Merciless Hammer of Lucifer
A simply okay slice of retro-grotesque death metal courtesy of Seattle's Drawn and Quartered, "Merciless Hammer of Lucifer" is very obviously in debt to Suffocation and the classic New York DM scene (NY lifers Incantation and Mortician spring to mind immediately too). I'm also thinking of early Carcass and Pig Destroyer, though they don't do the awesome blood-and-guts-mongering of primo gorecore, they're more on a Deicide tip, thematically speaking. The material on this record is executed well enough, but with neither innovations enough nor, conversely, over-the-top warlust enough to make Drawn and Quartered seem more than the sum of their influences. And that's fine to a point, there's never enough death metal in the world; but when there's nothing to distinguish it from, say, Incantation/Suffocation, you'd probably rather just listen to Incantation/Suffocation. This album lacks the feral ultraviolence to really stand out and redefine the form. I want this fucker to be like an explosion of blood, like that fucking scene in "Scanners," right out of the gate!
- Matthew Moyer