Review Summary: The year sees Dying Fetus ultimately establishing it as a reign supreme of Death Metal.
Dying fetus has been around since 1991, the band most of the time works on relentlessly brutal music with a dosis of technical accuracy and at times grindcore based song structures, however; they have always distinguished themselves from their peers writing untraditional Death Metal lyrics, Dying Fetus usually injects political themes into their bloodline and this eventually leaded to their “Political Deathgrind” image. Death metal is a redundant genre and if becoming well known is not an issue, having a good reputation and releasing consistent “original” relevant material is even harder. Yes; a lot of the interesting bands are sadly overlooked… when the time comes for a popular entity to release a follow up usually you are witnessing a copy-paste event “C‘est la Vie“. This has become a regular problem in the genre itself, for the enthusiasts of course that doesn’t matters as long as it is brutal and fast, but people tired of that might have realized what is going on with the genre clichés. And that’s why it is remarkable if an already formulaic band decides to gain respect by means of originality, performance and songwriting; Dying Fetus did so, since 2009 Descend Into Depravity the trio is taking both their music and band character more seriously.
Reign Supreme is Dying Fetus Seventh album, 2012 has been an incredible year for Death Metal and this is just another testament of that. However the band is not exactly reinventing the wheel Reign Supreme is an exquisite accomplishment, it has the right amount of brutality delivering subtle melodies and groovy guitar work, the technicality is not an issue this time around unlike with bands like Nile (overused) because it plays a different role, as catchiness dominates the songs both from the instrumental and vocal department. John Gallagher is a complete beast, his vocal prowess lies absolutely in his remarkable ability to mix very low growls with mid low throat screams and sudden animal-like pig-squeals. Another thing to take in count is the incredible musicianship this band showcases even when they are a trio. To further explain, the guitar work is brought to life by John as well and he must be one of the most technical guitarists of modern Death Metal. He wizardly plays groovy hooks (like the ones found on Subjected to a Beating), amazing chugging technical guitar riffs and fast melodic arpeggios. His band’s overall sound is benefited by the excellent production of Reign Supreme, also take for granted that without John Dying Fetus would not have stayed interesting, relevant and consistent throughout all this years, even when many of the primary elements of the Fetus formula have slowly faded, John keeps pushing his guitar boundaries and learning new techniques so he can keep his fans happy with fresh material, and that is something to be applauded. Reign Supreme above all is consistent, it contains few material that can be considered filler and that ends up rewarding us with a high replay-valuable album.
Each song on this album is superbly delivered, take for instance one of the best tracks “Revisionist Past” the track starts with a melodic guitar line that reminds of The Human Abstract’s Digital Veil, this is not casual because as soon as that line passes the song is ruled by brutal technicality, yet unusually mid-tempo parts at some points and features simply one of the best guitar solos I’ve heard from a Death Metal band, it is exceptionally melodic and that guitar tuning rules. thought for the most part John guitar solos last mostly 20 seconds, his stretches of technically continue on and further justify the song’s epic reign of supremacy. Lyrically speaking Reign Supreme main theme is war, another change in direction for the band; songs like “From Womb to Waste” sees Dying Fetus talking about drugs and their terrible effects (of course on a gory manner). Another highlight song of the album would be “Subjected to a Beating” because it contains the right amount of technical riffs and groovy hooks, I mean (and this is just my opinion) Dying Fetus is a great band, but I feel that sometimes they should take breaks from the overly technical attack because they captivate much more attention with their most tasteful groovy sections and melodic solos, that would work better… the technical quality is excellent, I love it; but it is sometimes raping the song too much leaving a tired, painfully varied vagina. Things set aside “Subjected to a Beating” is the catchiest track of Reign Supreme.
Sometimes when a band puts lot of thought into their songwriting they come up with something excellent and remarkable. Reign Supreme is an album that not only emphasizes in speed but also in groove, not only in a technical guitar work but also an at times melodic and catchy one. This album is a must-have for any fan of the genre, 2012 has been an incredible year for death metal and this is just another testimony, with the triumphant recovery of Six Feet Under, the new release by Cannibal Corpse, a soundtrack for the zombie apocalypse by Aborted, and the attack of Sethu brought to you by Nile (and that’s just too name a few); the year sees Dying Fetus ultimately establishing 2012 as a reign supreme of Death Metal.