WHO: One of the most influential and genre defining bands in all of Death Metal, Dying Fetus has been separating the metalheads from the posers since 1993 and to this day shows no sign of stopping. Although enduring many line up changes throughout the years, many fans (including myself) will maintain that Dying Fetus’ golden age was between the release of their first independent EP ‘Bathe In Entrails’ and their third full length ‘Destroy The Opposition’. Their very best material is a subject that many different metalheads have countless opinions on. Most maintain that ‘Destroy The Opposition’ was their pinnacle. Others have said that after ‘Purification Through Violence’, the band went soft and sold out. Almost no one maintains that ‘Stop At Nothing’ or ‘War Of Attrition’ is their best with any knowledge of the band’s previous work.
For me, Dying Fetus have yet to surpass the 1998 masterpiece that is ‘Killing On Adrenaline’. The perfect merge of the raw edge so many love on their earliest work and the harsh societal condemnation they have since become infamous for. Everything someone could want from a deathgrind, brutal death metal and slam death metal release is in full force at all times throughout 34 minutes of face grinding, mother killing, dog raping brutality.
WHEN: On July 27th 1998, the unbeatable quartet of John Gallagher, Jason Netherton, Brian Latta and Kevin Talley dropped this uncompromising beast of an album through Morbid Records and changed people’s perceptions of Death Metal forever.
WHERE: Although Morbid Records is a German record label, Dying Fetus hail from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
WHY IT’S A CLASSIC: From the humorous deathgrind number ‘Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog’ to ‘Intentional Manslaughter’s venomous conception of a dystopian wasteland, everything a brutality craving, technicality loving, society hating metalhead could possibly dream of is here; mind erasing guitar/drumming face-fisting slams, inhuman growls/shrieks, gore & genuine meaning colliding and more moshtastic numbers than most bands will ever write.
As an anarchist, Jason Netherton’s lyrics describing an all encompassing revulsion with government, society and multi-national corporations strike a chord that even his band Misery Index can’t recreate. ‘Procreate The Malformed’ is the highlight of the album in my eyes, since it features the very best instrumental work as well as vengefully describing ‘burning the global village down’. While I abhor the initiation of violence, ‘Procreate The Malformed’ strikes me as a thorough description of responding to the most violent and criminal elements the world over, from government gangsters to parasitic corporate peddlers. I can’t help but bang my head, raise my fist and shout ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis!’ when I hear it.
Many criticize the production of this album, but I say ‘phooey’ to all of them. The raw edge and songwriting prowess featured on this album is exactly why it’s Dying Fetus’ best. One of ‘War Of Attrition’s premiere faults was sterile production, something that no one can accuse ‘Killing On Adrenaline’ of suffering from. ‘Destroy The Opposition’ may be more ‘refined’ as it were, but the sheer fury of ‘Killing On Adrenaline’ gives it the edge over all of Fetus’ previous and current work, as well as almost all of its competition.
HOW: John Gallagher, Jason Netherton and Kevin Talley; three of the most talented individuals in all of Death Metal. Many have accused John Gallagher of being a ‘wigger’ for admitting that he listens to hip-hop more than most modern metal, but given the pitiful state of most modern ‘metal’, I don’t blame him. I’ll take Jedi Mind Tricks or Necro over Derpswitch Engage or Bring Me The Hairstraightner any old day of the week. Besides, no one can touch his monstrous growls or completely underrated/unappreciated guitar shredding. Netherton lays down fantastic bass, shrieks and was of course the lyrical mastermind of the album, which deserves a mountain of praise in of itself. While Kevin Talley has drummed for his fair share of great bands (Soils Of Fate, Misery Index, live drums for Decrepit Birth) and absolutely terrible bands (Dååth, Chimaira, Six Feet Under most recently) nothing compares to his work with Dying Fetus. His speed and intensity on the drum kit were at their peak here, ‘Grotesque Impalement’ and ‘Destroy The Opposition’. All of these elements combine (with Brian Latta as the unsung hero of backing guitar) to create an album unparalleled by anything else in the band’s already legendary discography.
While ‘Descend Into Depravity’ was in many ways a return to form after the merely decent offerings of ‘Stop At Nothing’ and ‘War Of Attrition’, I’m anxious to see what ‘Reign Supreme’ has in store, especially since word is Dying Fetus are revisiting their roots. If it’s anything like ‘Killing On Adrenaline’, I daresay this year will get even better, and with ‘Koloss’ and ‘Incurso’ already destroying any and all expectations, that’s a possibility I welcome with open arms.
You can find more information on Dying Fetus here: http://www.relapse.com/label/artist/dying-fetus.html
Merch, CDs and tour dates are all available there. Even more merch is available here; http://www.indiemerch.com/dyingfetus