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Album Review: ACT OF IMPALEMENT Infernal Ordinance

8.5 Reviewer

There really are some bands you hear that make you say: "Yes, this is what death metal should sound like." That definitely describes the stellar new offering from Nashville's Act Of Impalement.

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First off, let's get this out of the way: The title is kind of funny. I realize Infernal Ordinance is meant to sound menacing, and believe me, it's super rad. But I can't help but think of the armored figure on the front as some bureaucrat from the Malebolge interior minister coming to enforce Section 1, paragraph A of the Hell's Code. "Yes, hi, I'm here because you didn't check off which mortal sin you committed at age 27, you can't just leave it blank."

Anyway, the band's sound resembles Incantation, Bolt Thrower, Cianide but with a healthy dose of d-beat and bestial black metal thrown in. The album description on Bandcamp references Archgoat and you can definitely hear that in the more barbaric beats and riffs scattered across the album's sonic landscape.

You get the feeling the band enjoyed writing "In Wolflight," as it's guided by the kind of towering riff that's so much fun to play. The ominous atmosphere just envelops you in the best way. Similarly, the crush-and-stomp on "Specters of the Unlight" totally kicks ass as well. The album also features pure speed trips like "Creeping Barrage" and the circle-pit-ready "Bogbody." I'm not sure if the band was trying to write a party anthem, but "Bogbody" comes pretty close.

The album ends with a couple longer songs, particularly the closer, "Erased." This song would have fit comfortably on any of the first three Incantation albums, and the preceding track, "Death Hex" doesn't veer too far off either. This shows the band's ability to pack interesting features into each song. Additionally, the Act Of Impalement has a good mind for song length and album construction.

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The first half of the album is definitely stronger, however, as the songs have a more immediate quality that makes you want to hit "replay." The second half is strong as well, but plays better as part of the entire listening experience. I'm more likely to load "Summoning the Final Conflagration" or "Wolflight" onto a playlist than "Blasphemies Rebirth."

Regardless, this is a ferocious work of death metal black magic. So crank this when preparing for the next ritual, friends. It's a smooth ride through hell from start to finish.

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