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Review: Persuader - Evolution Purgatory
Evolution Purgatory

Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 46:59
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: March 24, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.26/5 (85.22%) (23 Votes)

This could almost have been called "Resurrection" (thankfully they did not - that album title has been abused in the past 5 years! :)) Persuader released their highly acclaimed debut "The Hunter" back in 2000, but right from the beginning it suffered from poor distribution, and then the label folded just a few months after the release. Persuader then disbanded, but reunited last year and finally got this Noise/Sanctuary record deal through the "Young Metal Gods" competition. That this band needed to enter such a contest to get a record deal is incomprehensible, but it's the end result that count: This time they are on a well-established label that pretty much specialises in their genre of metal, and if all goes well these Swedish metallers will finally get the recognition and exposure they deserve. Better late than never.

"Evolution Purgatory" is not an "instant click" like "The Hunter" was; It is more of a grower. In fact, the first three or four times I listened to it, I must admit I was a bit bored.. Well, maybe "bored" isn't the correct word - I guess I was expecting "The Hunter Part 2". Anyway, after putting it aside for a few days, I gave it a few more spins and now I can listen to it all day long and keep discovering stuff that I had missed on previous listens. I'd be hard pressed to actually compare Persuader to anyone but themselves. Not that they're way out there, but they do have their own sound which sounds like a well-orchestrated mix of various power metal influences. Overall the atmosphere is positive-sounding, much like in their debut album with which "Evolution Purgatory" shares a lot of elements without being repetitive either (other than the fact that they re-recorded "Fire at Will" for this album, of course. :)) Think of a mix of Gamma Ray, Iron Savior and maybe even a bit of Primal Fear for the most aggressive parts - all this without actually sounding like these bands. Yeah that's very vague, I know. :) The bottom line is that they sound like Persuader...

The choir parts might turn off some people, but Persuader actually pull this off pretty good overall, although it does sound too cheesy in a song or two. One impression I could not shake is that it sounds like the vocals are the focal point driving the songs here, while it's usually more a job for the lead guitar. The vocalist does quite a decent job, although in a few spots it seems like he wanted to go higher but didn't quite have the necessary range. Despite this, you'll find yourself remembering the vocal melodies more than the music; The same can be said of the band's debut.

I think I still prefer their debut, but "Evolution Purgatory" is a good follow up and more importantly a good indication that Persuader were not a "one hit wonder". The songwriting has evolved, resulting in slightly more complex compositions that will most likely require most listeners some time to take this all in and appreciate this album for what it is. Keep that in mind if, like me, you were immediately blown away by the debut: This is good but you have to work a bit to get there.

More about Persuader...
Review: Necromancy (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Hunter (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: When Eden Burns (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
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