Artist: Pact
Title: The Dragon Lineage Of Satan
Type: Album
Label: Moribund

I know nothing about Pact. Even Moribund’s site only has a holding page. The band have no website and there was no bio with the album. All I know is they are US based and they could be a three piece. When this happens, you always hope that it’s for the right reasons, i.e. they really don’t give a fuck for all that bullshit, here’s the music and another fuck you if you dont like it. Ten seconds in to Litany Of Satan and you reckon that’s probably spot on for this lot.

Blistering, skull-caving, vicious and utterly focused harsh black metal…
This really is the sound of a band just wading into the crowd swinging a sledgehammer (yes that is a compliment). Pounding full on drums, great tortured, spiteful vocals and riffs that come on like a tempest. Think early Anaal Nathrakh jamming with Teitanblood and Blasphemy to churn out a speeded up Darkthrone cover. Apart from the odd bit of eerie ritual voices between tracks this never lets up but, like fellow Moribund travelers Bahimiron, they seem to know instinctively how to keep things interesting with tempo shifts and something like a chainsaw ‘melody’ twisting through. And those riffs. Honestly, at times the only comparison I can make is those weird, unsettling, backwards churning riffs that the mighty Portal dredge up. Seriously, there is something utterly off kilter to tracks like A Vast Eternity pulsing and grinding it’s way through the speakers like a huge black snake.
Dreamless Death is another standout track, moving between that Portal-esque pitch black death metal tinge and ripping black metal that drips atmosphere like acid and oil. My personal favorite though is Ecstasy And Illumination which is a real bloodied and brooding corner of darkness, full of the atmosphere that pervades this album and lashing it to an ominous, turbulent riff that rolls the water as though something blasphemous is waking just beneath the surface.

Frankly though there isn’t a dull moment here. The cover to the album offers flat harsh black metal in it’s most blunt form (winged devil, naked Pope and naked nun). Inside though it is much more. Harsh? Oh yes, but this is a far richer seam of sonic violence than the cover suggests. Yes you have to like this bestial turn of music to really see how good this album is: It most certainly is not bearing a welcome mat to newcomers or the merely curious but if you are prepared for this unholy racket it is one of those fine examples of a dark, nasty bloom that opens up more shades and turns of phrase the deeper you get into it. Moribund had a fine 2011 of releases and they’ve just got off to a flyer in 2012.

(8/10  Gizmo)