The Bottom Line
- Shifts between tempos and styles effortlessly.
- John Gallagher’s guitar work is intricate and consistently interesting.
- Crisp production.
- Not a big evolutionary leap from earlier work.
- Released September 15 by Relapse Records.
- Dying Fetus formed in 1991 in Maryland.
- This is Dying Fetus’ sixth full-length studio CD.
Guide Review - Dying Fetus - 'Descend Into Depravity'
Their latest album Descend Into Depravity offers another helping of the things Dying Fetus does almost better than any death metal band: sleek stylistic and tempo shifts; vocals that sound channeled straight out of a smokestack and driving speed that doesn’t detract from the meat of the songs.
Founding member John Gallagher holds up this album from the beginning although he gets strong supporting performances. Gallagher’s ambidextrous riffs have to be heard to be believed; the guitar playing on “Atrocious By Nature” and “Descend Into Depravity,” is both a musical and physical feat.
Bassist Sean Beasley keeps track with this virtuoso performance, particularly on the track “At What Expense,” which opens with a galloping bass line. Despite the pace changes and the often abrupt jumps this album still moves with force and consistency.
Death metal and Dying Fetus fans will be pleased with Descend Into Depravity, and it holds up well on repeat listens. But I kept hoping I might hear something markedly different from their earlier work.
It’s not that their style needs improvement; it’s that Gallagher and the bunch have the chops to take their music to even more innovative places. But for a band that’s been going this long and with so many changes, this is a fine slab of death nonetheless.