|Home » Articles » Reviews|
|01 September 2017||
Pact Infernal - Monad XXV
2016 was a good year for Stroboscopic Artefacts' Monad series—OAKE, Yotam Avni and Charlotte Isabelle are all producing top quality contributions, making them very hard acts to follow. So it is Pact Infernal who pick up the baton for number XXV, and after the recent debut LP Infernality—published on Horo—they deliver their darkest and most sinister work to date, the whole EP playing out as a battle to end all wars.
Opener Nitimur In Vetitum instills an unnerving sensation of calm before the storm, with an almost ceremonial charge, bristling with an explosive potential in a heavyset ambiance, painting an image of legions of troops, taking up their positions on the edge of the battlefield; sparsely populated with percussion there is an undeniable air of anticipation that is fraught with nervous tension, leaving the listener with a sense of unease as the curtains fall in silence. The tone becomes much weightier with Cor Aut Mors: beaten drums quicken in pace as the opposing forces size each other up from distance, thousands of marching feet and clunking armoured suits, countering one another with dummy moves to try and unsettle the enemy thereby gaining an upper hand—auditorily represented by the now multi-layered percussion—while droning synths take on a terrifying menace that's indicative of the horror about to unfold. Battle commences on the more intense still Sapere Aude, where leaden, thudding kicks mimic cavalry charges, trying to outflank each other from both sides which inevitably leads to heavy bloodshed for both man and beast; the tough hacking of metal against metal—the cutting of swords through armor leads to sharp, piercing harmonics screaming out, the wounded, maimed, and mutilated in turn crying out mercifully. On the finishing piece Capax Infiniti the battle is all but won, the droning takes on an almost mournful tone as the depleted enemy is pinned in the centre of the killing fields, the drums, which are now clearly militaristic, propel forth in a surging procession, tightly packed phalanxes charge with a bone crushing intent, carving and slicing their way through the helpless souls from all sides, before the victors, the aggressors, stand back and survey the blood-stained landscape, with a chillingly detached, and perverse satisfaction.
As was expected, Pact deliver once more. Scaling the heights achieved with the recent LP, this four-tracker is equal in scale at least to Infernality—if anything it surpasses it, being even more spacious, more expansive. Having a genuine cinematic quality, it could well serve as part of a soundtrack to a long-lost Akira Kurosawa classic, perhaps a companion piece to the epic ‘Ran’ or ‘Kagemusha’. Certainly one for the connoisseur, it is sure to move, unsettle, and horrify, as well as terrify half to death—an incredible listening experience.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 01 September 2017
Release Format: Digital • Vinyl
Record Label • Catalog: Stroboscopic Artefacts • SAM025