Persuader – “The Fiction Maze” (Inner Wound Recordings)
Whoa – hit the brakes – this is stampeding power / thrash metal from Umeå, Sweden! Persuader are one of these bands who when things come together could’ve been created by genius’s – if not for the label problems, line up changes etc. Like an incredible cross between Metallica, Blind Guardian and a hint of WASP, it looks like no one needed persuading about the band given the number of awards, competitions and reviews they’ve received since their inception in 1997. Still, it almost ground to a halt – or rather did – since 2007 when the plans were being laid for this album. With their former label finally going bust the band disbanded for several years but the faith remained and gradually the energy returned – and I’m so glad it did with Inner Wound sensibly stepping in to fund this excellent album. Soaring vocals, thick crunching riffs piled upon one another laced with epic melodies and a thunderous rhythm set the pace to songs like ‘Son Of Sodom’, ‘Dagon Rising’ and ‘Worlds Collide’. Persuader have taken their time to write, re-write, improve and finally record with the right mix and its clearly paid off on this vigorous album, complete with a matching bombastic sound courtesy of Ronnie Björnström (Aeon, Apostasy, Bone Gnawer). “The Fiction Maze” is proof that it’s way too soon to write off one of Sweden’s best mello power thrash bands!