I suppose I ought to confess at the outset that as a resident of the Seattle area for a couple of decades, I became a devoted fan of Drawn and Quartered long ago. Because they’ve been long-time fixtures in the Seattle underground for a couple of decades themselves, that means I’ve been able to watch them perform on numerous occasions, and have always left with a sore neck and a crooked, fiendish smile on my face. It therefore won’t surprise you to learn that I’ve had their new album The One Who Lurks high up on my radar screen since it was first announced — especially since six long years have passed since their last one, Feeding Hell’s Furnace.
That confession, by the way, wasn’t intended as an acknowledgment of any kind of bias. This band earned my loyalty (and that of many others, both here and around the globe) because they’re just really damned good. I say it only because I was prepared to like the album, based on history, before I ever heard it.
But I will say that, even with that history of enjoying records and performances, this new full-length still surprised me. It proves not only that Drawn and Quartered have plenty of gas left in the tank, but that they’ve tapped into some kind of eldritch fuel source that ups the octane even further beyond the premium juice that has driven the pistons of this savage death machine before.
DECIBEL magazine provided the first sign that even after 20 years of toil, the band have reached a new high on this new record, and below I’ve included a stream of the ferocious track they premiered last month (“Deliverance to the Worms”). But today’s focus is on the track we’re happily bringing you today, a new one named “Ravage the Cadaver“. In vivid terms, the band have described the track as follows:
“The choking stench of Oldest Death. Filth, lust and decomposition. “Ravage the Cadaver” lurches forth with primitive foulness, its lumbering pace indicative of much of The One Who Lurks, inexorably devouring and violating all that lives.”
And that’s no lie. While “Deliverance to the Worms” hits like a goddamned hurricane, “Ravage the Cadaver” is a lumbering, lurching, utterly morbid monstrosity, driven by a bone-crushing low end, skull-cracking snare work, and an effusion of foul moaning riffs. The choking stench of decay radiates from the song, and it also radiates doom and degradation. Eruptions of blasting drums channel violence, and spectral flaring notes enhance the music’s paranormal atmosphere, as do a pair of shrill and deliciously freakish solos. Herb Burke’s truly gargantuan and convincingly heartless voice is as horrifying as ever.
And on top of all that ghastliness, the queasy melodies in the song manage to insinuate themselves and take root in your head like wriggling alien larvae that continue to squirm unnervingly even after the song ends.
Yes indeed, The One Who Lurks isn’t just a testament to one band’s perseverance and survival, or even just an authentic and heart-felt homage to the traditions of ancient metal of death. It’s so good that it will undoubtedly find its place on many fans’ short-lists of the year’s best death metal albums. Don’t sleep on this one. It will be released on July 27th by the French label Krucyator Prouctions.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED: