Pennsylvania's Persephone's Dream have recorded quite a unique batch of tunes for this, the bands third release titled Opposition. Combining equal parts metal, hard rock, prog, goth, and pop, the group has the potential to appeal to a wide audience, and the songwriting and musicianship throughout this fine CD is stellar.
It may be an understatement to say that female fronted gothic or prog bands are in abundance these days, but Persephone's Dream, and lead singer Karin Nicely in particular, try to stay away from the operatic wailing mixed with doomy atmospheric textures that is so common in many other acts. Her voice is more like a powerful yet understated combination of Lana Lane and Pat Benatar. A song like "10th Moon" is a great example of the skills that this band has, combining dramatic tension from all the instruments (jazz-fusion like bass and drums, spacey keys, and killer but understated guitar licks) with Nicely's mysterious vocals. The singer has written some vague and suggestive lyrics here, which will take a few reads and listens to fully comprehend, but are really intelligent and mysterious on their own. Other tracks are hard hitting, and approach metal, like the amazing "Endymion" or the churning "Bevel." All of the players display talents, especially guitarist Rowen Poole, but this is more of a band effort than a bunch of soloists. Drummer Ed Wiancko and bassist Chris Siegle show some amazing synergy, and keep the overall sound extremely tight, while keyboard player Kim Finney adds nice tapestries and soundscapes with her arsenal of instruments. All of these qualities are in full force on the classic "Stormchaser", a prog epic with raging vocals, heavy guitars, and a manic rhythm section. This track goes from atmospheric, to doomy complex prog, to all-out metal in the blink of an eye.
Opposition is a solid release from Persephone's Dream, and should appeal to progressive rock fans who like a heavy dose of melody and punch to their music. Those wanting ultra complex music with lots of time changes may want to go elsewhere, but for good songwriting and memorable instrumentation you can't go wrong here. An added plus is the very colorful CD booklet, which is chock full of lyrics and cool artwork.