Persephone's Last Breath could be the heaviest thing to come out of Covid...

Persephone's Last Breath
(Image credit: Persephone's Last Breath)

Back at the turn of the new Millennium, Richard Zananiri was, like many of us, a passionate young man with a love for metal music. Inspired by Metallica, punk rock and hardcore, he picked up a guitar and decided to try and master the instrument. Within a few years he was part of the original line up of British metaller’s Sylosis alongside current Architects guitarist (and Sylosis frontman) Josh Middelton.

Their paths would go in wildly different directions though. While Middleton has gone on to establish himself and one of the premier riff writers in the metal scene, Zananiri left the band and took a career in the corporate world. But the COVID19 pandemic meant that he found himself stuck at home and rather than twiddle his thumbs, Zananiri instead decided to pick up his guitar and create something.

"I had all this time back from not having to travel, so it gave me the chance to invest in the album," he says. "I tried to get hold of a vocalist to do some of the lyrics on the album but, again, because of COVID, I couldn’t. So, I ended up doing it all myself…"

The result is the self-written, produced and played debut album The God’s Take Pity from his new project Persephone’s Last Breath. The band name comes from Zananiri's interest in Greek mythology. "A lot of the themes of the record come from that," he says. "Persephone is known as the bringer of seasons, so some of the tracks, like the song Autumn, reflect on that." 

It’s a record that reflects its creator's personality and taste perfectly, careering through thrash metal, skate punk, groove and stomping hardcore parts with little or no interest in conforming to one singular genre. 

And despite having never sung on record before, the black-metal-style bloodcurdling screams that exited Zananiri's mouth are one of the album's most surprising and inspiring results. 

Having accidentally fallen into an entirely new idea and concept for the music, Richard now intends to take Persephone’s Last Breath even further and recruit a full band to play the songs in a live setting, once restrictions allow. 

"If you’d have asked me a year and a half ago I’d have said ‘What band?'," he says. "Now it’s about getting the band out there and seeing if people are into it, seeing if there is an appetite for it and taking it from there really. Build a band up to play live and hear them come to life in the live setting. It’s happening so fast I’ve not had a chance to really think ahead."

Truly a case of making lemonade when life gives you lemons, Persephone’s Last Breath are one of the happiest accidents to hit the metal scene in some time. For fans of any type of aggressive sounds, this is a record that needs to be heard. 

The God’s Take Pity is available on all streaming platforms now. Listen on Spotify. For more info, visit Persephone’s Last Breath's website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.