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Where Old World superstition meets the cold, gray reality of life in the former Soviet Bloc, there is “Romanian ice metal”.
Conceived in rural Transylvania by a heavy metal enthusiast named Vladislav Bârladeanu, PERSEKUTOR follow in the great tradition of early rock-based black metal masters like Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory, channeled through the vicious, unflinching efficiency of AC/DC.
The band’s first widely available recording was a seven-inch single entitled Power Frost, released in 2013 on now-defunct Magic Bullet Records. A pair of cassette demos followed—2014’s Arctic Cross and 2015’s Ice Wars—both released in severely limited quantities.
On a visit to Los Angeles in 2015, Vlad was introduced to Lightning Swords Of Death guitarist Inverted Chris Velez, and the duo collaborated on a cover of Celtic Frost’s Procreation (Of The Wicked) for Morbid Tales! A Tribute To Celtic Frost, released later that year by Corpse Flower Records.
In 2018, Vlad moved to Hollywood and recruited members of prominent underground musical entities to fulfill his purpose. Velez was retained on guitar, along with Saviours / Ides Of Gemini drummer Scott Batiste and Deth Crux / Ides Of Gemini bassist Adam Murray. The newly minted band made their American live debut in Los Angeles in September of that year, opening for Brazilian black-thrashers Power From Hell. The show ended in a stabbing and massive police presence.
Two months later, PERSEKUTOR played the pre-party for Decibel magazine’s inaugural Los Angeles Metal & Beer Fest, alongside Armored Saint, Night Demon and Uada. The band’s next show was at a strip club in Hollywood, where the dancers—driven to a frenzy by the band’s animal magnetism—joined them onstage for maximum visual stimulation.
In 2019, PERSEKUTOR entered Veracuda Studios in El Sereno to record their first proper full-length. The sessions were helmed by engineer extraordinaire Phil Vera, who also happens to be the guitarist for powerviolence legends Crom and Despise You—not to mention noted ale enthusiasts Trappist.
The result is Permanent Winter, nine songs inspired by Carpathian survivalist tales, Transylvanian booze fighters and the ever-present threat of freezing to death. It is the uncompromising spirit of Eastern European black metal mainlined into the collapsed vein of greasy rock n’ roll.
Consider yourself warned.