There isn’t a band in existence that does technical, moshy, brutal death metal better than Dying Fetus. Sure, John Gallagher and his ever-changing lineup have had their ups and downs, but since paring down to a trio in 2007, the band has been absolutely killing it, releasing the devastating Descend into Depravity in ’09, and the equally wicked Reign Supreme in June of last year. Due to the unbelievable avalanche of great music released in 2012, I’m just now getting ’round to having my brains irreparably mutilated by Dying Fetus’ seventh album, but I’ll be goddamned if it wasn’t worth the wait.
Dying Fetus give new meaning to the term “power trio;” guitarist/vocalist Gallagher, bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley and drummer Trey Williams are excellent musicians, which is an absolute necessity in order to pull off the disciplined, ultra-tight attack of Reign Supreme. Not a single note is wasted or out of place, even the most minute details are in service of making Dying Fetus into a more streamlined and efficient killing machine. Henry Rollins once said: “Keep your blood clean, your body lean and your mind sharp;” in a way, Dying Fetus have applied this philosophy to their music.
Gallagher has been the band’s driving force since day one, and it his guitar-work that leads Dying Fetus into the heat of battle; his rhythm tone is crushing beyond compare, like having a Panzer tank dropped on your skull, while his leads cut through the mix like razor-wire. Gallagher’s vocal work is also a highlight of Reign Supreme; a gurgling, guttural death-belch that is one of the most recognizable in all of death metal. The rhythm section of Beasley and Williams only serves to add yet more blasting brutality, but it is when they slow things down and dig into a deep groove that Dying Fetus become one of the heaviest bands on the fucking planet.
As has been the case for the past several Dying Fetus albums, Reign Supreme features a damn near perfect production scheme; I’m not sure if it’s as dark-sounding as Descend into Depravity, but it nonetheless does an exquisite job of accentuating the band’s sharp edges and bone-breaking heft. The album is as aerodynamic and explosive as an ICBM, slicing through the stereo field to inflict mass destruction upon its intended target: the listener.
Although Dying Fetus’ core sound has changed little since 2000’s classic Destroy the Opposition, it matters little; the band are so good at delivering their patented brand of brutality that one can’t help but crave more. The sonic beating remains the same, but Dying Fetus continue to strive to refine and perfect that beating into something meaner, heavier and deadlier.