Tech Death Thursday: Don’t Sleep on Dat New Dying Fetus!
Spear is resting. He stayed tech for too long it would seem. So I’m taking over TDT today, and today we find out with whom is the wrong one to fuck! But first the news…
- There is a Dream Void stream over at MI (you know what, let’s give ’em Tuesday… the only thing Tuesdays have going for them is deals at B-Dubz).
- Dawn of Dementia is disbanding 🙁.
- Tech Death wizards NYN are letting us listen to another song from the upcoming album.
- Decibel is hosting a new Afterbirth song.
Them’s the news, now onto my review…
I find myself in a little bit of a quandry: I love Dying Fetus a good amount, but I definitely do not fall into their ‘tough guy’ demographic audience. Life is way too short to walk around like you’ve got something to prove. The title alone, Wrong One With Whom to Fuck, feels like a senseless threat. But the music is fantastic, so guys why not just let it stand on its own? Well good thing it really is amazing, so I can look right past all the ‘tude. I’ve been a DF fan for almost a decade now, and they have yet to disappoint me; but I felt the need to hijack Tech Death Thursday to let you know why this is the best album of their career.
This Baltimore death metal band needs no introduction. A person either loves them or hates them, or thinks they’re okay. They made us wait five years after the excellent Reign Supreme, which nearly caused me to lose interest in their work. I kept going further down the path of the Finder of New Music and sort of forgot about the bigger bands which got me into heavy metal in the first place, like Dying Fetus! So I’m writing the wrongs, and I’ll start that process by dissecting the first song on there:
A fan will feel right at home, as we’re greeted with a song which echoes old school Dying Fetus right off the get-go. It begins with the classic guitar sweeping that we all know and love… then takes you on a trip that apparently requires about 700 time changes throughout its entirety. In these roughly four minutes, each member of the band gets the chance to shine, including a quick bass solo and especially fancy drum antics during the entire second half of its run-time. What’s so lovely is that this here song may be by-the-books DF, but I think it was just their way of saying “Hi! remember us?“, and things only get more interesting as it progresses.
The second track “Panic Amongst the Herd” is the shortest one of the bunch, clocking in a little over three minutes long. It would make a great single. ..Moving on… “Die with Integrity” immediately follows and lays waste to the listener and most of the land and civilians in the vicinity. After a minute of creeping chuggery, they launch into a thrashy little ditty that’s as fast as anything they’ve ever done. The final few minutes are jaw-dropping, not only how heavy they are but how much they dance around multiple different styles of heavy metal. I suppose if anyone were to find a fault in the album, and keep in mind that I don’t find this particular trait a fault, it’s that there is SO much to digest. They are not short, easy songs to grasp at first, second, or even the third listen. While older Dying Fetus songs were catchy enough and memorable, these are pure exercises of showmanship. This is their most technical and showy body of work… and it’s a pure delight to these ears.
And now is a good time to drive home this point: they have really matured in five years! Dying Fetus has always had what I would consider a “limited palette” of different chunks of musical styles, into which their songs can be dissected. There’s the slow mosh-inducing chugs, the rapid-fire sweep picking, the hardcore-esque breakdowns, the neo-classical guitar solos, etc. Essentially, I could quantify the building blocks of song sections and match them up for all their music like maps. This stuff here, in 2017, is blowing my mind. To try and be able to follow each song’s unique path of direction changes… well that map would end up looking like the Primer timeline cheatsheet.
Number four, “Reveling In the Abyss” is 6:29 of sheer, interesting brutality. The song’s longer length (for them) really works to the band’s benefit, with their highly polished skillset. We’re taken though an entire journey in one song, never hurried through too hastily. This is an almost progressive side of the band, one that we haven’t fully seen before; just been given small glances over the years. “Seething with Disdain” is the fifth song and you can pretty much just see the above description for this one too. These five minutes cover a lot of ground as far as different styles of they’ve always done well over the decades. Whether you choose to play the album as background noise while you lift weights, or sit calmly and enjoy it on the couch with your full attention, it will get the job done.
I’ve just song a ton of praise about the record, and that’s only the first half! These five excellent songs are followed by five more excellent ones. It’s constantly and consistently interesting from start to finish. Quality material is delivered in spades here, the members of the band are straight-up workhorses. They must have spent a great deal of time composing the material, but also practicing it. I’m talking about a Nile-like level of workmanship here, but really they never slouched in that department anyways. And the production is top-notch: each instrument can be heard from the crunchy guitars, earth-shattering bass, and organic sounding drums. It’s clean but not too sterile.
This is a Riffman’s and a Song-Structureman’s dream come true. It also satisfies the hunger of br00tal-heads and tech death nerds alike. It is the perfect meeting point of punishing death metal and grindcore, performed with meticulous songwriting skills and a keen eye for detail. If you’ve liked even a single song from the band’s entire discography, you may love Wrong One With Whom to Fuck as much as I do! The album is without flaw and makes that pesky five-year waiting period worth every day. It is the band’s message to the world: “We are the champs. What you are doing is cute, but we truly are the wrong ones ones to fuck with” (there, I said the real album title).
It came out June 23rd, go buy it on Bandcamp to show your support for the most perfect music distribution platform in existence. Tell the big boys it’s still important to have a presence on Bandcamp. I bought the CD and you had better believe it’s going in the six disc changer.
Spear, thanks for letting me do Tech Death Thursday!
(Image via, and my cell phone camera)