Persuader - When Eden burns 3/5

Reviewed: 6-30-06





Tracklist:

1. Twisted eyes
2. Slaves of labour
3. Sending you back
4. R.S Knights
5. The return
6. When eden burns
7. Judas immortal
8. Doomsday news
9. Zion
10. Enter reality


Persuader's debut CD 'The hunter' really took me by storm. Intense power metal with traces of thrash, and some slight Blind Guardian influence, melded with some really strong songwriting, and I was hooked from the start. After a few years of hardship which included a change at guitar, they finally released a follow-up 'Evolution purgatory'. Persuader's sound changed remarkably, due mainly to the fact that Jens Carlson's vocals all of a sudden sounded almost exactly like Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian. While 'The hunter' showed some slight similarities in their vocal approach, you would have never guessed that Carlson would completely transform himself into a near clone of the - until then completely unique - Kursch. While arguably Carlson sounds better aping Kursch than he did on 'The hunter' I was left cold by 'Evolution purgatory'. It was a decent power metal CD, but the raw aggression and vigor that was in the forefront on 'The hunter' seemed to have been removed. This was readily apparent in listening to the 'Evolution purgatory' version of "Fire at will", which was the opening track on 'The hunter'. This newer version just sounded "tamer" than the firey version on their debut, yet remained the best song on their 2nd CD.

Now the band returns with their 3rd CD 'When Eden burns'. The good news is that I have enjoyed this one quite a bit more than 'Evolution purgatory'. The band has some definite fire back. Carlson still sounds remarkably like a younger Hansi Kursch with slightly better range. It's tempting to dub Persuader a Blind Guardian clone, but musically, they don't sound exactly alike. Persauder doesn't have any of the folky melodies that made Blind Guardian famous. They also (thankfully) lack the seeemingly 100's of layers that Blind Guardian excruciatingly crafts their CDs with nowadays. There are some musical similarities, particularly with Blind Guardian's 'Imaginations...' CD, but it's mainly due to Persuader playing intense, yet melodic power metal. The hints of thrash are there, and that's sort of what made Blind Guardian stand out on their earlier CDs.

Things get off to a quick start with "Twisted eyes". The tempo and riffing is pretty reminiscent of thrash, but there is the definite sense of melody that rings of power metal. The chorus would fit right in on Blind Guardian's 'Imaginations...' CD. The CD sticks to a similar formula throughout. Generally quick (but varying) tempos with pretty good choruses. All songs clock in at around the 5-6 minute mark, so no needlessly long "epics". They also avoid boring us with any ballads. The lead guitar work is solid, but doesn't really stand out to me. A personal highlight is "Judas immortal" which has some very melodic death styled riffing.

I've generally enjoyed this new Persauder so much, that I feel like I should give their 2nd CD another chance to wow me. Maybe I was just surprised by the changes to their sound. I do still rate 'The hunter' as their best CD. There was just a sense of raw energy and passion there that I find very appealing. Also, the band had a bit more of their own identity when Carlson didn't sound so much like Kursch. Still, Blind Guardian fans and all fans of more aggressive power metal would do well to check them out. Of course, all Blind Guardian fans should check out the Persuader side project Savage Circus (with former Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch) which is an unabashed clone of the best era of the Guardians.



JOHN




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