Released: 2006, Dockyard 1
Here’s a band that I’ve followed since day one back before their first album was released. Even back then in 1999, I expected and predicted big things for this band and although these “Young Metal Gods” contest winners do have a following, they deserve much more attention than they’ve garnered thus far. Their blend of aggressive power metal with thrashy riffing is second to none making this band one of my favorites and arguably the best aggressive power metal band to emerge in years!
I didn’t think that Persuader would top their second and previous release EVOLUTION PURGATORY, and after several listens to WHEN EDEN BURNS I think they have at least they’ve matched it. The songs are as always, very well written and the band still sounds hungry and angry. I do not hear too many signs of the band mellowing out nor have they decided to go down the road of getting heavier with this release. For those who let their residual resentment for Savage Circus’ (Persuader vocalist’s other band) similarity to old Blind Guardian spill over into your thoughts on Persuader….please die. Persuader are not just a recreation of anything nor a pale imitation of any one band. Their style may at times remind of other bands, but their sound is their own and to this listener they are original in their mixture of influences and styles.
Things slam into high gear right away with “Twisted Eyes”. Again, there are a couple of the blackened death metal styled vocals added in places for effect (as there are in some of the other songs on here). Thankfully, this vocal style is used minimally, as Jens’ normal melodic singing style is already abrasive and sounds like the perfect fit to the music. The intro to “R.S. Knights” sounds very cool and original. “The Return” starts with clean guitars offing another side of Persuader we don’t hear a lot. “When Eden Burns” starts out intensely before slowing slightly then it moves into more of a thrash feel with the riff and drums. “Judas Immortal” starts out sounding very epic, almost doom-like, and picks up with some tremolo picked riffing over thrash speed drumming. Half way into the song we are treated to something different for Persuader, a lead played on acoustic guitar…sounds a tiny bit like the lead style in Testament’s “The Ballad” but not in exactly. At about 4:30 the riff from the intro is employed again, this time with layers of vocals…very catchy and memorable! “Zion” is an instrumental, but not one used to show off overly technical shredding or musicianship. It’s more of a moody piece of laid-back music again showing a new side of the band. Album closer, “Enter Reality” starts with a huge sounding melody that seems to be keys and lead guitar matching each other. This is perhaps the one time on the album I thought of Blind Guardian who uses similar melody lines throughout their songs.
For people who believe all power metal is flower metal, Persuader fans know just how mistaken you are. So it’s time you have your bubble broken and understand what you’ve been missing. For those who already love the band, I’m of course preaching to the unholy choir here as we’re already singing from the same blasphemous hymnbook.