Romanian-by-way-of-Los-Angeles black metal band Persekutor finally released their debut LP at the end of last year.
The album Permanent Winter is easily the best representation of the band’s sound, with vocalist Vlad the Inhaler, persisting in his wanton impression of Athenar of Midnight fronting a Celtic Frost cover band playing for beer money, backed by a new line-up that now includes members of Ides of Gemini, Deth Crux, and Lightening Sword of Death, playing a salacious, permafrost-submerged, and Hellhammered variety of rock ‘n’ roll.
Broadly speaking, black metal and rock ‘n ‘roll have been more open about their sinful love affair in recent years, making the careers of bands like Tribulation possible, while managing to seduce even masters of the dark arts like Abbath, whose 2019 album Outsider had as much unleaded Motorhead as it did latter-day Immortal in its tank.
Persekutor are in a different league, though. They’re not just attempting shadow puppet mimicry of the antics of pre-Norwegian-wave black metal. No, instead, Permanent Winter is the first chapter of a blasphemous, autobiographical-gospel of a prince of hell, one who has formed his own fridge, separatist ring.
The first track, “Babylon Of the Snows,” is a cold-slough-shoveling, groovy trudge and maniacal march, pricked relentlessly by frost-biting tremolos, depicting a vision of absolute victory over a clandestine enemy, told through the acidic burp of Vlad’s reptilian snarl. Next, “Can You Feel The Frost of Dawn” picks up the pace with an epic, Viking-spirited, warrior-herald evoking groove and harmed with the cold-heat of a stinging, speed metal-inspired tremolos, a triumphant sounding track, followed by the doldrums-dwelling, hungry troll-trot of “Winter’s Meat.”
“Ice Wars” has sharp, evil, guitars that flash and fall like deadly, plummeting stalactites made of ice, piercing and cracking the Earth in twine upon impact, and “Arctic Frost” has a gothic, un-penitent quality to it’s boastful and dramatic presentation of the profane.
Vlad really leans into the slick and vile quality to his voice on this album, giving his verses a percussive quality, as well as an unnatural grain, like a dog whose tongue is too large for its mouth, and in hanging from the side of its mouth like the end-tip of an old belt, has acquired the texture-quality of snakeskin. Nowhere is his frothy, cold, saliva-drowned vocals at their most grotesque then on “Black Death Punk Skins,” where the squeeze of motorcycle-throttle-esque guitars, skid through a wet slurry of blood-soaked snow-pack resting atop a rat-gnawed foundation of proto-crust, rock ‘n’ roll rhythms.
You can stream the entirety of Persekutor’s Permanent Winter via Bandcamp below: