Even though, during the last 3 years or so I’ve tired of the Moribund brigade as many of their releases began to sound the same and lacked depth and ability to resonate the true energy by which they should be crafted, they do still manage a few good releases per year and Pact is one of them. I’d put off listening to this one as a promo just out of utter exhaustion until one of the members opened up to being someone with whom I’d been communicating regularly so I gave it another shot and was thankfully surprised by it’s ferocity.
From start to finish this album is a genuine heretical beast, and not so much by image and theology as by unapologetic brute force. Maybe I’ve been reading and watching too much true crime stuff with my new found free time, but some of these anthems such as “Ecstasy and Illumination” , “Dreamless Death”, “Terror of the Lower Astral (The Journey)” are angular and disharmonic chainsaw gutting riff assaults that are as violent as the Ted Bundy “ Pensacola Beatings” where the blunt force and unbridled anger did as much damage as unloading a shotgun on PCP in a fit of rage.
The sound of the entire album is thick like viscous ooze resulting from the decomposition of victims in a vat of lye, then spilling it out across 10 hymns watching it bubble and hearing it curdle and hiss like molasses on a hot plate. Each song is unique in structure as no two feel the same, they are all rhythmic turbulent like a jagged jigsaw cut across the grain that’s rugged and forceful but still gives in to a steady fluidic flow. Unlike what is commonly misconceived about black metal, most of the songs are actually structured and layered and entangled into a complex knot of sonic masculinity that will drown you in your own breath and saliva. Prepare yourself for industrial power tool riffing and seismic distortion from the darkest fathoms of depravity and seal your fate with Pact.
I hate to give comparisons and therefore won’t, but I must say that if you really enjoy down tuned and angular disharmonic chords with reptilian gargled vocals then definitely check out Pact!!!! In conclusion, it is refreshing to hear black metal still pulsing new malice and extreme ugliness into a flattened and deflated scene of nonsense, clichés, image, and nostalgia. Please do not let the juvenile cover art dissuade you like it did me, it’s cheap and ridiculous looking and absolutely unrepresentable of the explosive mania contained within it.