Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dying Fetus - Reign Supreme

2012 seems to be the year of heavy metal! I’m serious, I’m not aware of a year that has had as many amazing metal albums as this year (so far). Just to throw some out there, we’ve had awesome releases from Veil of Maya, Nile, Periphery, Spawn of Possession, Soulfly, Miss May I, Whitechapel, Mnemic, DragonForce (yes, it’s their best album), Kreator, The Agonist, Job for a Cowboy, Attack Attack!, Overkill, Epica, Before the Dawn, Six Feet Under, Cattle Decapitation, Marduk, Naglfar, Cannibal Corpse, and COUNTLESS others! What the fuck have record labels been putting in their bands’ food?? Well, whatever it is, it’s caused record sales AND music quality to literally skyrocket. Along with that, we have the best lineup of bands that the Summer Slaughter Tour has EVER had (besides 2008). Get ready to add yet another album on to the list of this year’s gems, because one of my favorite bands, Dying Fetus, has just released a piece of brutality to bombard the world.

The new Dying Fetus record has elements to satisfy everyone. For the people who just want another good ol’ Fetus record, Dying Fetus delivers exactly that. For those who like to challenge the bands that they listen to and want to hear something new that sounds different from the rest of their discography, Dying Fetus delivers something with an entirely new sound. That’s what the main focus of this review is going to be on, how Dying Fetus has changed. For someone that’s EXTREMELY familiar with their ENTIRE discography like me, it’s plain and obvious that the trio used Descend into Depravity as a blueprint for the writing process of Reign Supreme.

Descend into Depravity had two big traits that made up its sound: groove/catchiness and technicality. Of course, Dying Fetus has always had groove (especially in War of Attrition and Destroy the Opposition). But to me, the catchiness is much easier to hear in Descend into Depravity because its sound is much less complex. So if it’s a Dying Fetus record, it’s going to have tons of groove and catchy breakdowns (and people say breakdowns are for pussy deathcore/metalcore bands, HA! You make me SICK!). The thing that Reign Supreme has that was obviously influenced by Descend into Depravity is the really high-pitched technicality. But then again, all Dying Fetus albums seem to be pretty damn technical, with the exception of their debut.

The INSTANT the first track started, I had a huge hunch that this is probably going to be Dying Fetus’ most technical album yet…and I was right; holy fucking shit. But the technicality isn’t all really high-pitched guitar solos that seem to be random notes. First of all, it’s not constant, which shows that Jon has some kidneys in that skull that know when and when not to use hyper-technicality. But one thing is for sure, the drums seem to be nonstop. I’ve seen these guys live four times, and I’ve always been blown away by the drummer’s (seemingly) nonstop brutality and technical style of playing. If you love the technical drumming that Stop at Nothing brought to the table, Reign Supreme is what you need. Ok, I think I’ve gone on about the sheer technicality long enough. What’s next?

I don’t think that I need to mention anything about the amount of brutality that Dying Fetus never fails to bring at full-force. Because everything from the drums to the vocals to the bass to the fucking BAND NAME has the word BRUTAL engraved all over it. I know that people love to go on about the amount of fucking technical brutality that these guys have the ability to play, but seriously, it’s kind of a no-brainer when it comes to Dying Fetus. And besides, the brutality that they play is far beyond any kind of description that I can put into words, so there’s not even any point in me trying.

Jon (the bald dude that plays the 7-stringer) is known for being the guy that does DEEP inhaled growls with the occasional guttural exhale here and there. In Reign Supreme, there seems to be A LOT more exhales. But the exhales aren’t anything like I’ve ever heard before from this band, they seem to vary in pitch more than previous records. The exhaled growls aren’t quite as deep (in other words they sound more human) as I’m used to them being (listen to the War of Attrition album to get an idea of what I’m talking about). Here’s another thing that has changed: the breakdowns have slightly less groove and are 100000 times more brutal. They’re not the SLOW kind of brutal, they’re the kind of brutal that reminds me of a HUGE chunk of lead suddenly landing on someone out of nowhere (listen to the breakdown in Second Skin and the whole length of From Womb to Waste).

Favorite songs? Blehh, there’s no such thing when it comes to this album. I will say that I couldn’t have had a better first impression than the promo/teaser track that I heard on Dying Fetus’ website, From Womb to Waste. I would give this album a perfect score (just like almost all of their other albums) and would force this down everybody’s throat because I know that chances are that this is too much for many to handle. Which is exactly how Dying Fetus rolls.