'What on Earth is this?' 'There is nothing else in my CD collection (over 1,500) quite like this . . . Persephone's Dream is art form. It's got a really new-age feel to it while maintaining a strong sense of rock melody. . . . This is not metal. But this is heavy.'--Ralph Walter in Rock Reunion Yes, it's hard to describe the ever-eclectic, genre-bending sounds of Persephone's Dream. But this band has been considered by many to be pioneering in a new wave of female-fronted progressive rock acts, and it vibrantly brings a fresh, unique style to the genre. In fact, the music appeals to fans of everything from gothic/industrial, to pop, to metal, to traditional rock. And, however their music is categorized, Persephone's Dream has received industry and media attention worldwide: Moonspell, PD's second release, was ranked 74th among the Canadian Progressive Music Awards Top 100 sponsored by CFLX radio in Toronto. Chaos Realm, a prog/metal webzine/publication from Maryland, nominated Opposition, PD's latest release, for Album of the Year in 2001. Rock Reunion, a webzine/publication from Denmark, gave Opposition a rare 10 out of 10 rating. (In fact, in any review to date, Opposition has not gotten below a 7.5 rating, and the vast majority were 8.5 or higher!) Artur Chacklowski of radio station Radio Alfa Krakow in Poland says cuts from Opposition have been consistently featured in his regular program along with artists such as James LaBrie (of Dream Theater), Magna Carta, Neal Morse (of Spock's Beard), and Evergrey. Highly favorable reviews, feature stories, and reports of extensive airplay have poured in from other countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and, of course, the U.S.A. So, how did such an unclassifiable yet strangely accessible sound evolve? Let's look at the history of Persephone's Dream: The band was formed in 1993 when Rowen Poole (guitar/lyrics) and Chris Siegle (bass) met and began playing and writing music together. Rowen based the band's name on the Greek myth of Persephone, which explains the seasons and whose themes revolve around the struggle of light and life against darkness and death. Rowen and Chris recorded their first CD, Evening Mirage, in house (literally) at Starglider Studios, which consisted of recording equipment in Rowen's dining room and basement. Vocals were performed by an Internet acquaintance, Judilynn Neidercorn, who was with PD for this project only. The 1997 release received some airplay and a certain amount of critical acclaim, with one cut even being used repeatedly on the U.S. soap opera The Guiding Light. In 1998-1999, Ed Wiancko (drummer) and Karin Nicely (vocals/lyrics) made PD a foursome and added their talents and influences to the second release, Moonspell, which drew countless favorable reviews from around the world. It's songs moved from haunting, moody pieces like 'Evident Dreams' to the in-your-face rock of 'Altar of Desire' and the fast-paced, punk-edged 'Alternate Reality.' One cut, 'Learning Curve,' received extensive college-radio airplay because of both it's hard-edged folksy appeal and it's subject matter--it examines the pain and confusion of date rape. Another cut, industrial-edged 'Electronic Exotic,' continues to be a favorite among PD fans in both it's recorded and live versions. Until this point, PD had only been a studio band as it was difficult to achieve the layered sound live that the band could do in the studio with only four people. Then, with the addition of John Tallent (percussion) and Kim Finney (keyboards), they decided to give live performance a try--in the large indoor riding arena on Karin's farm to an audience of friends and family. Their first public performance was actually at the 2000 Powermad Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, where they were invited to play both the preshow and to open the first official day. The festival performances brought much attention to the Pittsbugh-based act as audiences from around the world learned that Persephone's Dream was almost more powerful live than on their recording with a full, tight sound and stunning vocals. Rather than concentrate on touring at this point, however, the group decided to focus again on recording their next release, Opposition. Released in October 2001, Opposition has begun to surpass Moonspell with excellent fan and media response. It is described as being heavier and more intense in some songs (Agent of Chaos, TV Talk Show, Puppetmaster, and more), while expanding on the band's ethereal, other-worldly feel in other cuts (Endymion, Far Side of Eden). To promote this latest work, Persephone's Dream has performed to eager audiences at the 2001 Powermad Festival and at larger venues throughout the Pittsburgh area and has opened for artists like D.C. Cooper (of Royal Hunt) and Sweden's The Flower Kings. Their theatrically flavored stage show, complete with props and extensive lighting effects, in addition to their compelling sound and powerful musical presence, has continued to set them apart from other bands. Highlights mentioned repeatedly include: Karin's unique stage presence and sense of artistic movement in addition to her strong, passionate voice; the formidable rhythm section, which features intense bass lines and the polyrhythms of two superb percussionists; guitar and keyboard work that can move easily from hard-driving and intense to eerie to almost celestial. Appealing to people aged 15 to 50, this band has become accustomed to fans travelling great distances to see them perform and hearing over and over again, 'I love your CDs, but you're even better live!' Persephone's Dream plans to continue promoting Opposition by touring throughout the U.S. East Coast this year and has performance dates set through December at the time of this writing.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of