Review: Dying Fetus – Make Them Beg For Death
“Finally… some good f***ing food”
Dying Fetus, a Maryland death metal band that’s been around nearly as long as the genre itself, is finally gearing up to release their newest record Make Them Beg For Death. This comes after a 6 year gap from their 8th record which released in 2017. Honestly it’s kind of wild to me that Dying Fetus still exists as a band, with a total of 14 lineup changes and 2 record label changes they’ve not exactly had a smooth road getting here… that being said, they are still around, and the rough journey obviously didn’t have any impact on their death metal chops. Staying power aside, good to see an old school band still kicking in this scene.
As a long-time fan personally, I was worried that this one may not hold up to their previous work. In short, it does, it does more than just hold up, it’s sick as hell to be honest. Stylistically this record reminds me a lot of a Carcass record. Disgusting classic death metal vocals, heavy grooves and pronounced hooks—it’s very catchy akin to something like Swansong (more intense than Swansong though). The drums specifically stand out to me on this record, incredibly precise and quick but they still sound raw enough that I can tell they’re real drums rather than MIDI. The guitars are similar; no matter how high the BPM rises, or how much sweep picking is involved, the guitar work is absolutely flawless. It feels refreshing in a way to get some classic death metal; as much as I love the modern djenty bands, it feels good to get some classic knuckle-dragging headbangers once in a while.
The record opens with the track “Enlighten Through Agony”: an explosion of riffs and blast beats, signifying that Dying Fetus is back and they know exactly what you’re here for, followed closely by super low-pitched growling vocals. This track shows impressive contrast between segments in the song structure, often switching between classic heavy duty chugs and frantic trem picked runs. I would have never guessed that all of this is being done by just 3 musicians. This is a great opener and gives a good first impression of the project as a whole. The 5th track “Unbridled Fury” is one of my favorites. it has extremely technical guitar work that I have a hard time imagining being done by a single guitarist (despite knowing that it is). The best part of the song though is almost certainly the fade out of the solo shortly followed by one of the best breakdowns of the record. The rest of the record continues this trend.
I appreciate the use of heavy grooves in this record. With a lot of death metal it’s easy to get lost in the wall of sound and impossibly fast instrumentation, there’s still plenty of that here, however they do a good job segmenting it keeping the listener engaged and on the rails. After spending a lot of time with it, I’d place it somewhere between Carcassand Cannibal Corpse, it combines many of my favorite elements of both band’s sounds. I wish the bass sat a bit higher in the mix, but despite that, it’s a very enjoyable record to listen to and definitely deserves to be a part of Dying Fetus’ legendary discography. *Cough* Immortal *cough*
Stand out tracks – “Feast of Ashes” – “Unbridled Fury” – “When The Trend Ends” – “Subterfuge”
Make Them Beg For Death By Dying Fetus will be out on September 8th 2023 via Relapse Records.