What happens, when you mix metal of all kinds with Tunisian music and a female singer who can do both, clean vocals and growls? The result is called PERSONA!
I always find a genre for the music, but this time I fail!
I love albums which suck you in from the first second and you find yourself in the middle of the music right away. And that’s what happens when turning on ‘Prologue – The Initiation’, the opener of the new PERSONA-album “Metamorphosis”. The song is a blast and prepares the listener for the enormous amount of influences that follow. As a person who likes organized chaos, I tag every band I listen to with a genre – shame on me. It helps to find the perfect music for my mood very fast and to advise people when they ask me for a new band to listen to and I know which genres they like. So I’d call myself a pro in the jungle of metal genres with all it’s crazy sub-genres which nobody needs. I was also trying to find a genre fitting for PERSONA, but – wtf – it’s impossible.
For me as a European, the music sometimes sounds very exotic and I ascribe that to the band’s Tunisian origin. A lot of tunes and riffs sound kind of Arabian to me and they are mixed with which I would call European/US-american sound (which I am most familiar with, because most famous metal bands come from there) so naturally it creates an interesting sound: Sometimes, both influences, Arabian and European, are mixed completely, sometimes they follow up to each other as a guitar solo or chorus for example. PERSONA also vary a lot with the tempo: while the drums and bass are really fast, keyboard and guitar might be slow or the other way around. A keyboard always slows the sound down somehow, but also when there is no keyboard, this mixture works. It reminds me a bit of EVOCATION and TRACEDAWN, (melodic) death metal bands who throw tempi together a lot. If you want to know what I mean, just listen to ‘Esurience Guilefulness Omnipotence’.
Variety in tempi, influences and vocals.
The music can also be very progressive and then again melodic like the big names IRON MAIDEN or STRATOVARIOUS. In addition, vocalist Jelena Dobric can do everything with her voice: on “Metamorphosis”, there are growls, clean vocals, almost operatic vocals, rock vocals, … Compared to PERSONA‘s first album “Elusive Reflections”, she has improved a lot! She found out what she is able to do with her voice and worked on it, doing her part to the specific sound.
No wonder, the band won the Hard Rock Rising competition two years in a row – congratulations on that! And what I didn’t mention already: The album was made possible via crowdfunding. Whoever supported them financially, let me tell you: It was worth it. “Metamorphosis” is not a classical concept album telling a story, but the songs are inspired by life situations – remember that the band comes from Tunisia and there was a lot to experience within the past ten years – and are combined by this topic.
PERSONA busted each and every border and limitation and created an album full of beautiful melodies, hard riffs, sad tunes, powerful sounds, harsh growls, soft vocal lines and influences from their home country. It will be interesting what follows and if there are more bands to come from Arabian countries, maybe inspired by PERSONA‘s music. Sad enough, bands from the East don’t get that much attention over here. But if PERSONA would come from a European country, the music would never sound like this. They are pioneers of a genre yet to come and I hope for them to not end up as founders who don’t get anything out of it, may it be fame, money, career or whatever they aim for. They deserve the opportunity to bring their interpretation of metal music to the world.
Favourites: Prologue – The Initiation, Invidia, The Seeress of Triumph
PERSONA’s “Metamorphosis” – Tracklist
- Prologue – The Initiation
- The Omen of Downfall
- Esurience Guilefulness Omnipotence
- Armour of Thorns
- Bête Noire
- In Memoriam
- The Seeress of Triumph
- Epilogue – The Final Deliverance