Spanish black metal band Perennial Isolation piqued my curiosity the other day on YouTube with their fourth album Portraits, released by Non Serviam Records. Now, I’m not one to pass up on checking out an album featuring a lone house in a wintry landscape, and, as iamjetflight rightly said in the video comments, “Rule of thumb: if there’s a solitary house in wooded hills coated in snow on the cover art, it’s probably going to be a very good album.”
Interestingly (and I learned this from the comments section…thank you Yuri Paharev) the artwork was made by the same painter who created Agalloch’s 2010 Marrow Of The Spirit album cover.
The song I’m feeling most attached to on Portraits right now is track three, The Breathless Season Bane. Fucking hell, fuck-ing hell it’s an atmospheric black metal onslaught in a league of its own. This tour de force gives my goosebumps goosebumps, in particular 02.40 – 02.25.
The vocals are, and I mean this sincerely, astounding in their power. They cut into me every which way. When the song ended, I swiped straight back to the beginning. It didn’t come as a surprise to discover vocalist (and bassist) A is a vocal couch. There’s so much to this track, and I feel an obligation to return to it time and again, to reap everything I can.