GENOCIDE PACT –“Genocide Pact”

by Thor .

GENOCIDE PACT are death dealers from D.C. They’re legit. And that legitimacy transcends all eras and sub-sub-subgenres of this befouled cavern of musical Parts Unknown we call Death Metal.

I found them by accident a few years back and if that wasn’t a fucking four-leaf clover, then I don’t know what is. The only thing I can compare the experience of first hearing GENOCIDE PACT to, whether it’s this newest album or their past work, is stumbling upon the mighty OBITUARY 30-plus years ago.

The band’s latest self-titled full-length, out now from Relapse Records, stays true to the formula that made me swoon back in 2018: monster riff after monster riff composing relentlessly heavy, demoralizingly bleak, and straight-up mean extreme metal. It delivers what death metal inherently promises but often fails to. It’s aural dread. And on a visceral level, this thing is laced up with sickening grooves and whatever pitch-black piss-n-vinegar sounds like. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out Connor Donegan for delivering some of the tastiest drumming I’ve heard in a long while.

In generic musical terms, GENOCIDE PACT’s approach can be considered OSDM with considerable hardcore elements. There’s plenty of speed, but the emphasis is always on dropping grooves that have great big ol’ King Kong-sized balls. The production here is purposely raw, perhaps a little too raw for my tastes, even. But it’s a creative choice that objectively enhances the sonic disgust this album relishes.

Conceptually, “Genocide Pact” is pretty obscure. The lyrics are ultra-cryptic, but one can’t help but feel like they’re touching on several current events. Some song titles include “Fossilized Future,” “Barbaric Regression,” and “Industrial Obedience.”

These guys should be on the radar of every death metal fan. I highly recommend “Genocide Pact” by GENOCIDE PACT. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more menacing – or heavy -- slab of death metal this year.