What exactly does Persephone dream of, one might ask? Apparantly, she dreams of the hybridization of 70's progressive rock (like Rush) and 80's alternative rock (U2, The Cure), glued together with ethereal elements. Moonspell, the latest album from this four-piece band hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, is the second full-length manifestation of this dream.
The music is put together using the traditional rock band formula (guitar, bass, drums, some keyboards). The lyrics are belted out with quite a bit of strength and skill by vocalist Karin Nicely. However, there are a few moments (particularly during the albums opener Millenium Moon, which, in my opinion, is the album's weakest track) where the vocals clash slightly with the other song elements. The music itself is well performed, by a group of musicians who are obviously more than competent, though the album didn't quite manage to really hook me in until about midway through the fourth track, Euphoria, which is immediately followed out by the very rockin' Learning Curve.
Since this is a hybrid of prog-rock and more ethereal rock styles, you should expect a few of the traditional prog rock schticks, like tempo changes and some syncopated rhythms. Fortunately, these tricks aren't taken to a high enough level of indulgence so as to not make it inaccessible to most ears. However, be forewarned: Persephone's Dream is definitely a rock band, in a very traditional sense, despite a lot of modern influences.
Altar of Desire, which is slightly reminiscent of something that could have been written by Heart in the mid 70s, and Full Moon, which features a very prominant Rush-esque guitar riff, are testaments to that fact...though the band does break their usual form in the middle of the album with Earth Dreams, a 12 minute exercise in ethereal tribal drumming.
My personal favorite is Worry Beads, a more ethereal rocker placed towards the end of the album. And that is where I would suggest beginning when sampling what Persephone's Dream has to offer, as the first couple of tracks on this album do not present the best possible first impression.
Post: Pup-in-a-Cup Productions, P.O. Box 23611, Pittsburgh PA, 15222