Drawn and Quartered - _Merciless Hammer of Lucifer_
(Moribund, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7 out of 10)
Just in case you're unfamiliar, Drawn and Quartered : Immolation :: Demiricous : Slayer, or any of the gore-death bands are to Cannibal Corpse for that matter. Just so that's out of the way. Would that there were more to chew on, though, _Merciless Hammer_ being another stagnant yet well played entry in the '90s Floridian death metal "coulda been a contender" awards. Granted, Drawn and Quartered have been flying the banner since around 1993, but the problem is this album -- and its four predecessors in degrees of almost exacting precision -- would have sounded well intentioned yet second rate even fifteen years ago, back when this kind of thing was still more or less fresh. Here in 2007, the mid-tempo, blast-driven template Drawn and Quartered trade in demands a little something extra to keep it vital, and it's in the ingenuity department that the band falter.

All a bit harsher than maybe the quartet deserve, as aside from lack of both originality and better than average songwriting, D&Q haven't committed any flagrant artistic faux pas; but this is metal, baby, and if you can't take a little critical buckshot your way, then you shouldn't be in the game. I for one expect something a little meatier than cookie cutter / cookie monster "vokills" and wannabe virtuosic guitar noodling. Even so, the main problem the band is hamstrung by is their almost complete and total Immolation worship. If you're talented enough to pull off an almost-as-good approximation you can get away with tailoring your sound up to 90% after one band, but with the average talent the D&Q members have to offer they'd be better off risking failure outright by spreading their influences a little thinner. As is, pleasant enough background filler, but with the dozens of similar quality releases coming out week after week, year after year, _Merciless Hammer of Lucifer_ is destined to gather as much dust as those disrupted tombs it seeks to sonically emulate.

Contact: http://www.drawnandquarteredonline.com

(article published 4/11/2007)


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