Act of Impalement rampage back with filthy death, brutal power on mauling ‘Infernal Ordinance’

Sitting down with a 75-minute record spread over 2 or 3 pieces of vinyl certainly is something I love, and spending time with the massive physical manifestation makes the money spent worthwhile. But let’s also pay respect to the shorter blasts that are over before you can finish a workout but that also leave you thoroughly devastated. The world is big enough for both things, and they create variety.

Nashville metallic trio Act of Impalement lean toward the latter with their second record “Infernal Ordinance,” a 9-track, 29-minute brawler that is packed with power and brutality and that follows 2018 debut “Perdition Cult.” The band—vocalist/guitarist Ethan Rock, bassist Jimmy Grogan, drummer Zack Ledbetter—is one of those you can’t quite pinpoint soundwise, but there’s plenty of death metal, blackened fury, and classic metal glory on this album. It’s economically served, but it doesn’t feel short by any means. This is a fully realized, thunderous display that feels beefier than its runtime and keeps your blood flowing throughout.

“Summoning the Final Conflagration” gets things off to a bludgeoning start, thrashing and mashing, the vile howls carving you up. Doomy waters suddenly rush, adding to the muddiness, while grim growls and pulverizing energy saps you of your strength. “Bogbody” lets the bass drive into the soot as the speed and insanity kill, the guitars firing away. The band unleashes a swagger that punishes, the growls huff, and everything massacres right to the end. “In Wolflight” brings sickening guitars and the vocals scorching as the ground quakes, slowing to a swelling horror. Things then speed up immediately, thrashing forcefully until you finally drop. “Specters of Unlight” charges up as the guitars grind, dark ugliness sprawls with force, and ugly, beastly growls trudge all over. The guitars thrash with power, the playing dangles you dangerously over the edge, and the final blasts rock your chest.

“Creeping Barrage” is total demolition, a quick, blink-and-you-miss-it destruction, killing through a quick trip through infernal grounds and into “Atomic Hecatomb” that drubs and rips you apart. Strong mashing causes your blood vessels to burst, the guitar work goes off and slashes at bones, and the final moments bring about a volcanic end. “Blasphemous Rebirth” unloads spiraling guitars and a thrash attack that burns through everything on front of it, the growls digging into you like a wild dog in a frenzy. “Death Hex” arrives amid trampling bass and plastering guitars that spray blood and pull out organs. Throaty howls are pulverizing, the guitars char flesh, and the final moment treat you to calculating trudging. Closer “Erased” is gloomy and gruesome before it begins a tornadic pace that takes you apart. Growls spread as strong guitar work turns up the heat, channeled strikes loosen screws, and the last punches landed make it feel like you’ve been through a war.

“Infernal Ordinance” whips by in a little less than a half hour, and although the serving size is smaller, the punishment it doles out is mammoth in scope. Act of Impalement take elements that many bands have done to death and freshen them up with a sharpened approach and devious blood spill, keeping things exciting and ferocious. Five years after their debut, this band is firing on all cylinders, proving this machine is deadlier than ever and ready to take victims along with them.

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