[released February 24, 2017]
It’s tough when you have so very high expectations of, well anything, and then finally arrive to meet whatever it is you have looked forward to. In pure self-defense I tried to not think too much about Aathma since after its announcement, but the closer the release date crept, the more my spine was becoming titillated by sheer anticipation.
Persefone is one of very few metal groups out of the small nation Andorra, situated in-betwixt France and Spain. They are a serious force, writing complex and ultimately very rewarding music. For years since their inception they were building up to the massive Spiritual Migration album, which landed in 2013 and, after some hesitation on my side, completely blew up the year end list. I was on the verge of writing them off as a metalcore type deal, and not a very interesting one, but since I was reviewing the album (Spiritual Migration was my first contact with the band) I felt I had to play it one more time, and that changed everything.
What Persefone became, and still remain with Aathma, is something so beautifully layered and immensely gratifying that I find myself longing to hear it every now and then. Aathma is up there. The 2017 effort from the band is using all the same ingredients as its predecessor and puts them together in just the right way. The grooving drums, technical stop-go guitars and ever-changing vocals are arranged with remarkable precision and never become too complex. It’s a hard thing to write this kind of music so fluid and grandiose, but Persefone manage, and the band, together with producer Jens Bogren have created a top-notch product.
I have listened to Aathma pretty much every day since it was released and by now I feel almost as familiar with it as Spiritual. For good and for bad. I know for a fact that I really like this album and that it’s amazing, but it’s also harder to describe why without getting too abstract at this point. The short version would be that Aathma is massive, hard-hitting, beautiful, epic, progressive and positioned right at the top of the Best Of 2017.
- TBOJ score: 5/5
- DR score: 7