Published Jul 25, 2018There is an aesthetic to ugliness that, done right, can arrest the beholder more than any beauty. But there is a line between grotesque and just not good and unfortunately, death metallers Drawn and Quartered cross this line on The One Who Lurks.
The gut punch of Drawn and Quartered is continuously dampened by a tendency for the guitar to linger in soaring chords that contrast weirdly with the undercurrent of the rhythm section. At times, the band make it work, evoking the melodious death doom of something like Hooded Menace, but often it works against them, coming off as awkward and grating.
Despite that, "Horned Shadows Rise" manages to find that sweet spot, laying more into a foundational and catchy-as-hell riff, and "Carnal Transmigration" immediately captures a chaotic descent into hell. Herb Burke's vocals offer some respite from the infuriating whine of strings, reaching down to an intimidatingly low register that mingles nicely with the drums.
Drawn and Quartered's approach to death metal doesn't pay off on The One Who Lurks, and though there are elements that are worthwhile, there is little here that is able to rise above, possessed by a style of play that either falls flat or even annoys in its prominence. (Krucyator)