Reign in Thud
If you were to take all things as being 100% consistent, Leave the Hall should not like Dying Fetus one bit. With as much slam as a Hulk Hogan 20 DVD career retrospective and more breakdowns than the infamous 1978 Lada owners club winter trip across Siberia, they comprise everything that we have slated bands like Waking the Cadaver and Job For A Cowboy for in the past. However, one thing we are not is consistent, and anyway, it’s not poor old Dying Fetus’ fault that a bunch of utter, utter tossers have decided to take a good thing and spoil it now, is it? It’s a bit like that Swastika tattoo I have on my left bum cheek that is totally a Hindu thing but people completely take the wrong way due to the reckless and irresponsible actions of the Nazi Party.
Not that Dying Fetus are actively trying to distance themselves from such musical shenanigans, however. With Reign Supreme, they systematically set about upping the hook factor over and above anything that has gone before, seamlessly merging the brutality of prison rape with the catchiness of prison syphilis. While it may simply be a case of me reverting back to my well-worn teenage Hatebreed comfort blanket, the amount of bro-downs are never off-putting, balanced as they are by some ridiculously technical passages and the ever-intimidating vocal double team of John Gallagher and Sean Beasley; here sounding more and more like a pair of large dogs engaging in a gruffle-off. Now, some might say sounding like a slightly heavier, faster Biohazard is a bad thing, but they couldn’t be more wrong as that is the very definition of musical perfection.
Over the last few releases, the Fetus have been carefully paring back their sound and improving the production, a progression that is continued in crystal clear, straight to the point fashion here. Somehow, Reign Supreme is more frantic, technical and focused than anything they’ve released previously – the 2-minute opener Invert the Idols being a perfect example. How a trio can be so ridiculously heavy is beyond my mortal comprehension, having always thought YYZ by Rush was about as tasty as it could possibly get.
I also thought that Subjcted to a Beating was just the title of track two, but after listening to it, I realised it had in fact physically broken my jaw, ribs and given my nuts a black eye. My mistake. Revisionist Past begins with a lick taken from Jason Becker‘s spare arpeggio collection, meaning they can still justify their precious ‘Technical Death Metal’ genre tag on Wikipedia in the eyes of people with lots of strings on their guitars, and From Womb To Waste opens with a sample that lets everyone know they are still ‘brutal’ enough to talk about fucked-up drug babies. Real talk.
In The Trenches manages to have such fast double bass that it sounds exactly like the constant drone my washing machine makes on a 1200 spin, for which Trey Williams deserves credit, as one drawling noise caused by all instruments being played at imperceptible speed is surely the logical conclusion for the entire Death Metal genre. I for one can’t wait for it all to end so we can all just draw a line under it and move on to Post-Enya Hypnometal and Technical Somalian Reggaecore.
Perhaps one day this will come to pass, but until it happens, we will just have to make do with albums such as this, another ridiculously heavy outing that will surprise only the previously uninitiated, annoy some of the far-too-initiated, and will make the rest happy until their brain plops out their nose into the crotch of their sweaty, urine-saturated twat slacks. Oh yes.