Dying Fetus - Wrong One to Fuck With - (8/10)
Published on June 20, 2017
Old Man Strength
Some nerdlinger way back when put into everyone’s minds that writers should never end a sentence with a preposition. Thankfully, death metal hardos Dying Fetus don’t give two shits about grammar, and on their eighth full-length record, Wrong One to Fuck With, they defiantly beat their chests to the tune of war drums, indifferent to the trends and cares of a society that continues to prance down the path of pussification.
With vicious cover art—is that poor Michael Berryman’s decapitated head?—and an album title that will no doubt excite and offend with equal measure, Dying Fetus are pulling no punches with their latest exercise in grinding death. Wrong One to Fuck With spills forth enmity in a manner few other bands could hope to match. Apropos song titles like “Seething with Disdain” and “Unmitigated Detestation” capture vividly the feel and character of the record, delivering a palpable animosity to soundtrack the latest world events. In spite of its technicality, the music remains devoutly barbaric, forged with a ‘tough guy’ aesthetic that’s either posturing up with quasi-slam grooves or beating you over the head with surgical tech-death runs; “Die with Integrity” and “Weaken the Structure” are as stern examples as any. The dual vocal attack of John Gallagher and Sean Beasley remains one of the band’s more imposing and reliable aspects, their gnarled and burly roars adding both extra muscle and attitude.
The formula is tried-and-true for these blue-collar black-and-blue riff merchants. Not all tracks are as mighty as the next, but the urgency and intensity with which Dying Fetus play allows even the weakest song to push past the herd. Evenness, the Achilles Heel of many a death metal album, represents the largest drawback of Wrong One to Fuck With, a hitch blamed on a production job that, while sufficient, simply doesn’t meet the bulldozing standards of your current team of slam/brutal death practitioners, especially those hailing from Eurasia.
Although some sixteen years since the splitting and subsequent formation of Misery Index, the two bands and their trademark grinding death remain irrevocably linked with swiftness, style, and approach. And like Misery Index, who have incorporated a bit more melody as of late, Dying Fetus continue to earn their grisly spot upon the death metal mantle, the fire to kick ass still licking at their heels, their rage and refusal to conform still burning strong. Thuggish, technical, Wrong One to Fuck With is a deadly good time that makes all in earshot an accessory to murder.