the song fall to rise from these, it was pretty good but I had a very hard time understanding the lyrics, seems like you agree. Guess I will get the full album and get the lyrics from somewhere to accompany it.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2010


31173 Comments


Not their best album, but still....

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

bloc
September 18th 2010


34854 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm liking this more than their previous material because the songs are much shorter and easier to listen to.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

joelco92
December 8th 2010


64 Comments


holy god this band is good! just randomly found them on youtube and about to download their discography :D

Dimor
June 23rd 2011


1758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This totally caught me off-guard. Easily one of my favourite ProgDeath-albums

kilipeti
March 17th 2012


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think that this is more old-school death metal than melodic death, and mixing oldschool death with so much progressive elements makes them so unique.

NeoSpaz
October 9th 2012


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is sweet, really, really enjoying this. Better check out Core.

XfingTheSullen
February 13th 2013


2619 Comments


Core was great, I will probably check this out, seeing as MPE's latest has renewed my passion for melodeath.

Digging: Kalisia - Cybion

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 7th 2013


21101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really great stuff

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Ovrot
May 23rd 2013


10495 Comments


riffs

NeoSpaz
May 23rd 2013


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

epic album, yea

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
May 23rd 2013


14374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty sweet but their first two are still way better.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

NeoSpaz
May 23rd 2013


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Core rules yes, didn't like the debut as much as this though



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy