When you become partial to the knowledge that two-thirds of Washington, D.C.’s Genocide Pact also play their tar-stained hearts out in grindcore outfit Disciples of Christ, it’s like a giant “Well, duh!” light bulb goes off in your ears. Suddenly, it all makes so much sense why the capitol city trio sounds so uncomfortably collapsible when they veer off towards slow and sludgy mid-paced lines, tom-heavy drum patterns and palm muted picking swells a la Obituary, Asphyx and Autopsy.
Forged Through Domination, despite its occasional nod to early Celtic Frost growl, sounds empty and spacious, like the band is trying too hard to inject a harrowing sensibility into any available space without realising that not having the tools to sustain an attack can be more detrimental than not, and the dynamic scales don’t end up being tipped in your favour. “Experiments in Nihilism” is a perfect example: the first half is all monochromatic chording, tone typicality and enough rote mastery of shoulder shrugging, molasses-paced death metal to get John Tardy not speaking in tongues. The second half, however, giddy-ups the gallop to provide a powerful riff sequence and screeching solo climax.
And herein lies this album’s rub: when Genocide Pact lock into a steady groove, like on the aforementioned and the bevelled edges and swinging tempos of “Menial Subsistence,” it’s like they’re riding the same red-hot torch of titanic early ’90s UK death metal like Bolt Thrower and Benediction. When they go for the slow hand burl, like on “Induction,” it ends up more slovenly and lackadaisical, like those few mid-period albums almost every band has that they themselves ignore and refuse to acknowledge.
03. Submission Reigns
06. Menial Subsistence
07. Experiments In Nihilism
Run Time: 24:06
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Check out a Genocide Pact demo here.