Reviews list for Persuader - When Eden Burns (2006)

When Eden Burns

It's an understatement to say that I am not the world's biggest European Power Metal fan, but I can get along with it in small doses and whenever I am confronted by an album of EUPM, I hold out some hope that this will be the one to change my mind on the genre as a whole. Spoiler alert: this is not that album, but I didn't find listening to it to be a terrible chore either. Instrumentally When Eden Burns had a fair bit to enjoy with the odd killer, thrashy riff and some nice soloing on display. However, my primary and perennial issue with EUPM is in the vocal department where OTT delivery seems to be a requirement, as does the Queen-like layered backing vocals, all of which do sweet FA for me I'm afraid. Sure, I like vocalists who have range - I really dig such metal stalwarts as Dickinson, Halford and even Joey Belladonna - but there is just something about the lead vocals in EUPM that rubs me up the wrong way. The earnestness with which the lyrics are delivered is often just too much for me to take seriously and ultimately I find this area to be where the cheesy odour that pervades EUPM smells strongest. To be sure, Persuader vocalist Jens Carlsson is far from the most egregious example of OTT vocalists, but it's still a part of Persuader's sound, as are those irritating, choral backing vocals. Thankfully Persuader don't feel the need to double-down on the excess by drenching their sound with layer upon layer of keyboards and this is a wise move, because when they are at their best, ie when they are at their most thrashy they have quite a visceral sound, not unlike early Iced Earth.

I can't claim any great urge to revisit When Eden Burns after this and I know it may feel like I am damning with faint praise, but it is one of the least annoying euro-pm albums I have heard.

Sonny Sonny / May 19, 2023 10:01 AM
When Eden Burns

Persuader was one of the bands I started listening to a couple years ago in an attempt to revive my power metal interest. What was once an incredible genre ended up being generic and out of place for the taste in metal going a more modern heavy direction. And despite the motivation to revive my more melodic past, it all ended up blowing up in my face a year after I discovered this band...

Fast forward to a year later when I was helping Xephyr with the Guardians playlists in his absence, the results of which gave me the courage to give this album another go. And it still blows my mind away! With melodic yet heavy riffing and amazing vocals, I'm glad to still recognize most of the greatness of this Swedish power metal band.

The album's strong opener "Twisted Eyes" begins with a sampled line from Alec Baldwin in the film Malice, "You ask me if I have a God complex? Let me tell you something... I am God." Then we blast off through great riffing and vocals. The track has some impressive technical soloing, and there's plenty more in this album. Another track to carve the band's name into the power metal stone is "Slaves of Labour". Same thing with "Sending You Back".

"R.S. Knights" is suitable for some mighty combat battles in RuneScape, which I'm guessing is where the name comes from if the band members play that MMORPG. That song and "The Return" have nice soloing. Many songs are fast enough to almost be considered melodic thrash like the title track. The song that got me into this band via an earlier Guardians playlist is "Judas Immortal", and it's still so awesome! It starts with a Nevermore-like rapid-fire thrash intro, then the vocals come in once again reminding me of Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch. Speedy power metal adrenaline from this underrated band!

"Doomsday News" has more impressive vocals. The sing-along chorus has some power metal glory that still touches my heart. The small amount of harsh vocals have a bit of a Children of Bodom vibe. All that's missing is keyboards for soloing, but that would cause too much cheese. Well, the interlude "Zion" has a bit of electronic sampling that leads into beautiful guitar melody. Fast bass and drums blast through "Enter Reality", though I think that closing track is a bit of an afterthought for me. Oh well...

Apparently, Persuader had some turbulence after this album's release which caused the next one's delay. Their label at the time, Dockyard 1 Records shut down, and the band members were focused on other projects. Still the band had strong determination in their writing, and When Eden Burns should've given this underrated band more attention!

Favorites: "Twisted Eyes", "R.S. Knights", "When Eden Burns", "Judas Immortal", "Doomsday News"

Shadowdoom9 (Andi) Shadowdoom9 (Andi) / May 08, 2023 09:12 AM
When Eden Burns

I am not a massive power metal fan, something I may have declared elsewhere in other reviews or forum threads on Metal Academy.  Beyond (some) Blind Guardian albums I struggle to find much in the way of entertainment from the genre.  A lot of this is down to a lack of any real aggression or actual power (pun intended) to most albums I listen to.  Sometimes there’s a depth and richness to the songwriting that makes up for it, like with Twilight Force’s Dawn of the Dragonstar for example.  In those instances the balance of cheesy synths and slightly more subdued riffage feels to be acceptable as long as they are held within the confines of epic song structures that deliver power to the tracks in a way other than rhythmic chugs and chops.

Persuader are perhaps one of the first bands I have heard that actually sound like how I always imagined power metal bands should sound.  On When Eden Burns the band delivers a strong and consistent performance, balancing solid songwriting with biting riffs and robust structures that combine elements of the epic power I mentioned above with the sheer power of the instruments in their hands (and the vocal chords in their throats).

I find the vocalist reminds me a lot of Blind Guardian (let’s not forget that band is probably my sole existing reference point for power metal at this stage) which is not a bad thing by any means as there’s enough differentiation on the rest of the sound to show a clear gap between these Swedes and the aforementioned German act.  The other similarity here is with the quality of the musicianship on show, which although doesn’t quite hit the dizzy heights of some of the better work from Blind Guardian, is still proof that when you get a bunch of talented musicians together then real magic can happen.

The album feels rewarding to listen to.  Like the promise of the content behind the artwork is delivered across the whole album and not just on a few standout tracks.  Although it shows variety in pace and tempo the experience is pleasantly intense feeling like you’re being given some power metal workout minus kettle bells and resistance bands.  Not being massively familiar with the band I don’t know how this album measures up to previous releases (or any that may have followed) but I am willing to bet that as I journey through the discography this will prove to be one of the stronger releases I find.

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / August 25, 2020 08:33 PM
When Eden Burns

Uniformly excellent material from one of the most powerful-sounding power metal bands. They really do put the 'Power' in 'Power Metal'.

On When Eden Burns, Persuader have traded a bit of their raw aggression for greater emphasis on streamlined songwriting, yet somehow also sound meaner and more "evil" than before. The dark lyrics to songs like "Twisted Eyes" and "Judas Immortal" help with that. Persuader is isn't your stereotypical sing-songy power metal act. Not at all. These guys are seething at Christianity and the folly of man. They pair it with a distinct thrash metal influence and a new tasty crunch to the guitar sound that helps differentiate them even further along those lines. But Persuader's biggest strength is undoubtedly their vocalist: Jens Carlsson. He has a distinctive raspy tone to his voice that can send shivers down your spine when he pushes it into the higher registers, and consistently combines it with ungodly-addictive choruses that stick in your brain.

All of this comes together to create a lethal double-sided sword of anthemic melody and sinister atmosphere. 

The highlight of the album is "Judas Immortal", so don't quit listening until you get to that song. Complete with an acoustic section, an excellent solo and a spine-tingling outro, this song is truly an epic that any power metal fan will love. However, just about all of the songs are catchy and brimming with energy and conviction. Highly recommended for any metal fan.

illusionist illusionist / September 28, 2019 12:55 AM