You know them. Those bands that you’re always surprised they still exist when they release a new album. Actually always good, but which somehow mysteriously never really managed to reach the interest of the wider public. One of those bands for me is Drawn And Quartered. Never ever released a bad album, but still a band that falls off my radar every time. Even after the previous album, ‘The One Who Lurks’, which completely blew my socks off, this latest album came as a surprise again.
The band’s journey through many (smaller) labels, and at some point even needed to release an album independently, is quite indicative for how the public treats this band. Many times the band has been compared to Immolation and is widely appreciated for their stubborn and stoic perseverance, yet they are kept in underground levels. I wouldn’t be surprised if the band, at this point in their career, is fine with this position, at least it has never gotten in their way of releasing one great album after another. This new one, ‘Congregation Pestilence’, released last year, is no exception. While it is remarkably less crushing than its predecessor, it holds all the Drawn And Quartered familiarities. The Immolation comparison has faded over the years, in favour for a sound that is more of their own – partly also because Immolation has gained a much heavier sound ever since their ‘Majesty And Decay’-album in 2010. Still, the dynamism in tempos, the intricate riffs, eerie melodies and equally mesmerizing and almost suffocating atmosphere are reminiscent to Immolation’s take on the genre. You can take a listen to the closing title track of the album, which ends in grandiose atmospheric beauty.
As a whole, I think this is a good time to finally say goodbye to the eternal Immolation equation, with a history of over three decades and quite a decent output, the band deserves much more. And while I have no illusions that this album will change much about the band’s position, it is just another chapter in the impressive oeuvre of Drawn And Quartered.