Tuesday, 19 June 2012

DYING FETUS - Reign Supreme (2012)


01  Subvert The Idols
02  Subjected To A Beating
03  Second Skin
04  From Womb To Waste
05  Dissidence
06  In The Trenches
07  Devout Atrocity
08  Revisionist Past
09  Blood Of Power

Dying Fetus is an American death metal band originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Formed in 1991, the group is known for their consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing and hardcore-style breakdowns. Additionally, their reality-based lyrics characterized by political/modern themes are notable in death metal. Various line-up changes throughout the years have left John Gallagher the remaining original member, as well as the band's driving force. 'Reign Supreme' is the band's seventh offering, released on 19th June 2012 via Relapse Records and sees John Gallagher once again joined by mainstays Sean Beasley (bass) and Trey Williams (drums).

In spite of being limited to a trio, these guys know how to use their instruments in a complementary manner, playing off each other's skill set to create all-encompassing abrasive music - pleasant to some, yet dreadful to others. While the relentless brutality and groove-infused riffs make for some merciless vulgar death metal, this album may just be the most accessible Fetus release to date. Songs like "Revisionist Past" even include some melodious soloing. One of the real strengths of Dying Fetus is how unapologetically catchy their music is. They focus on creating memorable, engaging song structures that get the listener on board from the first riff, with deeply satisfying progressions that make it impossible not to bang your head.

Dying Fetus should probably shy away from the overly technical numbers as they seem to work best as a mid tempo crushing band with very good riffs. The intro to the album 'Invert The Idols' is exactly the problem I have with the band; way too technical for it's own good and wholly unnecessary as the follow-up track "Subjected To A Beating" showcases a great amount of upside to the band. 'Reign Supreme' tends to be a very bottom heavy album as the beginning is spotty and highlighted by the above mentioned track, and really tapers off from my memory until it kicks back in with "Dissidence" and even parts of "From Womb To Waste".

The band still provide their listeners with a physical, deeply cathartic release, and remain a fulfilling example of top-notch American death metal. Dying Fetus are at the top of their game with this record, one that you can throw on and enjoy from start to finish, which is sure to thrill old fans and gain them some new ones.

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