Review of Order Of Torment by Genocide Pact

Band: Genocide Pact
Album: Order of Torment
Release Date: 2 February 2018
Record Label: Relapse Records
Buy on CD ($13) or vinyl ($19) or digital ($10) from: Bandcamp

Cover of Order of Torment by Genocide Pact

Washington DC’s own Genocide Pact has recently released a death metal album that has gotten them quite a lot of buzz. I asked DCHM contributor Vivek Rangarajan to write a review about it and let us know if the band is worth all the hype. After you read his review below be sure to stream the album at the end of this post to find out for yourself!

It made my day when I first heard the news that Genocide Pact was recording a new album as I had been anticipating new material from them for a while now. In the past year, they’ve been on the same bills with Nails, Gatecreeper, Power Trip, and Angelcorpse, just to name a few. They were also the first metal band to play at Atlas Brew Works, during the DCHM 2016 holiday party. Genocide Pact are slowly but steadily becoming one of the best new-school bands in death metal. Their first album, Forged Through Domination, the amount of shows played and tours they have been on have all contributed to this. Their Relapse Records debut, Order of Torment, is a showcase of vile and crushing death metal from start to finish. Before I get into that, I’d like to first discuss who Genocide Pact are.

Genocide Pact are made up of members from local grindcore, crossover thrash, and hardcore bands. Tim Mullaney and Michael Nolan are from the grindcore band Disciples of Christ, or D.O.C., Connor Donegan is from the crossover thrash band Red Death as well as a handful of D.C. hardcore bands. Genocide Pact have recently added a new guitarist, Demir Soyer of Narrow Grave and Perpetuated, however he did not join Genocide Pact until after Order of Torment was already recorded by the other three members. On Order of Torment, Michael Nolan handles the bass, Tim Mullaney does all of the guitars and vocals, and Connor Donegan keeps everything in check on the drums.

“Conquered and Disposed” is the first track on Order of Torment and it showcases the heavy, doom-influenced death metal that is becoming Genocide Pact’s trademark. The opening track does not play around and its intro hits the ground running. It begins with an ambient opening and then punches the listener with a fierce intro riff. There’s an Incantation influence that is evident in the songwriting throughout the album but it is prevalent on on this track. Tim’s guitar-work and vocal performance are great on this song. I love how deep and visceral his death-growl is. The vocals provide a hefty layer which enhances the instrumentation. The riffs throughout this song have a chainsaw-like sound to them. The whole song has a tempo variation between very slow to fast. The tempo variations all have seamless transitions between each other, thanks to Connor Donegan’s drum work. This makes each section of the song stand out from one another.

The second track, “Decimation Grid,” begins with an unnerving and atmospheric riff. I like how this intro riff helps establish how the song will conduct itself. The use of a pick-slide in the intro riff helps make it sound more evil. The song picks up its speed after the first verse, and uses the atmosphere developed to keep the song heavy. What stands out in this song is how Genocide Pact keeps the atmosphere intact while varying the tempos. It’s diverse and interesting.

The third track, “Spawn of Suffering” is one of my favorite songs off Order of Torment. “Spawn of Suffering” is faster than the first two tracks, but the atmosphere established by the first two tracks is not lost. Genocide Pact use a slow intro and transition into a faster and blasting track. This song has some interesting tempo changes between the faster sections. It has a slight change between the blast beats and regular drum pattern that produces a cool contrast. It keeps each part engaging and makes each pattern fresh. The track ends with a mid-paced plug and chug riff. It’s a simple and chromatic riff. This riff feels like a nice ribbon to wrap up the song.

The fourth track, “Pain Reprisal,” is my favorite track off Order of Torment. The Incantation-influenced songwriting is obvious on this track and I love it. The song starts with a mid-paced and filthy riff and keeps it going until the middle of the song. Nolan’s bass work is thick and holds everything together on this track. I love how demolishing Tim Mullaney’s riff is in the opening. It’s a riff I can just head-bang to endlessly. Tim’s vocal performance on “Pain Reprisal” is fantastic. The vocals become very low and growling in comparison to the other songs on the album. There is a John McEntee kind of sound found in Tim’s vocals on “Pain Reprisal.” It is a menacing element that Tim Mullaney incorporates into his vocals on the song and they remind me of a demon haunting someone. The song gets slower as the track progresses, however around three minutes and ten seconds, the track shifts to a blasting frenzy. I love how fast this transition is too. Both Tim and Connor Donegan make this transition perfect. The use of cymbal chokes, blast beats, and double bass by Donegan as well as Tim’s use of palm-muted tremolo picking and faster riffs help the punch of this transition. This transition hits like a freight-train and is an awesome way of changing things up while keeping the listener’s attention. This part lasts for about 30 seconds before changing into a sinister guitar solo to close out the track. This solo is great way to conclude the song because of how it begins as a slower and malevolent solo before it shreds into oblivion while the track fades out.

The fifth track, “Ascendency Absolved,” continues what the first four tracks have already created. However, on this track there are a lot more guitar leads. The leads played are great and they are very doom influenced which makes the track more enjoyable. It is also a nice way of adding a small change without sacrificing any of the heaviness. Towards the end of the song, Tim Mullaney stops playing and just focuses on the guitar’s feedback while Michael Nolan and Connor Donegan keep a steady pace going. This ends with a piercing guitar shriek, it’s an unexpected shriek and I love it. It’s subtle and creeps up on you. Once it happens, the guitar shriek rips right through the listener and is constant throughout the rest of the song.

The sixth track, “Structural Dissolution,” is the fastest song on Order of Torment. The use of a fast intro, and combining it with mid-paced to fast riffs make this a demolishing track. The use of the double bass drums is also great. It enhances the riffs and gives them a stronger punch. They help make the buzzsaw riffage a lot heavier. There’s even a small trill that gets played which fits perfectly in the song. I can just aimlessly head-bang to this song anytime it comes on.

“Authoritarian Impulse” continues the sound developed in Order of Torment while having a doomy solo. It’s a solid track, however this track does what already has been presented on Order of Torment. The final track “Blood Rejection,” is a nice closer to the album. The track continues the atmospheres developed on all of the previous tracks and concludes the album on a chilling note. The conclusion is an evil mid-paced riff that includes a pick slide and pinch harmonic which continues until the album fades out. It’s a haunting ending and an effective way to wrap up the album.

No album is perfect and Order of Torment is not an exception. One fault that I had with this album was how it became too slow at times. There were several instances that droned on too long. When this would happen, the tracks would make me lose interest in them. Some people might consider the significantly slower parts as crushing, however, those parts are simply too slow to have a stronger impact. While I do enjoy the contrast between the slower and faster parts, the slower sections that go on too long begin to drone and bring down the songs. Another criticism I have would be with the lyrics of the album. While the lyrics are not bad themselves, the topics they cover could be more developed. It would give their messages a stronger impact on the listener. These faults don’t detract too much from Order of Torment.

Genocide Pact take their identity created on Forged Through Domination, their first album, and continue it on Order of Torment while keeping it fresh. This album is a great stepping stone for them, and hopefully will launch them into a bigger spotlight. Order of Torment proves Genocide Pact is one of DC’s premiere metal bands.

Pain Reprisal:

Review of Exodus and Obituary at Baltimore Soundstage

Tampa took on San Francisco when the Battle of The Bays Tour came to Baltimore last weekend. DCHM contributor Metal Nick was there and he wrote this review of the show and shot all the photos and videos posted here as well.

On Saturday September 16th, 2017, the Battle Of The Bays Tour came through Baltimore, Maryland, at the Baltimore Soundstage. Power Trip, Obituary and Exodus make up the tour’s line up. Dust Bolt were scheduled to open the tour but, according to their statement, they were forced to cancel the first few shows due to Hurricane Irma delaying the German band’s travel plans.

First up was crossover rising stars Power Trip who are based out of Dallas, Texas. They are are currently supporting their latest album Nightmare Logic which came out in February of this year on Southern Lord Records. This is a great tour for these guys because, as they stated numerous times on stage during their set, they are huge fans of both Obituary and Exodus. They opened with the new record’s first track “Soul Sacrifice.” They played several older songs as well. When the breakdown during “Heretic’s Fork” hit the crowd certainly reacted in a good way for them. The band themselves had a lot of stage energy and their performance was on point. Right before Power Trip played their final song of the night, “Manifest Decimation,” you could tell that they had won over this Baltimore crowd already as a “POWER TRIP” chant had started up. This set was much better than the last time they played Baltimore Soundstage back in March during their headlining tour, mostly because their sound was lot better this time around.

Next up was Tampa Bay death metal legends Obituary. This was my fifth time seeing Obituary live and I must say, I feel they have revived their career over the last two albums they have released. On this tour Obituary is supporting their self titled release that came out on Relapse Records back in March. They opened their set with “Brave” the first track off that album. There was a lot of energy coming from the crowd as soon as Obituary started to play which made it easier for them to perform. Most of Obituary’s set consisted of songs of the self titled album, but as soon as they started to play “Chopped in Half” the pit opened up and there were bodies flying around. I felt that they have never sounded so good live. Maybe it is because Joe Cincotta was doing sound for them. Joe has done live sound for bands like Suffocation and Body Count and runs Full Force Studios. You know you are in for a good show if you see Joe doing sound. The crowd roared when Obituary started to play “Slowly We Rot” and a very large smile came across the face of vocalist John Tardy. All in all I feel this was the best performance I have seen from Obituary. I can’t wait to catch them on a headlining tour. Hopefully they will play more Cause of Death songs next time.

Last up was San Francisco Bay area legends Exodus. Drummer Tom Hunting hit the stage wearing a Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant jersey. Tom quickly stood on both his bass drums hyping the crowd up before the rest of the band took the stage. Much to my surprise Gary Holt took the stage next. I know sometimes he has to skip Exodus tours due to his latest gig in Slayer, but it was great to see him with the band he started. One by one the other members took the stage and the band kicked right into “The Ballad Of Leonard And Charles” off their album Exhibit B: The Human Condition. The Baltimore crowd greeted Exodus with loud roars and plenty of head banging and crowd surfing. The crowd did not hold back at all from showing their love and support for Exodus on this night. When the the song “Blood In, Blood Out” was being played the crowd was singing along for the entire chorus of the song. I love to hear stuff like that at a metal show. It shows that metal is still alive and well in our scene. This was only my second time seeing Exodus live so I am not sure if they play this song often, but they played “War Is My Shepherd” and that was another tune that the Baltimore audience was really into. The second to last song they played was one of my favorites, “The Toxic Waltz.” When I was a kid I would see that video on Headbanger’s Ball and I always remember the scene where a fan did an inverted stage dive. Unfortunately there was a barrier up tonight so no stage dives. When the bridge to the chorus of “The Toxic Waltz” came up the crowd was at their loudest singing every word with frontman Steve “Zetro” Souza. My only complaint about their set was that they did not play “Piranha” which is easily my favorite Exodus song, but I guess they can’t play them all. Their sound was great, I feel like they didn’t hold back at all for this rowdy Baltimore crowd. I loved their performance and wish I could catch this tour every night.

This was an amazing tour package. You had three bands that each had a different sound ranging from hardcore/crossover thrash, death metal and thrash metal. I had a great time at this show. It is very rare that I leave a show and say that all three bands sounded and performed great, but last night was definitely one of those times.

Power Trip – Crucifixation

Power Trip – Conditioned To Death and Heretic’s Fork

John Tardy of Obituary

John Tardy of Obituary

Donald Tardy of Obituary

Donald Tardy of Obituary

Trevor Peres of Obituary

Trevor Peres of Obituary

Tom Hunting of Exodus

Tom Hunting of Exodus

Gary Holt of Exodus

Gary Holt of Exodus

Steve 'Zetro' Souza of Exodus

Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus

Live photos of Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse

The Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse dual-headlining tour stopped at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Monday, March 2nd, 2015, and it was a great show! Death metal fans were treated to two titans of the genre and the bands didn’t disappoint. This was the first time I have seen Behemoth since the band’s main man, Nergal, recovered from cancer. I have to say the Polish band’s stage show has really improved since the days they used to open for other bands all the time at Jaxx! Behemoth played a lot off the new album, The Satanist, but old fans were treated to some older classics like “Chant for ΕΣΧΗΑΤΟΝ 2000” as well. Cannibal Corpse put on a brutal show as always. While I don’t think they were bad I still think they’re a better show in smaller venues where the band is closer to the audience and the place is a packed, sweaty mosh pit from stage to exit. Still, they’re always tight and it was cool that they mixed things up by closing their set with “Devoured By Vermin.” The lighting for Cannibal Corpse wasn’t the best for shooting but I did get a few shots, Behemoth was much brighter and had a lot of stage props as well (including Nergal’s mic stand that he must have purchased from Cobra Commander’s yard sale). Unfortunately I didn’t get there in time to catch openers Tribulation and Aeon, the latter of which I really wanted to see, but early start times aren’t the best for week nights in this town with the crazy traffic we get. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the photos I shot below of Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse.

Cannibal Corpse:

Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Behemoth:

Nergal of Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Nergal of Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Nergal of Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Nergal of Behemoth at the Fillmore Silver Spring

Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse ticket give away

Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring

When two of the titans of death metal have a tour coming to our area you know we get excited here at DCHM. And when we get excited about a show we like to get as many people out to it as possible. So this week we’re giving away a free pair of tickets to see Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Monday, March 2nd, 2015. To enter: just leave a comment on this post telling me the name of your favorite death metal band. At 5pm EST this Friday, February 27th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to enter using a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets from Live Nation for $35.50 here.

Last year Poland’s Behemoth put out one hell of a come back album with the release of The Satanist, quite an accomplishment considering, Nergal, the band’s mastermind, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. After a successful bone marrow transplant he has recovered from cancer and is ready to bring his musical vision on The Satanist to stage for us. As if that wasn’t enough, the kings of gorey death metal, Cannibal Corpse, will be co-headlining this tour as they terrorize audiences (and stir up brutal mosh pits) with their songs about murder, zombies and violent torture. In addition to that we’ll also get the chance to see two up and coming death metal bands from Sweden as Aeon and Tribulation open up the show. That’s a ton of death metal for one bill, will you be able to survive? Be sure to check out these videos by each band below and tell me what your favorite death metal band is in the comments!

Behemoth – Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer

Cannibal Corpse – Kill Or Become

Aeon – Aeons Black

Tribulation – Apparitions

Review of Deathwomb Catechesis by Pseudogod

Band: Pseudogod
Album: Deathwomb Catechesis
Release Date: 24 April 2012
Record Label: KVLT
Performing at Maryland Deathfest XII: 3:40pm Sunday at Edison Lot B

Cover of Deathwomb Catechesis by Pseudogod

Here’s our second album review in our series highlighting some of the less famous, but must see, bands at Maryland Deathfest XII. These reviews feature more background about the bands than our normal album reviews and hopefully they’ll convince you to check these less known acts out at this year’s Deathfest. So read about Pseudogod, the final band added to the Maryland Deathfest XII line up (besides fill-in bands replacing cancellations) and be sure to stream their tracks at the end of the post to hear them for yourself.

The 2014 edition of Maryland Deathfest has no shortage of rare appearances by obscure metal bands from around the world. One of the more exotic bands this year is Pseudogod, a blackened death metal band from Russia. Unlike some of the (relatively) more famous Russian metal bands, such as Arkona and Korrozia Metalla, they don’t originate in the large city of Moscow. Pseudogod’s home is over 700 miles east in a city known as Perm located at the feet of the Ural Mountains. You may never get another chance in your lifetime to see a band from this region. So are they actually worth seeing at Maryland Deathfest? To put it bluntly, I think you’d be a fool to miss them if you’re going to be at Deathfest on Sunday.

Pseudogod was formed in 2004 but they had only released a demo and several splits until their only full length album, Deathwomb Catechesis, was released in 2012. The songs on Deathwomb Catechesis are punishing and exploding with riffs that will surely get the mosh pits at Deathfest moving. The band’s sound is a mix of black and death metal which makes some sense because half of their members come from a raw black metal band named Groth and the others from a brutal death metal band called Act Of God. Pseudogod’s guitar tone is certainly more black metal but the pummeling percussive aggression comes from death metal. The songs are almost relentless in their delivery of blast beats but several songs do have moments where they turn down the intensity and they show their range with slower, simple riffs that keep the setting dark but let you catch your breath. They make the most of these lulls by drawing you in with catchy rhythms only to have you jarred back into submission when the beating suddenly starts again.

The vocals throughout the album are coarse and guttural with thick reverb added to them in studio to make vocalist I.S.K.H.’s voice sound distant and haunting. Lyrically the songs are fairly standard Satanic fare focusing more on the mystical side of things such as prayers for “Malignant spears/To the womb of god!” The lyrics are primarily in English though one song on the album, “Encarnación del mal,” is written entirely in Spanish. You probably wouldn’t even notice this at first because of the growled vocals.

Pseudogod used to wear corpse paint during live performances but they seem to have stopped doing that at some point it appears, however they still wear upside down crosses and lots of leather on stage. Most of the live footage I’ve seen of them is at smaller bars and club venues, their performance at Maryland Deathfest might be one of the biggest stages they’ve ever played on. They go on fairly early Sunday, at 3:40pm on the Edison Lot’s outdoor stage B, but you should make time to catch them because you really don’t want to miss this rare chance to see them perform live.

Azazel:

Encarnación del mal:

The Seraphim Of Ultimate Void (live):

Nile ticket give away

Nile at the Baltimore SoundStage

If you like your death metal tinged with ancient Egyptian history then you don’t want to miss Nile when they play the Baltimore SoundStage on Tuesday, April 15th. And since April 15th is the day everyone’s taxes are due we thought we’d cut you a break by giving a pair of tickets to this show to one of you DCHM fans! To enter: leave a comment on this post telling me which song from Nile’s entire discography (see it here) you want them to play the most! At 5pm EST this Friday, April 11th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to receive two tickets to the show! Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 24 hours another winner will be chosen at random. If you can’t wait to see if you win, or the contest is already over when you read this, then you can get tickets right now for $16.50 from Ticket Fly here.

Now before you think this is just another Nile tour you should know that the band has stated (here) that they will be playing an extended set and will be performing several of their songs for the first time ever in front of a live audience! So tell me, what Nile song do you want to hear them play live at this sure to be epic show? And let’s not forget that while Nile isn’t touring with anyone there will be killer sets by three local bands: Metanium, March To Victory and Exemptus. Check out these classic Nile tunes and leave a comment telling me which Nile song you’d like to hear them play at this show!

Nile – Enduring The Eternal Molestation Of Flame

Nile – Lashed To The Slave Stick

Nile – Black Seeds Of Vengeance

Metal Show Of The Week: Obliteration

Who? Obliteration
When? Thursday, March 20th
Where? Metro Gallery (map) in Baltimore
How much? $14 cash at the door or $14.50 from Mission Tix

This week’s pick for Metal Show Of The Week goes to a gig up in Baltimore but if you’re down in DC or NoVA it’s definitely worth driving up for, even on a week night, and I’ll explain why. The headliner is a death metal band from Norway called Obliteration. They’re playing a string of shows while they’re in the US for SXSW and the Metro Gallery in Baltimore is going to be their only stop in our area. The chance to catch these guys live in the US is pretty rare, you might never get to see them on this side of the ocean ever again. And while Obliteration is from Norway they’re straight up death metal, not black metal, and not the breakdown laden slam-core style of death metal that has become so popular of late. No, Obliteration has an old school sound that isn’t far off from early recordings by bands like Darkthrone and Sepultura. Their raw, aggressive sound is surprisingly clean on their third album, Black Death Horizon, which was released by Relapse Records late last year. You can stream the entire album on Bandcamp here or just scroll down to the end of this post to check out the second track, “Goat Skull Crown.”

There’s more than just a rare chance to see a killer Norwegian death metal band in their prime at this show though. Also playing will be Northless, a heavy sludge band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin that has a dark, foreboding sound not far off from bands like Rwake and Czar. They aren’t on tour with Obliteration, we’re just lucky that they’re both playing Baltimore the same night and their shows were combined. And let’s not forget the killer locals on this show including DC’s Ilsa, a crusty death/doom band that is heavy as fuck and always leaves the audience floored by the end of their sets. Baltimore’s own Cemetery Piss brings their blackened thrash to the stage as well and the opening band will be Putrisect, a death metal band from Baltimore. This is one hell of an all ages bill for under $15 at a venue with good sound and a solid beer selection too. Still not convinced? Then jam out to the following tunes by the bands playing and get ready to head out to the Metro Gallery this Thursday!

Obliteration – Goat Skull Crown:

Northless – Communion:

Ilsa – Frostthrower:

Cemetery Piss – Such The Vulture’s Love