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Album Reviews : Drawn and Quartered – The One Who Lurks

By on August 7, 2018

Drawn and Quartered are one of those unfortunate bands that are really quite good, have a remarkably strong discography, and are/were influential to those in the know but never quite made it into the big leagues (insofar as underground death metal has big leagues). Forming way back in 1993 under the name Plague Bearer, they were one of the bands responsible for developing a particular style of old-school death metal alongside greats like Immolation and Incantation who have gone on to (relatively) widespread success. While Drawn and Quartered have not reached the same heights as their contemporaries, it’s not due to a lack of great riffs or solid songs. The recent re-issue of Hail Infernal Darkness shows that they can play with the best of them but perhaps being somewhat cut off from the burgeoning New York scene as a band from Seattle meant that they missed out on opportunities that could have pushed them further in their early days. Nonetheless, Drawn and Quartered are still going strong with a new label and new album The One Who Lurks to show that they can still hack it after 25 years of death metal madness.

Opening track “Nefarious Rites” sets the stage – a great opening, atmospheric and murky with great riffs in amongst the crashing chords. Likewise, there’s some fantastic guttural vocals on show and a really nice lead guitar tone that cuts through the otherwise oppressive mix without being unfitting. Along with the following track “Ravage the Cadaver”, the opener establishes something of a doomy vibe to the track that separates it a bit from others in this style. The production style is a bit hit-and-miss here: “Nefarious Rites” establishes a good mood with its mix that “Ravage the Cadaver” squanders somewhat. The drums are a bit ‘flat’, with a lifeless bass drum that is very noticeable in the rolls where a fat sound would add to the heaviness and the odd guitar harmonics on the lead part don’t really complement the crushing rhythm riffs (that are themselves quite strong). “Horned Shadow” fixes this immediately with an awesome neo-classical/black metal influenced opening riff and some different higher pitched-vocals, offering some contrast to the earlier doomy vibe. Drum and guitar tones are much better on this track and there are some truly excellent riffs in here with some effective guitar harmonies on offer.

The following tracks continue the intense, chaotic openings leading into dense tremolo riffs featuring some great moments throughout all of the tracks. ‘Deliverance to the worms’ jumps straight in after the previous track, ending with a twisted solo. “Temples of Arcane Devotion” has some great lead guitar work and tight, syncopated riffing with guitar harmonics that succeed at giving an otherworldly, Lovecraftian vibe to the track. This track exemplifies how to structure a song between intense fast death metal and slower doomy sections, and comes at the perfect point to add some variety and a breath of fresh air to the overall album. “Carnal Transmigration” features some fantastic drumming movements and the title track opens with an excellent twisted riff that develops its main musical theme thoroughly across the track. ‘Portals of Communion’ is a good closing track, with a good grove that wraps things up in a haze of doomy dissonance and a heavy tremolo riff.

The One Who Lurks embodies a band that is not slowing down any time soon. For fans of Immolation, Incantation, or just generally good old-school death metal, this is well worth your time, and I’d strongly encourage you to check out the band’s back catalogue if you’re not familiar with Drawn and Quartered.

Band: Drawn and Quartered
Album: The One Who Lurks
Year: 2018
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Krucyator Productions
Origin: USA
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About

Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.