Review Summary: Dying Fetus' attempt at survival! Good but definitely NOT the best!
There comes a time in every band’s life when the expectations from its fans are high and the band plans to experiment a bit moving away from their signature sound. That time for Dying Fetus arrived just after original member Jason Netherton left the band following guitarist Voyles’ and drummer Talley’s departure. There were a lot of floating speculations regarding the band’s next which some believed would change the band’s career graph forever.
Well some were right however, some were wrong. Abso- f***ing -lutely wrong!
Stop at nothing was John Gallagher’s (the only surviving member since the beginning!) attempt to keep the fan’s hopes from falling. By this time, the band had created enough noise underground to have grabbed attention of most death metal lovers. So Relapse Records promoted the album thinking this will become another death metal classic. Eventually, it didn’t but it was good enough for the band since it kept their fans from spitting straight in their faces.
The 2003 released album didn’t really make it to the classic shelf but gave the band enough space and name on radio airplay and Headbanger’s Ball paving way to extensive tours and shows in support for the album. Musically the album could not stand up to the band’s previous album, Destroy the Opposition. The changes in the band line-up led to quite a few changes in its signature sound as well. But it had the muscle to raise the hair of any death metal follower easily. The band continued promoting themes like war, politics questioning the patience of the humanity in tracks like Schematics and Onslaught Of Malice. Personally, I felt the band’s sound took a turn for the worse after the departure of its original members. The drums in particular do not shine as much as they did or could have. The vocals were decent but again couldn’t put a good fight with earlier work. The production, however, is excellent.
1. Schematics: The opening track couldn’t do more justice than this. The track opens with ambient, hollow noises which seem to have been recorded straight from a mining shaft. This song is a treat for the Dying Fetus fans as it keeps shuffling between the death and grind modes. The track does its job basically! 4/5
2. One Shot, One Kill: Probably the best song from the album. This song was received well as the video became regular on Headbanger’s Ball. The intro riff literally is burning, brutal and rash. The song includes a couple of breaks and interludes where the grindcore influence can clearly be made out. The song ends with the initial riff sounding heavier because of the new grooves from drums. 5/5
3. Institutions of Deceit: A relatively shorter track attacking the hypocrisy and deceit in the name of gods and various man made institutions. This one cries out FILLLEERR but a good one at that. Not very disappointing. 3.5/5
4. Abandon All Hope: This is the longest, noisiest and probably the most chaotic song of the album. Filled with tons of tempo shifts and hateful lyrics, this song stands out as a masterpiece. The drum prowess by Erik is a highlight of the song. Well written and arranged but fails to grab attention for long. This one gets a 3.5/5.
5. Forced Elimination: A fast paced track, this is again more of a filler and does tend to remind you of the second track in part. MIND YOU! Its NOT repetitive, its just a short track on which you cant help but headbang. Sweet! 4/5
6. Stop at Nothing: This is the shortest song from the album finishing under 3 and half minutes. Elements of grindcore seem to be missing and death metal signatures are more prominent. It is because of moments like these that the album just fails to be a classic.
7. Onslaught of Malice: The song breaks in with one of my personal favourite riffs but soon turns into a boring song. Dying Fetus’ hate for war and politicians is again reflected with lyrics like “Children, who'll die while they're young - stupid, more wasted life /Monstrous, desensitized dictator, orders them to die/ Violent assault, presuming salvation awaits beyond/ No hope for their future, they war unto their end”. Not one of my personal favourites neither a highlight from the album. A solo could have saved it. Deserves a 2.5/5.
8. Vengeance Unleashed: The last track is very death with more technical guitars and kicking riffs packed right in the middle of the song’s belly. The grind elements are again missed out until the end but then I don’t expect the album to have a better ending than this. Progressive track with slightly different guitar work shouting for attention. 3.5/5
The “guttural growling” and a thousand tempo shifts along with punchy riffs and headstrong drumming stamps the album as just another step for the band’s constantly evolving direction. Now, its just a step towards where the band once promised to take the fans long back. So it unfortunately doesn’t go beyond good or as some fans might term it “mediocre”. The band however resurrects soon with the 2007 release of War of Attrition.
Who’s it for""
• Dying Fetus fans who will love the band at all costs! Come whatever may!
• Blast beat lovers
• Government bashers and War haters.
Who’s it for"" NOT!!
• Dying Fetus fans expecting some good old sounds!
• Dying Fetus fans who understand the band’s image. There’s a lot to check out in there.
• Weak hearted merry men and babies!
OVERALL: The band’s done a decent job in staying alive, delivering some good hits on the go! 3.5/5
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