Pennsylvanian Black Metal horde, Pact returns with their second strike, The Infernal Hierarchies, Penetrating the Threshold of Night, and it was definitely worth the wait. I liked their debut LP, The Dragon Lineage of Satan, but that was marred by a sub-par production (particularly the drum tone). The music on their debut was some sick and evil Black Metal, but it just wasn’t presented properly. The Infernal Hierarchies, though, corrects that and you get Pact screaming forth blasphemy in the way they were meant to. This LP is essentially a 45 minute ass kicking that only stops damaging your neck and head at the end of the last song. Pact reminds me of the older school of US based Black Metal in that their sound has a substantial amount of Death and Thrash Metal built into it. It harkens back to the era when groups like Demoncy, Profanatica, Masochist and Necrovore were the only bands that were legitimately Black Metal in the US during the early ’90s Death Metal boom. The production on this album probably has a lot to do with it, showcasing a more bass-heavy guitar sound. It’s pretty punishing, which is good thing in my book. The Infernal Hierarchies is a very intense record and if there’s a flaw in this beast’s armor, it’s that it’s fairly relentless in the mauling that you get. There isn’t much breathing room because the caustic and brutal music bludgeons you hard, slows down briefly to measure you and then bludgeons you again. I don’t consider that much of a flaw, though. When you’re looking for music that kicks your ass and leaves you broken and scarred, Pact delivers the goods more reliably than UPS.
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