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Pact - Enigmata

by Kayla Hutton at 30 April 2018, 7:21 AM

Released 04.27.18 via Moribund Records is the 3rd album, “Enigmata”, from Pennsylvania’s Occult Black Death Metal band PACTPACT is a band whose focus is primarily on their music rather than self-promotion. While that is all good and great it makes finding details about them a little difficult. From what I gathered their lyrical content is written with much care and is in line with the Occult and Satanism. There are no lyrics sheets available, however some of the lyrics, after three plays, can be understood. I am no fan of black metal myself so it may speak volumes when I reveal that PACT makes some brutal music that is accented not only by intense speed but a high level of actual musicianship.

The intro to "Enigmata" is no surprise as it begins with an audio sample that sounds similar to a chant in reverse making the voice you hear sound as low as that of the Devil himself. Paired with some atmospheric keys you can feel moments of suffering. The conclusion is drawn as you hear a man’s final scream in pain. “Dark Templar” has an intense musical start with all systems go and then guns start blazing. When you hear the words “Spilling the blood” you can't help but not to back the track up and sing along as you raise your right hand, palm up, and fingers slightly curled up. The guitar picking is right on time with the blasting snare hits and double bass kicks. The vocals are tonally deep and at times could be more in the forefront of the mix. They seem to blend in rather than show any emphasis or separation. This isn’t a negative thing as the words are somewhat audible.

“Son of Cush” has a strange break in the riff, the tail has a rock style dynamic that allows relief from the jack-hammering before plowing right back in. Similar to holding someone's head underwater and then letting them up for a second of air before pushing them back under. “Hag and the Sleeper” started in with a doom direction coming from the guitar but with a faster tempo marked by the drums. As the song progressed I was impressed when the guitar picking seemed faster than what a cop could clock with his radar gun. The drums and guitar did a tag team swap when it came to keeping the tempo which kept the track interesting by making it hard to predict each transition. I love the hammer pulls during the riff, totally audible and as odd as it sounds, I felt it a little bluesy (if not for the blast beats behind it).

PACT, overall, doesn’t strike me as a band that should be pigeonholed as Black Metal. Just because they deal in Satanic topics doesn’t mean they are Black Metal. Look at DEICIDE, VITAL REMAINS, and INCANTATION. There are no horror-esque dark dungeon, sipping from a blood-filled chalice style keyboards or the higher pitched vocal shrieks. Perhaps a sub-genre closer to being Blackened Death Metal maybe? Either way, if you are someone who is not into Black metal, don’t be thrown by the stereotypical labeling. PACT is relentless with fast-paced brutality. A stronger bass tone and maybe a thicker guitar sound would make them heavier than the Titanic, but that could just be the mix. The car test was ok, the vocals were buried in low frequencies (not actual bass guitar) and it came through like a huge wall of noise. On standard PC speakers, everything is easy to hear more clearly.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Dark Templar
2. Son of Cush
3. Edict of Anu
4. Hag and the Sleeper
5. Cradle of Decay
6. Stalking From the Shadows
7. Call of the Wild
8. Collider
9. Eternal Keepers of the Black Flame
10. Sorrows Embrace
11. Of Erebus
Thoth Atlantean - Vocals
Wretch - Guitar
TJ Prazer - Drums
Record Label: Moribund Records


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