Album: Brain Freeze
Release Date: October 7th 2022
Location: Los Angeles, California
I was lucky enough to recently see Persekutor live at Brick By Brick in San Diego. Going into the show I had only heard one song from the band so wasn’t sure what to expect. All I can say is WOW did these guys blow me away on so many levels. Following the show, I immediately dove headfirst into their music and was pleased to find that they just released a new EP and so I present to you Brain Freeze.
I guess the best way to describe the band’s style is Black ‘N’ Roll or blackened heavy metal with some occasional thrash elements sprinkled in. Whatever you choose to call their sound one thing is for sure, it absolutely rocks, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. Every member of the band is a master at what they do, and each brings their own energy and charisma to the mix.
For me personally though it was the raw charisma and unbridled energy of the band’s vocalist Vlad the Inhaler that immediately had me hooked. He sounds fantastic on the album but unfortunately, it’s impossible to fully appreciate just how great he is without seeing the band live. His style is a perfect take on black metal that provides just enough raw aggression while ensuring that the lyrics remain fully understandable. If they were any harsher, they would negatively impact the rock energy of the music but if they were any less harsh the band would lose too much of its edge, so I have to applaud the balance found there.
(Photo by Robert Sustersic, all rights reserved 2022 ©, taken at Brick By Brick)
The other element that had me hooked live was the sheer volume of riffs that were hurled at the audience. Not only are the riffs plentiful but they’re incredibly catchy and will have you headbanging your way right to the chiropractor’s office. That’s the thing I’ve always appreciated about black ‘n’ roll, the sheer cathines that bands bring to a genre like black metal, but they manage to do so in a very different way to melodic black metal. To me this type of thing is so much more enjoyable because you know that the band is having just as much fun playing the music as the audience is listening to it.
The album’s title track Brain Freeze kicks off the EP with a real bang and hits the audience with some serious swagger. The song has a heavy focus on the band’s rock influences. There’s as catchy of a chorus as you can ask for, a killer dual guitar solo and a generally fantastic rhythm and flow throughout the track. The second track Blizzard of 78 takes a far more black metal approach to things and the difference to the opening track is immediately obvious. There’s just more aggression, things feel rawer, and the song overall is heavier and slightly less catchy. The balance struck between the two tracks perfectly demonstrates the band’s varied influences.
I think that the decision to include two cover songs on the EP was an excellent choice. This is the type of band that brings a fresh spin and some new life to classic tracks. They chose to cover two fantastic bands too with Flight of Icarus by Iron Maiden and Let Me Put My Love Into You by AC/DC. What I like about these songs is that the band keep the original version recognisable but completely make each track their own. To some extent these covers actually make me think of a band I used to love back in the day One Man Army and the Undead Quartet (featuring Johan Lindstrand of The Crown).
Overall, I think that this is a genuinely fun and enjoyable EP and that it gives any new listeners to the band an idea of what they’re all about. If you enjoy black metal with substantial heavy metal and rock influences, then I highly recommend this album and this band. If you ever get a chance to, make sure to catch them live in order to get the full experience.
Listen to and order the album: