[ SHORT REVIEWS - LIST | DETAILED REVIEWS
(63:17; Persephone’s Dream)
At some point in 2019 I heard that Persephone’s Dream had signed to MRR and was going to be releasing a new album for the first time in nine years. My ears pricked up at that, as I recalled reviewing two of their albums some time ago, and a quick check of TPU Vol 2 showed that was back in 2002 when I reviewed their second and third albums. I had never heard their debut, or any of their later releases, so I was determined to change that, so here we go. The debut was released back in 1997 when the band were actually a duo of Rowen Poole (6, 7 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, voices) and Chris Siegle (5 string bass, drums, percussion, keyboards and voices), along with Judilynn Niedercorn (vocals) who is not listed as a member of the band, so I presume this was a session gig. Rowen and Chris are still with the band today, although Chris wasn’t involved with the band for a spell. This is the only album with Niedercorn, as she was replaced by Karin Nicely before the next album, ‘Moonspell’, and I can’t say I am too surprised as it is the vocals which are definitely the weakest part on this album. When someone is singing in a more delicate manner, then there needs to be total control and power throughout, and while there were some great female singers in the prog world in the 90’s, they were less prevalent than they are now, and while Debbie Chapman (Legend) and Tracy Hitchings (Quasar, Landmarq etc) immediately spring to mind both of those musicians had far more control. It is quite frustrating as there are times when Niedercorn’s vocals are spot on, but others they are just not quite right. Rush is an obvious influence on the music on the album, and while there are some keyboards these are few and far between, with the focus normally on the voice or the guitar (alongside some delicious bass). The album doesn’t feel well connected at times, but that probably isn’t surprising as this process took a few years to complete. For a self-release, the booklet is substantial, and as well as including artwork and all lyrics it also states when the lyrics were written, when the music was recorded, and when the vocals were recorded. When it is just Rowen and Chris it feels far more together, with the two of them obviously connected very deeply, as the instrumental “Press Zero For Assistance” demonstrates. This does have the feeling of a project as opposed to a band, and of musicians working their way towards what they wanted to achieve. It was from this that they brought in Karin Nicely (vocals) and drummer for Ed Wiancko for 1999’s ‘Moonspell” before further adding keyboard player Kim Finney and percussionist John Tallent for 2001’s ‘Opposition’. For those who already know the band then this was the starting point for their journey more than 20 years ago, but not the best starting place for people just discovering the band.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]