Review Summary: Never mind the knife, mate… that's it, just breathe and embrace the groove.
"Let’s make it moshy, let’s make it slammy.”
This was the premise upon which John Gallagher and the boys embarked on their death metal journey more than three decades ago, blending influences such as Obituary, Suffocation, Carcass, Deicide or Cannibal Corpse into a brutal yet catchy and memorable formula, steeped in groove and blast beat carnage. A recipe that remained essentially unchanged throughout Dying Fetus' eight studio albums and countless lineup changes. Although there has undeniably been an increasing stylistic focus and technical refinement over the years, culminating in the now classic Reign Supreme
, the band has never strayed from the original course, remaining consistent every step of the way. A strategy that paid off, as it has placed the boys firmly at the top of the food chain alongside the likes of Cryptopsy and Cattle Decapitation, nearly matching Cannibal Corpse's popularity. The aforementioned Reign Supreme
and genre classic Destroy the Opposition
represent the pinnacle of Dying Fetus' destructive path; two milestones that, each in their own way, encapsulate the very best of what the band has to offer and upon which all their work is measured. I'd say that Dying Fetus' ninth studio album, Make Them Beg for Death
, is halfway between these two, somehow gathering the collective’s many faces and their most relevant attributes. The overlapping of the band's logos on the album cover unveils this sense of aggregation while creating a first level of discomfort through visual shock.
The menu has been prepared to feed and entertain old, new, and casual fans, always up for a good dose of catchy brutality. Intricate riffing and overwhelming blast beats coexist with infectious grooves in a dynamic synergy designed for the mosh pit from day one. However, unlike its predecessor Wrong One to *** With
, which felt like a step down, Make Them Beg for Death
is a triumphant offering that brings together all the collective’s strengths. I would go so far as to say that it goes straight onto the shelf of the band's classics, with songs like 'Enlighten Through Agony', 'Compulsion For Cruelty' or 'When The Trend Ends' being on par with the best the lads have ever produced. The album's forte, nonetheless, doesn't lie in the intrinsic quality of each track or in the sum of its parts, but in its whole, as a thirty-seven-minute listening experience that never slows down or disappoints. There's a sense of accomplishment throughout Make Them Beg for Death
that never dissipates, even when the tracks drag on a little longer than necessary or in the more predictable moments that bring neither novelty nor extra excitement to the mix. It's all about the vibe, baby, and there's no shortage of that around here. Much like a never-ending stream that never runs dry, fueled by the synergy of a trio that has been together for over a decade, each a master of their craft and a cornerstone of the sound structure. The dual gutturals provided by Gallagher and Sean and the way they interact within the sonic dynamics are probably the most symbolic feature of this complementarity. The lead single, 'Compulsion For Cruelty', and 'Unbridled Fury' both mirror this two-way formula splendidly, with the former promising to be one of the highlights of the band's upcoming tours, along with 'When The Trend Ends', which is the grooviest track on the album and a personal favorite. The multiple slow-paced sections and slam(ish) breakdowns are also part of Make Them Beg for Death's
backbone, not only by forging contrasts with the fast tempo segments, thus energizing the musical structure, but also by enhancing the band's groove, something that has always separated them from the rest of the pack. Distinctive traits, underlined by proper recording and mixing, courtesy of long-time producer Steve Wright and Mark Lewis, respectively.
Times and circumstances may change, bands can come and go, styles do evolve and yet, thirty years on, nobody blends groove with brutality quite like Dying Fetus. It's a fact of life, whether you choose to embrace it or not. Make Them Beg for Death
doesn't aim for innovation or throw any curveballs; rather, it roams familiar territory, compiling the trio's greatest strengths into a deadly package that somehow synthesizes both the band's legacy and stylistic spectrum. It is the sound of inevitability, as the wise man once said; that overwhelming might that pushes you into the mosh pit and makes you headbang. And that, my friends, is all I want from these lads.