The first and last full-length album by the Slovak Warmarch (recently interviewed here) was released as a CD by Hexencave Productions and as a tape by the French label Cantus De Leprae. The band released one tape-compilation of rarities and a split-7" with Riddle Of Meander after this album, and after those two the band ceased to exist.

"P.C.D." is rooted in the early days of true black metal. I spotted influences from albums such as Gorgoroth's "Pentagram" and Darkthrone's "Panzerfaust" (without as evident Motörhead-influences, though); the same relentless spirit and dark sound flows through the seemingly simple, yet soulful and appealing riffs. The guitar-sound is raw but not freezingly cold, the bass pounds steadily onwards in the background, and the drums are steady and traditional, yet capable, and they have a strong but not too dominant sound. The album doesn't have the tape-tracker hiss of the classic recordings, but still sounds authentic and raw. Kaltemtal's harsh, hoarse and slightly echoed croaking sounds pleasingly serious, and is a major factor in giving the album its smell of the glory days.

The songs are of the faster kind with plentiful of tremolo-riffs, yet have well enough of slow and mid-tempo parts to stay interesting through their play. The switches between the two opposite ends is best displayed in "Kult Smrti," a song which paves the way for the album's longest track, the eight-minute "Nenāvist." The eight-minute song revolves around a couple of mid-tempo and slow main riffs that create a raw and slightly melancholic atmosphere, which is finally unravelled by the song's fast and aggressive ending. These two songs also bring some stylish variation to the vocals through a couple bits of clean chanting and different styles of hoarse uttering. The only song I have complaints about is "Satanic Sadist," as its opening riff seems to be too different from the rest of the album. It sounds clumsy somehow. The song does improve a lot after a minute or so, though.

One could argue that the album would need a slightly rawer, dirtier and more abrasive soundscape to fully unleash the riffs' quality, but to my ears the album's soundscape manages to be both pleasingly original, while still honouring the traditions. This is pure black metal without any unneeded fanciness or gimmickry, and if that is your thing, I can warmly recommend buying Pactum Cum Diabolus. The "bare bones and essence"-approach extends to the visual side as well; the colours are limited to black and white, and the two-page booklet holds just the basic information and one stylish hand-drawn image. It's a shame that the lyrics weren't included, but otherwise the visual side leaves no room for complaints.

Simplistic, olsdchool, bare and focused black metal without attempts for approval or shallow catchiness. It's a shame that Warmarch doesn't exist anymore, as I would've gladly heard more.

9- / 10