PERSONA - Metamorphosis

Persona - Metamorphosis

12 songs
66:46 minutes
***** ****
(self-released)

Bandpage

Metal from North Africa isnít such a rarity these days, but still seldom enough to be considered exotic. Persona from Tunisia self-released their debut album in early 2016. Elusive Reflection offered solid symphonic metal that despite a certain lack of originality still achieved quite a lot of recognition.

The six musicians have been very active in their rehearsal room and in the recording studio since then, as live opportunities are hard to get in their home country, and it is also quite expensive to fly over to Europe to play more shows. The band has not only written a lot of new tracks, but also worked hard on songwriting and instrumentation. Serbian vocalist Jelena Dobric made a lot of progress, with her voice ranging from melodic singing to aggressive growls, not unlike Luxembourgish symphonic metal band Elysian Gates. The melodic vocal lines remind of Edenbridgeís Sabine Edelsbacher.

Another novelty is the inclusion of progressive elements that were not yet a part of their sound on the predecessor. Although the keyboards have a more dominant role than before, they donít feel too pushy. All in all, Metamorphosis is heavier than what we have come to expect from Persona. Esurience Guilefulness Omnipotence and In Memoriam are two examples to prove this thesis. There are of course still some pop songs, like Armour Of Thorns and Invidia, that please due to their accessible nature. Hellgrind is the most daring track on the album, as it is full of drama and underlines all the improvements the band has made over the last few years. Only Netherlight feels a little off as it takes too long to get going and also feels too synthetic due to overly heavy keyboard use.

Itís hard to understand how Persona still havenít been signed to a record label. Instead Metamorphosis has been financed by a successful crowdfunding campaign. I can imagine with a business card like that, it should only be a matter of time until a record label will show interest. Fans of female fronted symphonic metal will surely find a lot to like on this sophisticated album.

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