Featuring members of Uncoffined and Winds of Genocide, this band from Durham in the North East of England provide 4 sinister heavy metal tracks in line with the NWOBHM, Witchfinder General, Pagan Altar and very early Mercyful Fate. The aura around the recording is vintage and thoroughly authentic. In fact it reminds me of a release last year by Tyfon’s Doom. But you may draw some parallels to other bands from across the pond.

The male vocals are of a similar tone to the likes of Visigoth, even Slough Feg and there’s also the doomier elements to consider. The title track ‘The Pact’ has galloping rhythms, and the typical hammer-on NWOBHM riff, it’s just great you know. Then there is the imagery you can portray in your mind which is pretty spectacular as you draw yourself to the story being told. The same can be said for the opener ‘Hung at the Crossroads’. The first two tracks clock in at over 11 minutes, don’t be fooled, they’re not that repetitive, there’s mischief afoot all the way through these two journeys. As for the latter two tracks, ‘Full Moon Nights’ will work really well live to sing along with and the ‘Priestess of Death’ completes the magic to the full 35 minutes or so of playtime.

‘The Pact’ is simply a perfect amalgamation of early sinister heavy metal, it’s only a matter of time before some label picks this release up, it’s a winner in every sense from a band that is most likely destined for greater things. This is one of those releases that will be cult as Satan himself and will be on my playlist for a very long time, a vinyl version would be awesome too with the cover artwork chosen for this bandcamp release on full view.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)