Release DetailsLABEL Moribund Records
RELEASED ON 1/31/2006
Drawn And Quartered
Hail Infernal Darkness
posted on 3/2006 By:
As I sit here, in between CAD regens, listening to Drawn and Quartered’s opening track, I am hit by a wave of nostalgia. This stuff is so like Morbid Angel's early material as to almost fall into the copycat territory. But - and this is key, it doesn't, not quite. Although it toes that line more often than I would prefer, I am not going to lie and say I am not enjoying it. This is Morbid Angel worship, but it's Morbid Angel worship for people who worship Morbid Angel. And especially when it comes to the first two MA records, I am one of those people.
What it amounts to is breakneck picking technique for surging, undulating compositions. The MA reference is mainly in the way the band weaves in and out of the time signatures, giving them the ability to toss almost any changes they want into the songs. It makes the compositions far more interesting than the average Death Metal songwriting, but it's something so endemic to MA you can't divorce it. You hear this style of writing and you can't help but think of “Chapel of Ghouls“. Even the plodding "Throne of Deception" opens with dirge riffing that just oozes “Blessed are the Sick“. But the band seems to truly understand the MA magic, for whatever that's worth, and what might have been a simple rip off an album becomes something of an unholy pilgrimage, a Morbid Angel tribute album with original compositions.
What the band DOES bring to the table is old school Euro-Death vocals and a somewhat Immolation styled sense of organic playing. This is a band so comfortable in whatever skin they are wearing that they play their shit right out of the box, as it were. You don't feel like you are listening to a studio recording, but a band doing their set in a studio. Each song has a single take esthetic to it, a "what you hear is what you get" feel. You believe these guys can do anything on this record live, and have been doing it live for a long time. This may be what gives the band its most honest relationship to Morbid Angel: they are fucking TIGHT, professional and intense. And you cannot even conceive of playing this style of Death Metal unless you are on top of your instrument. Everyone flays. The production does a good job of capturing it without getting in the way.
The bottom line is pretty obvious. If you have heard all the Azagthothian compositions you need in your life, you will probably be a little non-plussed at this record. It has moments to offer any death metal fan, but the ties to Altars and Blessed are very strong. Nevertheless, the songs ARE crafted and played with care and affection. And we all know that Death Metal is not what one gets into for groundbreaking originality, so that care and affection will carry a band a long way with DM fans. I am one of those fans, so I am going to take this out and listen to it again from time to time. I strongly suggest anyone who pines for the early days of Earachey Death Metal to give these guys a shot.
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