Drawn And Quartered
To Kill Is Human
Released: 1999, Moribund Cult Records
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
I liked this disc, but not all of you will. You kinda have to be in the right mood for it. Of course the mood is generally ugly, because, as I’m sure you’ve surmised by now, this is death metal. In fact, it’s really classic, no-frills, no-nonsense, non-innovative death metal. That’s why I say not all of you will like it, because historically the number one complaint about death metal is that it’s bland and monochromatic. There might be something to that, and I have to be honest: if you feel that way, Drawn and Quartered is not going to make you feel any better about death metal. But for death metal fans, this album is probably a good investment.
This Seattle band clearly worships at the altar of Cannibal Corpse, and they wear their influence proudly on their sleeves, with a logo that looks vaguely like CC’s and an album cover that could easily appear on the front of any Corpse album of your choice. You know the style I mean: hacked-up bodies, skeletons sinking in pools of blood, etc. The music is Corpsey too. Guitars throb with deep, sludgey chords. Drums rattle relentlessly on the faster tracks like “To Kill Is Human,” and churn with a dirge-like quality on the slower ones like “Machete Bloodbath.” (Oh, yeah, the song names are sort of like Corpse too. Duh). The vocals are even throughout, with that traditional growly, stomach-born “Roo! Roo! Roo!” sound. All in all, not surprising. However, unlike a lot of Corpse worshippers, these guys are pretty competent musicians, and their production quality isn’t bad. They’re not just jamming in the garage making noises in a futile attempt to emulate the cacophony of their favorite bands. They really are writing songs here, and they really are playing them well. This is why I said I liked this disc, because they have respect for death metal and they go out of their way to do it well. Even if you’re a death metal skeptic, you have to admit this sets them apart from a lot of the fray.
There’s really not much more to say about this CD than that. If you’ve read this far, by now you’ve certainly decided whether you want this album or not. At this point I can tell you is, whatever your prediction is of whether you’ll like this CD, it will probably come true.