What I know about Pact is that they are an american “black metal” trio, and, to be honest, I spent some time looking and could not really find out much more than that about them. Not all that important, at times a little mystique is good because at the end of the day it is really about the music and not the artist per se. “The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating The Threshold Of Night” is their second album and will be out April 15, 2014 on Moribund Records. I don’t generally review a lot of black metal, not that I dislike it, I just don’t listen to a lot of it. What I have heard I like, so how does Pact hold my attention, let’s see?
The opener ‘The Hell of Supernal’s’ starts out with brutal riffs and drum and bass that hits you in the chest with rapid fire succession. Fast brutal, and to be honest quite good, its got a real heavy thrash feel coupled with some real death metal brutality is the way it goes into my brain. So if this is black metal, count another band in my “like” column. This opener is aggression fueled, which is music I can get behind any day of the week. There is nothing better than listening to music that makes you want to break shit to round out a stressed filled day, it’s a cathartic release. ‘Baal-Zebub Lord of the Flies’ is second up and Pact have stayed on their fast paced, rapid fire riff and blast beat course, with a new song structure gives some dark variance from the first track to the second. I am always afraid this will sound the same at times but thankfully this trio keeps nicely varied.
Interestingly, the vocals on this release are extremely well delivered. They are not overly engineered and there is enough organic sound to remain true to what I think the artists want to deliver. Having this organic sound lends a slab of credibility to this music, no one wants to hear extreme music artificially sweetened. We want the anger and rage fueled sound to give us a concussion, thankfully this does. The vocals range between a growl and scream while still being able to make out a word or two, very impressively done. ‘Asmodeus Beast of Judgement’ captures the essence of the record musically. It has some really nice varied tempo changes, and some great guitar work, as well as the fast and the furious, and really goes into how diverse this band is and what they could achieve. You come to realize it’s not all about speed here, there is a great assembly of riffs, notes, and bass lines showcased nicely on this track.
Overall a really good record, even for black metal novices like myself. Maybe some will think I missed the point of the album not delving into the philosophy behind the lyrics, maybe, but in the end if the music doesn’t reach out and choke you, then the lyrics dont matter one bit. I dig the dark music Pact has assembled here, they have done a tremendous job in song writing as well as production. Their organic sound delivers blow after blow of dark, black metal. I am left with one thought, when do they start touring and will they be close enough to me for me to make it to a show. If they are this brutal on a recording they must lay total waste to whatever venue they play; count me in!