Aug 292011

(TheMadIsraeli delivers another installment of Revisiting the Classics, focusing on a personal favorite of mine.)

Shit is on now.

If you don’t know who this band is, you shouldn’t even be reading a site called No Clean Singing. Dying Fetus are the kind of elite, prestige-incarnate band whose achievements you wish you were capable of achieving with your sorry lives. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m sure TheMadIsraeli wasn’t really talking about you — just some other poor schmucks who, unlike you, and your close friends, are incapable of grand achievements.]

This is one of those bands whose every album I possess. Love every album, every song, every riff, every breakdown, you name it. Dying Fetus, Suffocation, and Vader are my elite of death metal, and so far no one else has earned admission to their company.  Killing On Adrenaline (1998) is the album when the band (or maybe, in the end, more specifically, guitar-brutalizer and guttural-barker John Gallagher) found their sound. After a couple of VERY prototype-sounding releases, the formula found on Killing On Adrenaline became the solidified sound that would continue to mark the music of the band and its various incarnations up to this very minute.

I know that most people, when talking about the classic Dying Fetus album, would go to the band’s release after this one, Destroy The Opposition. While that album is great, there is a rawness and energy on Killing that it doesn’t have, most likely a product of the band’s excitement in discovering who they were. This album also features most of the so-called classic Dying Fetus lineup — vocalist/bassist Jason Netherton, guitarist and mastermind John Gallagher, rhythm guitarist Brian Latta, and drummer Kevin Talley. (more after the jump . . .)

The elements of the trademark Dying Fetus sound established on this album were jarring, unconventional song structures; tempo changes by the dozens; riffing of a technical height rarely seen before at the time Killing debuted, which incorporated tremolo picking, grindcore power-chord sliding, hardcore breakdowns and grooves, sweep-picking, and SHREDDING SECTIONS USED AS MUSICAL SECTIONS INSTEAD OF SOLOS; the vicious double-vocal attack of Netherton’s mid-ranged, rabies-induced snarl and Gallagher’s signature guttural barking; and those drums — so precise, so technical, SO LEGIT, no trigger-bullshit going on here, you had to be able to PLAY THIS SHIT OR GO HOME (which is part of what makes Talley such a respected drummer to this day).

This band knew how to keep a song interesting because shit was changing every 15 seconds, if not more quickly. So much content was packed into the songs that Dying Fetus could make a 3-minute track feel like 6 minutes. This band did then (and still does) put out quality, long-lasting material that sticks with you and can almost WARP TIME because of their ability to pack into each song so many ideas that nevertheless FLOW SEAMLESSLY.

And seriously, who doesn’t dig that messy-as-a-swamp production? I remember when that used to be LEGIT back in the day. Why does so much of death metal today have to sound so clean? So sterile? I don’t get it.

This album rules. All this band’s albums rule. This band rules. If you’re a fan, try breaking this out again and REMEMBER why these guys are such a bedrock name in the genre. Some re-education might do you good in this fruitful, but polluted modern metal landscape. And if you haven’t yet become a fan, this is a good place to start.


  1. I listened to this album again yesterday and nearly destroyed my room.

  2. I have war of attrition and it’s a great fucking album. However, it sometimes feels same to me. I haven’t given it a good listen in a while, so that may help change my mind.

    But I’m definitely going to have to check out their older music….I didn’t realize how old the band is!

    Last, a comment on production. I like sterility when it brings out the details of the music, and I like muddy when it accentuates a band’s ferocity. I think production, much like orgasms, really depend on the people doing it.

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