It’s British summertime as I write this and it’s really muggy down here in the south. I’m fat, sweaty and going through what I believe to be a ‘hot flush’….I need to cool down and what better way than with some music that conjures up images of a world gripped by a never ending permafrost, where tears turn to ice as soon as they leak out of your ducts, all whilst your confronted by the frozen ghoul splattered across the front cover of this record. I give you Romanian maniacs Persekutor and their debut record Permanent Winter that releases this Friday, September 4th via Svart Records.
After three EP’s and seven years, Persekutor have readied their avalanche of a new record. Conjoured up in rural Transyalvania, Permanent Winter is twenty nine minutes of a blended up mix of classic black, death, speed and thrash metal paying tribute to 80s legends like Celtic Frost, Bathory and Venom. The music isn’t overly technical but sounds evil, twisted and crushingly heavy, with filth covered crunching riffs, which sometimes border on booze soaked rock ‘n’ roll, pounding drums and viciously grim yet rousing vocals. Every verse comes across like it’s designed for the audience to sing alongside the hilariously named ‘Vlad The Inhaler’. Who knew asthma reached the grim and frost bitten lands of….um Romania.
There’s an inherent humour to this record which you can see within the lyrics spewed over the top of the instrumentation on offer. Songs about Carpathian survivalist tales and Transylvanian booze fighters lead to some powerful, if simple, lyrics. I think this humour might split people. Some people might love its whimsical styled aggression, while others I think will find it a wee bit tacky for their liking. But that’s the great thing about music, everyone has their own taste. Personally, I, as an old school heavy metal enthusiast, found at certain points the lyrics, when matched with the powerful riffs, drew me right in and had me dreaming of the icy lands of Blashrykh and I love it. However, at other times it detracted from the music on display. This is perfectly epitomized on the opener Babylon Of The Snows.
The music isn’t overly technical but sounds evil, twisted and crushingly heavy, with filth covered crunching riffs…
Musically, there are some excellent moments. The riffs on Chained To The Tundra are just great, really thick tremolo picked fun that you just can’t ignore. Alongside his sickening riffs, Chris Velez kills it with some excellent and the best can be heard on Ice Wars. As eluded to earlier this isn’t the most technical of records. If anything it’s a tad formulaic in places but it’s meant to be. This is 100% a throwback to all those groups that ‘Vlad the Inhaler’ loves from back in the day. You can hear this across the record with the Tom G Warrior esque vocals, the Venom esque riffs and the Sabbat style punching drum work.
The whole nostalgia thing is really fun and its got me listening to loads of old records that came to mind when listening to Permanent Winter. This is something that I think a lot of people will enjoy and I’m going to check out these guy’s previous EP’s based on this material. The record has got its flaws as mentioned above but hey, it’s got some kick ass riffs and some contagious sing along moments which stand out above the few criticisms. This record needs to be taken for what it is. So if you like your metal to be nostalgic and infectiously fun then I’d check out this record as I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Scribed by: Matt Alexander