Mar 142022

(Andy Synn joins the lawless legions of Persecutory fans with this review of the band’s new album)

So, it’s official – my Hardcore phase which dominated the start of this year is now over and I am now fully engrossed in a shameless Black Metal binge, with new reviews for Vanum, Vimur, Terzij de Horde, Feral Light, and more, all in the works.

Before I get to any of those records, however, I want to draw your attention to Summoning the Lawless Legions, the recently-released second album from Istanbul’s Persecutory, as ever since I discovered it last week I’ve become addicted to its devilish delights.

For those unfamiliar with the band – as I was until last week – Persecutory deal in a blasphemous, blast-fuelled brand of Black Metal, heavily accented with an array of grim ‘n’ grisly Death Metal influences, whose raving, almost rabid vocals and raw, live-wire intensity should most definitely appeal to fans of bands like Impiety, Blasphemy, and Necrophobic (and many more besides).

From the moment that “As Serpents Ascend” kicks into high gear, you can tell that this album is “the real deal”, as it hits the ground running in a blaze of crashing chords, thundering drums, and deliciously evil melodies, and then simply does not let up for the next thirty-eight (ish) minutes.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is purely a one-trick pony of an album, however, as there are certainly a fair few surprises – such as the occasional injection of iconoclastic, imperious clean vocals, or the odd moment of moody, atmospheric introspection, as well as some soaring, malevolently-majestic solo work… and that’s just within the first song – to keep you on your toes and ensure that your attention never wanders.

That being said, if pure auditory annihilation is all you’re after, then Summoning the Lawless Legions should more than satisfy your cravings, whether that’s in the form of the strafing blastbeats and stompy, militant riffage (reminiscent, in part, of No God, No Satan-era Otargos) of “Thou Abyssic Fire in Rebellion” or the unrelenting percussive punishment and sinuous, strangling tremolo melodies of “Adorned in Primeval Seas”.

Even here though, at their most unadulteratedly extreme, the band still display a keen sense of dynamic – albeit, one executed at an absolutely blistering pace – and always seem to know just when to switch gears, or when to inject an extra dose of morbidly infectious melody, to ensure that monotony never sets in.

And, hell, it’s not as if either “Circle of the Spirit Devourers” or “The Blazing Spheres” exactly find the band easing off the gas – despite the fact that the former kicks off with a solid minute-and-a-half of gloriously grim, lurching grooves – as both tracks ultimately deliver yet another hefty helping of heart-racing drum work and hellishly intense guitars that balances the punishing precision of Dark Funeral with the ugly, uncompromising aggression of Fornicus.

But, for all that I’ve chosen, quite consciously, to drop a fair few names here and there over the course of this review – in the hopes, mainly, of attracting your attention and wetting your appetites – there’s no question, not in my mind at least, that Persecutory are more than capable of standing out from the crowd based purely on the strength of their music alone.

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