Genocide Pact - Order of Torment
Relapse Records
Death Metal
8 songs (39:45)
Release year: 2018
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat

There's a wide and deep variety of death metal available for modern bands to look to for inspiration, yet most seem content to reproduce the classic Swedish or Floridian sounds. Few take on the weighty, bone-rattling grooves that England's Bolt Thrower made their name with, perhaps because it's hard to reproduce without sounding like a complete clone? Well, Washington-based trio Genocide Pact have attempted and sort of managed it, creating a form of death metal clearly in complete thrall to Jo Bench and co but with a nod towards the likes of Autopsy and Jungle Rot. Where it works is in the physical intensity of the music, grooving along violently and taking no prisoners. Where it doesn't is in both the riffs (which are mostly closer to chugs) and songwriting, which is solid enough for one or two songs taken individually but mostly hook-free. And when you're faced with an album full of four-to-five minute songs that are so similar they're hard to distinguish, then the flaws in Genocide Pact's sound become obvious.

Which is a shame, because there is fun to be had with this. Opener Conquered and Disposed seems powerful and attention-seizing, rattling along enjoyably with a nicely-timed breakdown into doom-death and even seeming to end a little soon. The slow lead into Decimation Grid is compelling, however, soon kicking up into a higher gear, but it's about here that you realise that the band has shown you all its tricks, and all it can do is repeat them hereafter. Cuts like Spawn of Suffering are fine when viewed on their own, those stomping riff-drum interactions great and sure to be a hit in the mosh pit, but it continues without a clear end in sight, seeming to groove on for the sake of it. So many times the album catches your ear with a compelling hook - the intro to Ascendancy Absolved, or the faster parts of Authoritarian Impulse for example - then does absolutely nothing with it, failing to build a song around the hook and instead just repeating things you've heard before like dips into doom-death without a sense of purpose. Even the experimental cacophonous ending makes no sense and seems to be thrown in for the sake of it. All in all, it's a solidly enjoyable yet downright unexciting album; let's hope Genocide Pact do something more interesting next time around.

Killing Songs :
Conquered and Disposed, Spawn of Suffering
Goat quoted 60 / 100
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