Friday, 5 October 2012

Dying Fetus - Reign Supreme (2012)

1. Invert The Idols 2:05
2. Subjected To A Beating 4:53
3. Second Skin 4:42
4. From Womb To Waste 4:56
5. Dissidence 3:27
6. In The Trenches 3:44
7. Devout Atrocity 4:28
8. Revisionist Past 3:57
9. The Blood Of Power 5:27
10. Dead Whores Love To Fuck (Deluxe Edition Bonus) 0:50
Total Time: 38:22

Annapolis, Maryland death metal act Dying Fetus are nothing if not consistent. Since the release of their debut "Purification Through Violence" in 1996, vocalist/guitarist John Gallagher and, until recently, a veritable horde of rotating musicians have released album after album of crushing, groove laden death metal, sitting happily beside Suffocation and Aborted in brutal death metal's elite, and also in my heart as one of my longtime favourite bands.
So now we arrive on album number 7. 16 years on, an older and much wiser John Gallagher once again stepped up and delivered a strong, aggressive, well written album that will surely see inclusion in several end of year lists.

Reign Supreme once again features the trifecta of Gallagher, bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley and drummer Trey Williams. Being the most stable lineup for a while, and having recently seen the band in action I can safely say that this lineup is one of the strongest in the bands existence.

Starting off with some brutal sweeps in "Invert The Idols" this album immediately delivers a metaphorical blow straight to the head and shows no sign of letting up. Roughly 3/4 in when the groove kicks in, the song just crushes and John Gallagher growls "FUCK YOUR FAIRYTALES" with extreme guttural intensity.

This flows seamlessly into "Subjected To A Beating" a longer, mid pace song with a fantastic groove. Trey Williams shows his impeccable timing throughout this album, and never has any trouble locking in with the groove.

"Second Skin" sounds absolutely manic and is full of hate and brutality, changing from blazing speed and stopping on a dime to slow to a crushing groove.

"From Womb To Waste" is one of my favourites by far, thanks to the grim albeit humorous opening sample, which then leads to another crushing groove.

"Dissidence" and "In The Trenches" both have great riffs, but it's "Devout Atrocity" that stands out as one of my favourites, from a fantastic, speedy, pinch harmonic driven intro, the song doesn't let up until it's torn you a new one, and the same can be said for pretty much every track on this album in one way or another, be it pummeling you with speed and brutality or crushing you with a breakdown so crushing it feels like a black hole is swallowing you as you listen.

"Revisionist Past" has a nice little solo half way through to spice things up, proving that John Gallagher is willing to change the formula up occasionally.

By the time "The Blood Of Power", which contains some of my favourite riffing of the album, and an amazing solo, has passed, it's hard to believe that 37 minutes have gone by. This entires album flies by in a blur of grooves and violence, but it pulls you in with so many catchy elements it's hard to not want to listen again.

Bonus track "Dead Whores Love To Fuck" is simplistic but hilarious, a welcome 50 second addition to an already brilliant piece of music.

In my opinion this is possibly the strongest Dying Fetus release since "Killing On Adrenaline", and after seeing the band live only weeks ago, they prove that they have no trouble recreate the ferocity onstage. Simply fantastic.


Check this out if: You love guttural vocals, sweep picking and crushing groove-laden breakdowns :D

For fans of: Suffocation, Cerebral Bore, Aborted, Deeds Of Flesh
Reign Supreme is out now on Relapse Records

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