Origin: Tunis, Tunisia
Album: Elusive Reflections
Released: 12 February 2016
Tunisian metal band Persona has delivered an earworm with their Elusive Reflections debut full-length which we at metal4africa have been very excited to listen to since we heard the first samples from it in early 2015. Elusive Reflections has finally been released independently by Persona on 12 February 2016 after many months of preparation.
Within the first track, ‘Somebody Else’, the listener can already gain a strong sense for the band’s identity with a Middle-Eastern-styled melody woven into aggressive guitars and smooth female vocals. Whilst not actually sticking to that specific style throughout, what can definitely be summarized about the whole album in this initial track is that Persona communicates as an emotive powerhouse delivered on the strength of highly capable musicianship and stunning vocals.
With the mood already set, the second track ‘Blinded’ comes smashing in with an anthemic intro riff and builds spectacularly into the song chosen to represent the album with a music video; and probably the beacon light of Persona‘s solid songwriting ability.
At this early point of the album, already, we can tell that the musical instincts of the creative minds within this band are strong, and they continue to effortlessly navigate our listening pleasure through the remaining eight songs of their self-produced soundscape which follows. Soaring vocals, beautiful harmonies and delicate interludes are juxtaposed against aggressive bridges, flashy solos and other instrumental wizardry to satisfy the tastes progressive, rock, heavy metal and gothic sensibilities. One can easily forget that they are listening to a humble local band from the ironic setting of North Africa, and who have not yet even ventured beyond the border of their own country. My imagination could easily place Persona on tour as supporting the likes of Lacuna Coil or Within Temptation.
Whilst each song seems to stand tall on it’s own merits, other highlights for this particular listener’s ear includes the songs ‘Ageless’ and ‘Monsters’ in which I feel that Jelena Dobric’s vocal abilities are put through their most rigorous trials and come out on top. Of course, these personal highlights are by no means intended to diminish the regard for musicianship or songwriting contained within the rest of the album, as each song is rich with adventure. But we are, after all, all entitled to our personal gems, and to enjoy them for reasons of our own.
Of course, the gorgeous album art also merits a mention. Created by a fellow Tunisian named Bader Klidi (also created artwork for another Tunisian band, Myrath), it further represents Persona‘s resourcefulness and ability to draw from local resources to create an internationally viable product. The artwork depicts the band’s vocalist set into a fantasy environment suited to the albums Elusive Reflections title.
Hopefully you can be enticed into a purchase of Elusive Reflections by Persona by sampling it via streaming audio at their bandcamp page, or find it on other sources such as iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, AmazonMusic, etc.