Persefone & Poem

April 19, 2017 - Doornroosje, Nijmegen (NL)

On the nineteenth of April 2017, when spring had turned to fall and we were only granted a few days of summer in between, Nijmegen's venue Doornroosje hosted the second Dutch day of Persefone's tour throughout Europe. During this tour the Andorra sextet brought Greek Poem as support, in my opinion a perfect opener, making the evening a very interesting event.

Due to the amount of tickets sold for the shows, the initial venue; Merleyn was upgraded to the secondary stage of Doornroosje. A fine venue where both bands as well as attending audience had more space to express themselves.


Openers, Greek progressive/ alternative metallers Poem are a quite experienced band. Although they only exist since 2006, Poem has already opened for bands like Textures and Amorphis. With two albums under the belt, of which the debut The Great Secret Show was released in 2009, the focus was on Poem's 2016 album
George Prokopiou
Skeim Syndrome. Only the song Giant was played from their debut album. On stage Poem was a real pleasure to watch, the band has an enigmatic front man in vocalist and guitar player George Prokopiou; a vocalist that keeps his voice in accessible ranges. At some points similarities to Volbeat's Michael Poulsen can be heard, which in my opinion also links the band's music to the alternative side of rock/ metal. What basically stands out is the tightness of the compositions played, this over the inventiveness of the compositions. In short, the focus lay on energy, power and most of all a great time on stage. This said, off stage, after the show it was really great to hang out with these amiable persons. Live Poem played massive riffs and is loaded with subtle melodies, but the main attraction is the great voice of George, who during Remission Of Breath leaves the guitar playing to Laurence Zervas Bergström and totally focuses on his incredible vocal parts.


Marc Martins
After a short break and holding to the tight schedule of the evening Andorra's pride Persefone entered the stage. The show celebrated the release of their fifth album; Aathma, perhaps the finest one so far by the progressive melodeath riff masters. Eye catcher, undoubtedly is frontman, growler Marc Martins, whose energy seemed to spread over to the whole band and also the audience seemed to become mega energized by the performance of this perfect entertainer. Persefone kicked off at full speed, blending heavy, superfast riffs with high speed drum parts, but as always the brutality is compensated by Miguel Espinosa, whose clean vocals and melodic keyboards beautifully contrast to all the power that surrounds him.
It was amazing to watch both Carlos Lozano and Filipe Baldaia playing those fast riffs with a precision that seems beyond belief, bass player Tony Mestre joined at times or kept a steady pace at other points.
What absolutely deserved credits was the way Persefone translated the song Living Waves to the stage. Marc Martins confessed he is unable to re-produce the original guest vocalist's distinguished vocals, therefore Paul Masvidal's contribution was mixed into the live band. The way this was brought on stage only increases the respect I had for the band.
But when you get to see Persefone live, you also get to see some other sides of their music, halfway the set the band turned to some fine atmospheric parts: The Wind Book and Purity, sung by Miguel, but highlighting Carlos Lozano's skills on the guitar. A little personal downer at this point was, some of the youngsters around me used this moment of rather tranquility to start meaningless conversations, too bad they couldn't appreciate the whole picture that Persefone represents. But with Marc back on stage the power continued and the crowd was seriously anticipating the music, resulting in a real circle pit during Fall To Rise.
All in all Pesefone basically came, saw and totally blew the place away, leaving the audience on an absolute high.


After the show both Poem as well as Persefone attended the merch desk and took their time to catch up with the remaining audience. Yes, the responsible part of the audience left pretty soon after the band finished. Wednesday and jobs I guess. But a number of us stayed and got the chance to have a nice beer and to talk extensively to both bands.

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen), pictures by Ton Dekkers.

Setlist Poem:

Line up Poem:

Setlist Persefone:

Line up Persefone:

Passive Observer
Bound Insanity
Remission Of Breath
George Prokopiou:
lead vocals and guitar
Laurence Zervas Bergström:
Stratos Haidos:
Stavros Rigos:
An Infinitesimal Spark
One Of Many
Prison Skin
The Great Reality
No Faced Mindless
The Water Book
The Endless Path
Spiritual Migration
The Wind Book
Cosmic Walkers
Living Waves
Fall to Rise
Flying Sea Dragons
Mind As Universe!
Marc Martins:
growls and grunts
Carlos Lozano:
Filipe Baldaia:
Miguel Espinosa:
keyboards and clean vocals
Tony Mestre:
Sergi "Bobby" Verdeguer:

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