Make America Great Again, you say? Well, how about making this country of ours KILL again with some fucking high quality death metal!? Sure, you might be immediately put off by the title The One Who Lurks. Anyone who has experienced the chilling sensation of being stalked might balk at the title. So it’s important to be clear that the person lurking is not really a person at all. Rather, it’s an evil spirit. Perhaps, being based in Seattle, it’s somehow linked to the Fratelli family. It’s really hard to tell. What’s decidedly not hard to tell is that Drawn and Quartered make some pure, unadulterated, badass death metal.
And why not? The band signified the slight switch up in sound and feel on their 2016 demo (who releases a demo after 23 years as a band, unless it’s being used as a signpost) for which they updated their logo.
So, enough with the backstory, let’s talk about some music.
While Drawn and Quartered may have spent their career being compared to Incantation and Immolation, The One Who Lurks is decidedly closer to a Rottrevore-style take on that sound. The album opens with heavy, loosely-tuned double bass slapping away as guitars, low in the mix, slide like caramel over thick riffs and reverb-laden growls. That sound and general pattern is repeated throughout the album, tying the whole experience up like a hobo’s bandana rucksack.
“Horned Shadows Rise” leads the first sped up assault. Sounding the horns and squealing into the night, layered vocals creep low beneath guitars that eke out lead riffs accompanied lock-step by the rhythm section. As the tune drops into it’s groove, the drums take on a decidedly kick-snare pattern anchored by turnaround fills as the riff climbs back to its highest peak.
“Deliverance to the Worms” is the leader in the battle for best track. Another vicious drum assault (tighten up that bass drum!) dissolves into an absolutely banger of a groove. Squeals punctuate the descending, chord-heavy riff underlined by a sort of herky-jerky, staccato endpoint. At almost three-and-a-half minutes, it represents the perfect length for Drawn and Quartered’s compositional undertakings.
With a complete run-time of 40 minutes, The One Who Lurks is a relatively brief affair by some accounts, yet the album doesn’t feel truncated in the least. It sounds like a band that showed up, said what they have to say, and left to go eat footlong steak & cheese hoagies at the 7-Eleven while downing an insufferable amount of Yoo-Hoos before heading home to play Mutant League Hockey on their original NES console.
Are Drawn and Quartered reinventing the proverbial wheel? No. They are making tried-and-true death metal for fans who slowly sip their watered down juice while taking their second probiotic of the day before bed. The One Who Lurks is a solid album, lurking in your subconscious and providing more than enough death metal bang for your buck.