After releasing two demos in the first half of the nineties, Dying Fetus made their first proper CD release with Infatuation With Malevolence in 1995. This compilation originally contained both of their demos, but the latest reissue on Relapse Records contains a handful of tracks not contained on the original release. Infatuation With Malevolence is a pretty underdeveloped album from most perspectives, but it does hint towards the promise that Dying Fetus would show on their consecutive releases. This isn't a must-own by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a good purchase for any Dying Fetus fan.
The music here is very primitive death metal with plenty of technical touches. The grindcore influences that dominated Dying Fetus' debut full-length aren't as prevalent here, but they are still present. Compositionally, this album is pretty mediocre and largely unremarkable - Dying Fetus improved in this department over time. One of the best things about Infatuation With Malevolence is the great musicianship, and, even though Dying Fetus would grow as musicians over time, it's amazing how skillful they were this early in their career. The production is raw and of demo-quality, but I honestly would take this over the first two Dying Fetus full-length albums any day. The production on those albums is almost unbearable.
Infatuation With Malevolence is a decent compilation album from Dying Fetus that most fans of the band should definitely take a look into. It's lacking in the composition department, but it's a promising start for a band that would end up becoming a crucial part in the U.S. death metal revival. With a new reissue containing boatloads of bonus material on the horizon, any fan of the band who missed out on this may want to finally give it a spin. 2.5 stars is a fair rating, seeing that this is mainly a "fan-only" release. Infatuation With Malevolence doesn't come highly recommended from me, but it's not a bad purchase either.