REVIEW: Persona – Animal

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PERSONA left their symphonic metal roots in the desert of Tunisia once they relocated to Germany in 2019. As the single released in October 2020,Alpha,” showcases, the band are currently leaning towards a far more aggressive and industrial style. Now, the upcoming new album, “Animal,” which the band will release independently on October 23rd, 2021, pretty much marks the beginning of a new chapter in PERSONA’s discography. Let’s see what it has to offer.

The industrial element is evident from the get-go as “Ghost” starts off with the sound of a machine powering up and a voiceover saying that the world would end. This is immediately followed by a wall of guitars and drums that quiet down once the aggressive vocals take over. To create more dynamics within the song, the chorus is soaring and big, before going back to the menacing mid-tempo vocals and raw instrumentals. One could argue that the album starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up until it reaches “Shadows,” the ballad of the album, which switches gears and styles completely.

As such, “Animals” continues with the industrial vibes as Jelena Dobric delivers harsh vocals, which merge well with the wicked guitar riffs. The pre-chorus and chorus are melodic and contrast with the heavy instrumental side. The track wouldn’t be complete without a nasty breakdown and it does not disappoint. “Beyond” and “Hurricane” are a bit more atmospheric with some beautiful, ethereal vocals and soft percussions, while the choruses explode in powerful vocals and guitars. “Hurricane” builds in intensity and breaks out into a heavy bridge part before a final reprise of the chorus, thus making the song overall feel more robust and harsh.

“You Can’t Stop Me” has some tribal-sounding drums and eerie vocals that set an ominous mood before it all comes together in a powerful chorus. The occasional piano adds a softer touch to the music, which gets progressively heavier and darker as the song reaches its climax. “Oracle” has some chugging guitars going for it and an interesting cadence to the vocal melody in the verses while the chorus is big and pretty catchy. “Shadows” is the album’s most beautiful moment, as it boasts a serene atmosphere guided by melancholic piano, percussions, and melodic vocals, as Jelena Dobric showcases her more emotional side.

Shout Out Loud” is an interesting track, as it has some industrial guitars and evil-sounding vocals, but also some whispers in the verses and operatic vocals in the chorus that really offset everything. What a crowd-pleaser this will be in a live setting. “Alpha” has a great singalong chorus and a tight rhythmic section underneath the vocals that makes this track melodic without sacrificing the heaviness factor. It was a great choice for a first single as it is a good indication of what to expect from the album as a whole. “Swallow the Night” has another high-energy, catchy chorus to it, which contrasts with the melodic verses while the instrumentals are somewhat more subdued than usual, letting the vocals control the direction of the music.

All-in-all, “Animal” offers many elements that will appeal to metalheads, from the wicked guitar riffs of Melik Melek Khelifa and Yosri Ouada and the precise drumming of Simon Schröder all the way to Jelena Dobric’s multifaceted vocals and subtle electronic beats. “Animal” is a more direct and straightforward album than their previous work, “Metamorphosis,” and while they have forsaken the charm of symphonic metal in the process, they have gained a vicious yet modern sound that puts PERSONA on the same list with the likes of SPIRITBOX or JINJER. The album showcases a gritty and fierce band that is ready to make their mark on the international metal scene, and I do hope people will take notice of this talented bunch.

Written by Andrea Crow

Tracklist

  • Ghost
  • Animals
  • Beyond
  • Hurricane
  • You can’t stop me
  • Oracle
  • Shadows
  • Shout out loud
  • Alpha
  • Swallow the night

Lineup

  • Jelena Dobric – Vocals
  • Melik Melek Khelifa – Guitars
  • Yosri Ouada – Guitars
  • Eike H. Nehen – Bass
  • Simon Schröder – Drums

Label

Independent

Links