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(72:12; Persephone’s Dream)
Having released their second and third album relatively quickly, it would be some six years until Persephone’s Dream came back with their fourth. Here is a band whose personnel was very much in flux as Karin Nicely had departed, as had keyboard player Kim Finney while drummer Ed Wiancko only played on one song and co-founder and bassist Chris Siegle only played on four. This left just guitarist and co-founder Rowen Poole, along with percussionist John Tallent, as full members of the band from the previous album. The songs are listed as being written over a five-year period and given the way certain band members only play on certain songs, I am sure this was a long drawn out recording process. However, Poole was determined to press on and for this album he had three strong singers in band members Colleen Gray and Heidi Engel and guest DC Cooper (who is probably best known for his time with Royal Hunt). Although this may been recorded with more than a dozen musicians and singers, this is a far more powerful album than one might expect, feeling very much as a band album as opposed to any sort of project, and listening to this reminded me just why I enjoyed their previous two albums so much. The artist I found myself thinking of with this album was Lana Lane, but if she was in a band where all the music was being written by the guitarist as opposed to the keyboard player. Musically there is a huge difference between this and the debut, released ten years earlier, with this hitting every mark which was missing on the debut. The additional percussion adds a significant difference on tracks such as “Mist”, which also benefits from some great lead vocals combined with wonderful harmonies. All these guys can really sing and combined with strong arrangements the result is a guitar-led symphonic prog album which is still relevant and really enjoyable all these years later. There will be some who may be put off by the Arthurian concept in the middle, but I have no issue with it whatsoever. Again, a self-release with a good booklet containing all the lyrics, this is a really good starting place for progheads to discover Persephone’s Dream.
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