Where bands like NIHILITY and VENOM PRISON are proving to UK audiences how effective a combination of death metal and hardcore can be, bands like GENOCIDE PACT have been championing this match made in hell across the pond in the states. Following on from their debut Forged Through Domination, the Washington DC trio return with an earth rumbling return in Order of Torment.
The immediate thoughts when the album kicks off is just how abusively heavy it is. The three members work in synch to create a suffocating blanket of noise that is consistent in its coverage. Conquered and Disposed provides ample energy to kick things off, delivering solid riffs that ride on the pummelling percussion, and the following Decimation Grid stutters to life like a monster truck before the rolling double bass carries the song on it’s path of destruction.
GENOCIDE PACT ooze disdain in the eight songs that make up Order of Torment, but unfortunately the band have a tendency to get bogged down in their own assault. Whilst brutal they may be, GENOCIDE PACT trundle along at a slow pace, the songs feel longer than they have too and also feel circular and repetitive. Pain Reprisal is a prime culprit of this, and as punishing as it is, it would benefit from some psychopathic energy injected to counter balance the brutish one dimensional approach.
Order of Torment is peppered with strong grooves that the band will ride to devastating effect. The rhythms that make up the dense wall of sound are the strongest part of the album, and are certainly one of the strongest weapons GENOCIDE PACT wield. Ascendency Absolved does exactly this, making slight adjustments to the groove whilst still maintaining the hulking, trudging pace. The solo in the middle of the song is completely unwelcome though, it feels completely tacked on, and it’s a feature that the band seem adamant to place throughout the record, as Authoritarian Impulse also bears the cross.
There are glimpses of the band lunching for the throat, as Structural Dissolution immediately kicks off with savage gusto, and maintains the assault as the blast beats come and go whilst classic HM2 riffs rumble in their stead. With songs like this providing the album with some late adrenaline it makes Order of Torment a bit top heavy at the wrong end of the album. The first half of this record is a trudging and repetitive affair and could’ve been broken up by some of the late album pace, making the whole pacing just more effective.
GENOCIDE PACT certainly have death metal encrypted in their DNA, but the thunderous breakdowns and rolling grooves show a clear vein of influence from elsewhere. When the band have their sights set to kill, they can provide a deeply oppressive sound that is as brutal as it is precise, but unfortunately Order of Torment falls in ruts too often, and the whilst late album injection of energy is welcome and offers some of the highlights from the record, the rest of the album is a trudging affair that provides quick satisfaction with little lasting effect.
Order of Torment is out now via Relapse Records.
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