Stepping inside a labyrinth on a quest to discover imaginative and poetical realms, a source to squander for the creation of the rightful soundtrack to one’s escape from reality and into a state of divine fantasy without knowing that signals hover above determining another form of streamlining. With no need to be persuaded by the ones that encourage such vividness, I submerged in silence only to be blitzed by a heavily pounding foray. A new mystery was created and I guess I have to be thankful for the Swedish PERSUADER, awakening from a long slumber since their last pursuit for a Metallic supremacy. Hell fueled, amassing their entire past experience with a view forward to head on hard, PERSUADER appears convicted than ever with the presentation of their fourth album “The Fiction Maze” via the band’s new local label Inner Wound Recordings, bestowing a frenzied breed of contemporary Power Metal that is brutal and ferocious, yet conserving the band’s early influences such as HELLOWEEN, IRON SAVIOR, GAMMA RAY and BLIND GUARDIAN. Though a bit far from the accomplishments of “When Eden Burns” and the classically massive blow of “Evolution Purgatory”, PERSUADER returned with a commanding steel fist and possibly their heaviest offering to date.
After all these years, being involved with various other projects and bands like all stars SAVAGE CIRCUS, the recently disbanded DARK EMPIRE or the Thrash Metal GUILLOTINE, it would seem that PERSUADER through the passageways of “The Fiction Maze” reserved to a certain extent their harmonious musicality and degree of fineness for the creation of Teutonic type Metal hymns with flesh abrading riffery and rhythm section viciousness. Furthermore, there is a fair share of pointers and verifications PERSUADER’s appreciation for the modern end of Metal music while even executing several passages and riffs and blast beats that will take you towards the renowned current version of Swedish Melodic Death Metal bashed up with blinks of Metalcore. Even the bestial panache of Hansi Kurch, the imperious Jens Carlsson, thundered with his ferocity and harsher soaring vocals that came into growls, severer than what was evident on “When Eden Burns”. Can’t say that I always like it, but Carlsson, now a full time vocalist leaving his guitar post, still maintained a rather fine level of enactment.
On the other hand, PERSUADER’s earlier melodic Power Metal tendency sustained its dominance over this release, especially with profound choruses that made me shiver following the album’s intense production standards with the choral vocals manufacture in particular that sounded stronger than ever before, even woozy at times. “Falling Faster”, closing the package, is mesmerizing with neck cracking main riff that came close to Thrash, pounding mercilessly but unveiling a phenomenal German signature on the virtually constant melodious riffs that loomed over the chorus. “Sent to the Grave” pictured a heavier form of the late era of GAMMA RAY, carving with tasty bashing riffs and showing a near growl vocal morbidity that appeared as a second nature. “Heathen” emphasized the tune’s modernized harsh Teutonic sonnet driven theme with a crafty song arrangement; the keyboards’ addition induced a storytelling kind of feel. But what really caught my attention, other than the chorus that is impeccable is the C part after the midway point of the song, such emphatic melodies. “The Fiction Maze” showing off the former’s musical notations, but this time with a last decade BLIND GUARDIAN moments of prompted speed, arousing melodies and a vibrant multilayered vocal line that sounded so rich and victorious.
It is not so clear than any band making a comeback would return to its old stellar form, PERSUADER upcoming new breed is a new source of energy and dedication, shrewd songwriting with a prevailing figure at the helm preaching the words. Frankly, after reading the dossier about this release, which is considered to be the next stage of the band’s development, I would suggest the band to stop here at this juncture and even gaze backwards to their past. “The Fiction Maze” is a fistful of melodic Metal extremity, right there at the edge between what is rendered as abrasive and classic oriented, heavy and it will bind your ears.
1. One Lifetime 2. War 3. The Fiction Maze 4. Deep in the Dark 5. InSect 6. Son of Sodom 7. Sent to the Grave 8. Heathen 9. Dagon Rising 10. Worlds Collide 11. Falling Faster
Jens Carlsson - Vocals Emil Norberg - Guitar Daniel Sundbom - Guitar Fredrik Hedström - Bass Efraim Juntunen - Drums