Album Review : Dying Fetus - Wrong One to Fuck With (2017)
Maryland-based deathgrind trio Dying Fetus are quite possibly the best metal band with the worst possible name working today. They've been writing and performing some of the most hilariously brutal and over-the-top music for close to thirty years now, yet managed to freak the majority of people out from their name alone. Needless to say, I love them. I've been a fan since stumbling upon their album Killing on Adrenaline in high school, which featured mind-blowing one minute song Kill your Mother/Rape your Dog. Guess what? Dying Fetus released a new album last week titled Wrong One to Fuck With and it's as relentless and pounding as anything they've ever done before.
How could one describe the music of Dying Fetus to unprepared ears? It's oddly homogeneous, for starters. It's one of these bands who have released one album, really and added a new chapter to it every couple years. The hyperactive guitar constantly blaring a rifle blast of high-pitched notes contrasts with frontman John Gallagher's pitch shifted growls and shapes a unique identity to their sound. They love to use breakdowns (something they carried from their early grindcore days) and take songwriting EXTREMELY seriously despite coming up with AMAZING song titles such as: Fornication Terrorist, Pissing in the Mainstream, Nocturnal Crucifixion, Bathe in Entrails and Your Treachery Will Die With You among others. Seriously, these guys are the best if you're into extreme music. They write songs to start a riot to.
My favorite song on Wrong One to Fuck With is the awesomely titled Seething with Disdain, which tells the story of a deadly feud between John Gallagher and whoever dared to fucking cross him. One of the oddly interesting musical quirks in the song is a long, naked and cavernous growl bridging two musical segments together. It sets the tone for violent and ugly resolution to a feud Gallagher vows to continue from generation to generation. It's a spectacular song. Ideological Subjugation is, well...a great soundtrack to an upcoming riot. I particularly enjoyed the songwriting here, comparing social upheaval to biblical rebellion and calling to arms against a system that pacified us for too long. Dying Fetus tweaked their mid-tempo grooves a little in order to offer more aggression here. There's a manic energy that transcends to it that transcends their usual technical approach.
Other songs I've particularly enjoyed from Wrong One to Fuck With are Reveling in the Abyss and Fallacy, which explore themes of isolation, mental distress and public humiliation which a more common in death metal, yet aren't usually performed with such freakin' energy. Induce Terror is also cool because of how different it is. It's perhaps the only song in Dying Fetus' repertoire I would qualify of atmospheric. This album doesn't reinvent the wheel, though and songs like the opener Fixated on Devastation is somewhat hard to differentiate from Invert the Idols, the opener from their prior album Reign Supreme. Not a big fan of Panic Amongst the Herd and Unmitigated Detestation either. They're not back to reinvent the wheel, though. They write new music whenever they have something to say. The medium is only an end to a mean and with Wrong One to Fuck With, Dying Fetus beckons you to start hating your fucking life and destroying everything, but especially the fabric of society. That alone should qualify the album a post-Trump metal.
Wrong One to Fuck With is a straightforward, sometimes predictable but always gleefully energetic release from Dying Fetus, which takes its rightful place in their discography. While it sure doesn't have the appeal of Destroy the Opposition or Descend Into Depravity, but their unique and dependable brand of deathgrind still feels welcomed after all these years like a good kick in the ass after a lazy day on the couch. It probably won't convince you of anything if you're not already a long-time fan of the band like I am, but it's an album where they do what they do best. Tearing down the roof from your house and burning everything in it. And they're still doing the job for me, twenty-something years later. Just like on the first day...