Just like Liam Neeson’s daughter throwing grenades into the streets of Istanbul in the second Taken movie, Istanbul’s Persecutory have absolutely no regard for the safety and well-being of innocent souls. In this case, however, that’s a good thing. If one is to simply look at the monikers given to each member of the band, this really will come as no surprise. You have Tyrannic Profanator on vocals, Vulgargoat on guitars and backing vocals, Infectious Torment covering the bass lines, and drumming courtesy of A.D.B (which I am quite certain doesn’t stand for Adorable Duck Booties). Say no more, folks, I’m all in.
Since the band gives you literally zero buildup at the start of the album, choosing rather to crush your skull within the first second, the first thing I noticed after scooping my eyeballs off the floor was the somewhat murky production. Does that turn some of you off? It might turn me off on paper as well, but it wasn’t long before I had reminded myself of how positively enveloping that kind of production can be. Albums such as Bathory’s Under The Sign of the Black Mark or Immortal’s Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism admittedly have some pretty rough and raw recordings, but have far more success at sucking me into their world than albums with sleeker production. It is somewhat of an interesting paradox that works in Persecutory’s favor with Towards The Ultimate Extinction.
Indeed, Persecutory are an all-out assault of blackened, cavernous thrash, much in the same vein as early Bathory or later Immortal. And yet no time is wasted paying homage. These Turkish metallers blaze their own path, and leave nothing but ash in their wake. Instead of raining hellfire on you from the above, they split the very ground you stand on and come up from below. Tyrannic Profanator and Vulgargoat gnash their stalactite and stalagmite-like teeth in one of the more hellish vocal performances you’ll find this year. Their voices are absolutely puncturing, not always concerned with saying actual words, but often times simply resorting to harrowing shrieks and echoing grunts.
Complementing the sharp, staccato vox is A.D.B’s wonderfully mixed drum kit. Falling somewhere between sledgehammers and acupuncture, the drumming is an almost tangible element, blasting its way through the mire. One would be foolish though to lay a finger on it if they value their digits. Likewise, the guitars should come with a warning label. They are deep and guttural, permeated with razor sharp leads and subtle, slicing melodies. Not much can be said about the riffs being necessarily unique, but the darkened backdrop they accomplish is anything but dull.
Everything on Towards The Ultimate Extinction works the way it should. The 42 minute run-time goes by in a flash, and not only because of the music’s breakneck speed. The fast-paced aggression that dominates the better half of the album is seasoned with just the right amount of hooks to keep things fresh, but those hooks often come in the form of a full pump on the brakes. These slower moments are not sporadic or tacked on either, but rather well-executed add-ons to an already consistent formula. The only real fault that I can find with the album is a slight lack of replay value, due in part to its slight lack of originality. But while you won’t necessarily be getting anything new with Persecutory, you will get a whole lot of the good stuff you’ve already heard. And hey, in the end, that’s more than you can say for any of the Taken films past the first one.