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Music Review: Persuader – When Eden Burns

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Persuader recently came to my attention when I had the opportunity to check out their first album, Hunter. Now we get to see the evolution of the band on their latest release, When Eden Burns. I do not, however, have their sophomore effort, Evolution Purgatory, so I cannot compare the growth through all three albums. When listening to The Hunter and When Eden Burns back to back, you can definitely hear the progression from one to the other; you will however also notice that there is something a little different. It is still a good addition to the world of metal, but the underproduced aspects of the first seem to have been removed. This is a much more melodic outing. Though it does not sacrifice all of the aggression, there is a different feel to this album. Still, if you want to raise your horns, you could do a lot worse than this!

That debut, while not a classic, displayed a lot of energy and raw fury as they bashed their way through all of the tracks, bringing progressive, power, and epic thrash together into harmony that was, quite frankly, rather invigorating. Now, six years out, we still get that thrashy epic progressive power metal, but there is a lack in the youthful exuberance of the debut.

I am not suggesting that this is a bad album, there is still plenty of head banging, horn raising metal to really dig into. There is a more polished, structured sound that bypasses the rawness of the first outing and increases the melodic tendencies of their sound. The album does rock, I am just a little underwhelmed in the growth and development from the first album to know. I am not sure what changed, but something did.

OK, before going too far down this path, let me back up a little bit. It is true that I liked the raw energy of the first album, but that aside this is a strong album. The album starts off with the strong track "Twisted Eyes." It brings an in your face brutal melody that is distinctly Persuader, it is a strong opener that will immediately get your head rocking in preparation of what is to come. It is followed by "Slaves of Labour" which, after a very rockish opening moves into a nicely polished melodic song.

So, now my initial underwhelmed feeling has passed, and while I do miss the rawness, this is a mature growth for them as a band. There is strong songwriting here, a lot of craft is evident in their structures, a catchiness that is hard to ignore. They have grown and developed their songwriting craft, and the sound is still distinctly Persuader. Yes, you can still hear influences like Blind Guardian, but they are not so overwhelming as to undermine Persuader.

Jens Carlsson has a very good voice, I like the raspiness of his voice and the operatic style he employs. The twin guitars of Emil Norberg and Daniel Sundbom deliver a well oiled machine, heavy riffs, nice melody filled solos, and a sound that stands apart. Fredrik Hedstrom and Efaim Juntunen deliver a solid rhythm section, with Juntunen continuing to deliver some first rate work behind the kit.

Bottomline. This is a good album. No matter what my initial misgivings are, this is undeniably a strong addition to the metal world. You could do a lot worse than listen to Persuader. They are a band that seem destined for bigger things, and it will be interesting to see where they head from here. If you are looking for a new metal band to try out, I would have no problems recommending you check out Persuader.

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