Serenity, passion and liveliness, but above all high-end Symphonic Metal, directly from Paraguay into your heart, mind and soul.
This is the first time ever we at The Headbanging Moose get to review a band from Paraguay, and based on the high quality of the music by Symphonic Metal act Pergana I can’t wait to receive more and more material from the Paraguayan underground metal scene. Although Pergana’s brand new album The Visit might be just an EP containing four songs in a little less than 17 minutes, the potential and the passion for Heavy Metal are definitely there, allowing the band to undoubtedly aim higher and higher with their future releases.
After releasing their first promotional single in 2010 called Frozen Heart and an EP in 2011 entitled The Mirror of Silence, which led to their music being played in radio stations all over the American and European continents, Pergana seem to be on the right path with The Visit. Recorded and mixed at Blind Owl Studio (Paraguay) and mastered at the famous Finnvox Studios (Finland), it’s evident that the band drinks from the magical fountain of Scandinavian Symphonic Metal to write their music, but that doesn’t mean they do not add their own touch and personality to the compositions.
The first song of the EP, entitled Return to Innocence, reveals a bold and exciting musicality relying heavily on the synchronicity between the riffs by Matt Martinez and the keyboards by Adrian Benegas, with an absurdly catchy chorus that will make you sing along with the band for sure. Moreover, the vocals by the gorgeous frontwoman Angela Aquino are spot-on to what the music demands, reminding me of the voice tones from renowned divas such as Simone Simons and Floor Jansen.
Then we have the title-track, The Visit, presenting a more rhythmic and straightforward musicality and emotional lyrics commonly found in Symphonic Metal. Drummer Seba Ramirez doesn’t let the energy level go down, therefore maintaining a good flow of the music, also boosted by the excellent guitar solo by Matt. In The Whisper, Pergana offer a smooth sonority focused on the beautiful voice by Angela, growing into a pleasant semi-acoustic ballad where Angela obviously takes the lead but with a huge contribution by the other band members in crafting a serene and introspective ambience. In addition to that, I’m pretty sure fans of the genre will feel touched by the song’s lyrics.
And last but not least we have Redemption, recorded at Angels Cry Studios (Germany) and featuring bassist Oliver Holzwarth and drummer Alex Holzwarth, known as The Holzwarth Brothers, whose solid skills enhance the song’s effectiveness. With its first part following a similar pattern than the previous tune (especially the melancholy emanating from the piano notes by Adrian), Angela once again showcases a very passionate performance before the second part of the song brings forward some traditional Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with hints of progressiveness added to it through its keyboards and riffs.
If Pergana will truly excel in the world of heavy music only time will tell, but in the meantime I recommend you pay a visit to their Facebook page and YouTube channel to know more about this talented band from the “distant kingdom” of Paraguay, and you can also purchase The Visit at the CD Baby website. If you want to feel serenity, passion and liveliness flowing directly into you heart, mind and soul, Pergana have what it takes to satisfy your most impassioned yearnings.
Best moments of the album: Return to Innocence.
Worst moments of the album: None.
Released in 2015 Independent
1.Return to Innocence 4:09
2.The Visit 3:37
3.The Whisper 3:43
4.Redemption (feat. The Holzwarth Brothers) 5:04
Angela Aquino – vocals
Matt Martinez – guitars
Adrian Benegas – keyboards
Seba Ramirez – drums
Oliver Holzwarth – bass on “Redemption”
Alex Holzwarth – drums on “Redemption”
Aldo Benegas – bass on “Return to Innocence” and “The Visit”
Gonzalo Codas – narration on “Redemption”