One of the things you cannot do as a reviewer (or at least you shouldn’t do!) is stay inside your comfort zone when it comes to music. Reviewing the same genre time and time again will make you be unappreciative of the music and your reviews will all start to sound the same. (well, that’s my opinion of it anyway!)
So, being the thrash/power/traditional heavy metal fan that I am, I decided to take a huge leap out of my comfort zone and review a death metal album. But, before I tell you what I think of the album, I will give you a little history of the band.
Drawn And Quartered were originally formed over two and a half DECADES ago, in 1993, under the name of Plague Bearer. Since changing their name, this Seattle based band have earned themselves huge admiration from critiques and listeners alike because of their unconventional and dark structures song-writing.
Now, six highly acclaimed full-length releases and numerous demos and EP’s shows why their existence in the underground is invulnerable and indestructible, and they have mastered the influences of bands such as Immolation, Incantation, Morbid Angle and Autopsy in their own way.
Even their own publicity notes say they “push the boundaries of traditional death metal by infusing technically complex riffs, while retaining the dreadful and raw environs with dexterity.”
“Hail Infernal Darkness” was the band’s third full length album, originally released on CD by Moribund Records, in 2006, having been mixed and mastered by Jesse O’Donnell at The Autopsy Rooms. Now, for the very first time this timeless masterpiece has been released 12″ vinyl format by Krucyator Productions.
So, as I said at the start of this review, I am completely out of my zone with this album as I am not a fan of death metal in anyway BUT having given this a few listen throughs, there are some positive points to the whole genre.
While the guitars are fast, and the drums are pounding, the music is anything but a noise. The guitarists are obviously very talented musicians as there is some great guitarwork hidden under all the speed and growling vocals and riffs galore punch you in the stomach so hard they reverberate around your very being from some time after the track has finished. The drummer, who also possesses a LOT of talent, must lose a gallon of sweat during a live performance as the drumming is so fast it’s any wonder he keeps up.
Death metal vocals have always been a bug-bear of mine, always preferring clean vocals no matter what the speed or ferocity of the music, and this album is no different. Some may argue it’s the vocals that make death metal what it is, but I don’t think anything in the world could make me change my mind.
Musically, I loved this album. Its fast, its intricate and its raw. This album is brutal for brutality’s sake, yet it is also very atmospheric. Darkness, death and extreme violence are images conjured up while listening to this and, although that could just be my overactive writer’s imagination kicking into play, with title tracks such as “Blind, Torture, Kill”, “Throne Of Desolation” and “Nightghoul of the Graveyards” I think this is precisely the reaction they were looking for.
Despite my limited death metal knowledge but relying on my intense research as I reviewed this, I think this will appeal to a lot of death metal fans. But don’t take my word for it, go and grab yourself a copy and see for yourself!
1. Procession of Pain
2. Genocide Advocacy
3. Hail Infernal Darkness
4. Blood of a Million Martyrs
5. Throne of Desolation
6. Suffer a Traitor’s Fate
7. Escape to Cremation
8. Bind, Torture, Kill
9. Nightghoul of the Graveyards
First published on Ever Metal