|Review: Perzonal War - Bloodline|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2008
Review online: June 27, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Germany's Perzonal War are always going to be one of those unheard outfits that subsist in the underground and nothing more, because unlike so many acts in similar circumstances, they had their shot and they blew it. Their unique take on the early Thrash sound has transformed them throughout the years from a plagiaristic Bay Area clone to a fully fledged Metal beast, pushing the Metallica shopping cart for all its worth and sticking in as many gleaming melodies and hooks along the way as they could. When 2003 rolled around and Different But The Same really established Perzonal War as an aspirant major player, I thought they were seriously on the path to mainstream acceptance. That album's magnificent follow up Faces contained everything the band needed to take their talents to another level. But the leap from European nobodies to chief Metal frontrunners was too great for the band to make, and Perzonal War fell into the gaping abyss of discount-bin hell like so many others. Bloodline - their sixth attempt at getting back on the horse - unfortunately hasn't equipped them with the proper equipment to scale that formidable cliff edge.
Stripped down to a lean trio, frontman Matthias Zimmer has taken over guitar duties solitarily this time, and his efforts are sound, compelling, and extremely proficient. The band's emphasis on melody is what extricates them from the Thrash whirlpool, adding the sledgehammer Power Metal inflections in their addictive choruses and heartfelt manifestos. Like Faces, there is a good deal of both rudiments at play here, often fighting for the listener's attention like two feral wolves scavenging amongst a cluttered woodland. Through the crunchy production, Perzonal War's aggressive tendencies come out a little too hostile with the celeritous "All Sides Black" and "Two Borders" playing second fiddle to the more metallic, memorable tracks such as "Utopia", "Dying Face" and the grandiose opener "Evolution". To tip the balance, Zimmer's delectable voice has grown in recent years from a pleasing croon to a full throated wail that proves just how influential his unfortunate cadre could have been, given the chance.
What it really boils down to with Bloodline, is that the songs, as inviting as they are, just don't cut it against oldies like "My Secret" and "Devil in my Neck". As the songs begin to take form like a confluence of Rage and Soilwork, the potential bestowed upon Perzonal War grows for the current climate, but it sounds like they are flogging a dead horse; a horse that can't be revived, no matter how many exorcisms it receives.
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Faces (reviewed by 4th Horseman)|
Review: When Times Turn Red (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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