Brutal Death Metal

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Brutal death metal emphasizes brutality in music and lyrics. The guitar distortion often has a lot of bottom, and the players make use of pinched harmonics, heavy riffage and very fast palm-muted picking, while the drumming typically incorporates blastbeats and fast double bass drum work. In terms of composition and performance, brutal death metal is often complex and technical, as one tune typically contains several, often difficult-to-perform, sections. The vocals typically consist of low pitch growls, sometimes combined with screams and shrieks, and the lyrics typically deal with violence, mutilation, violation and murder, described in gory detail. Slam death metal is sometime considered a distinct subgenre of brutal death metal because of its focus on heavy breakdowns and moshpit-friendly midtempo brutal riffage at the expense of speed and intensity. Examples of brutal death metal bands are Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Severe Torture, Infernal Torment, Benighted, and early Illdisposed.

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SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light Album Cover ...Of The Dark Light
SUFFOCATION
4.35 | 6 ratings
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ABORTED
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DYING FETUS Reign Supreme Album Cover Reign Supreme
DYING FETUS
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DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity Album Cover Descend Into Depravity
DYING FETUS
4.11 | 10 ratings
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NILE Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka Album Cover Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
NILE
4.01 | 31 ratings
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DYING FETUS Destroy the Opposition Album Cover Destroy the Opposition
DYING FETUS
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HOUR OF PENANCE Sedition Album Cover Sedition
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SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun Album Cover Despise the Sun
SUFFOCATION
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SUFFOCATION Souls to Deny Album Cover Souls to Deny
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SUFFOCATION Pinnacle of Bedlam Album Cover Pinnacle of Bedlam
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DYING FETUS Wrong One to Fuck With Album Cover Wrong One to Fuck With
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REINCARNATION Seed of Hate

EP · 1995 · Brutal Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
REINCARNATION has been around a while. Starting as an old school death metal band in 1993 in Almería, Andulusia, Spain, the band first broke up in 1999 but then reformed in 2004 and has been around ever since. In the 90s the band released this debut EP titled SEED OF HATE and a full-length titled “Void.” In the 2000, the band released another album and another EP but has been fairly sparse in what it puts out.

This band is considered an early follower of the brutal death metal pioneers Suffocation with an old school knack for crafting dense hyperactive guitar riffs, brutal drumming abuse and some of the ugliest guttural growls in the world of extreme metal unlike some of the newer brutal death bands that focus exclusively on gore and horror on steroids and screaming like their private parts are being filleted in a Nija machine.

This band pretty much nails the Suffocation sound but it has some quirks to it as well. The second track “The Way Of The Flesh” for example has some super high register bass grooves that almost sound like they are reaching for funk but an interesting contrast to the down-tuned guitar riffs and the evil as fuck vocal growls. Add to that some sound samples of some happy choir sounds and it’s all good.

This EP of four tracks is only about 14 minutes long but in that short time, REINCARNATION does an excellent job of capturing that old school early 90s spirit with the extra adrenalized touches of bands like Suffocation, Internal Bleeding and Pyrexia. While not the most original band in the world, the few extra touches do add to the enjoyment value of it. The drums trade off between blastbeats and simple keep-the-timing boom boom, however there are some nice percussive gymnastics at play as well.

This is guttural ugliness at its finest however the production as a first timer is a bit on the muddy side but this kind of filthy raw music isn’t really affected by it. There are the occasional Morbid Angel inspired guitar squeals and rampaging speedfests but overall this is a somewhat middle of the road release in the tempo department although it’s considered brutal death metal. Whatever the case, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of sitting next to other Spanish death metal acts like Avulsed, Teitanblood, Wormed and Machetazo.

DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity

Album · 2009 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Descend Into Depravity" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The album was released through Relapse Records in September 2009. Dying Fetus have been through several lineup changes in the last couple of releases, and there´s been a couple of changes to the lineup since "War of Attrition (2007)" too. Second guitarist Mike Kimball has jumped ship leaving guitarits/vocalist (and only remaining original member) John Gallagher as the band´s sole guitarist. Drummer Duane Timlin has also left, and is replaced here by Trey Williams. The new three-piece lineup is completed by bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley.

From the first notes of the opening track "Your Treachery Will Die With You", it will be abundantly clear to most listeners that Dying Fetus have changed their brutal technical death metal formula almost none, and that they continue down the exact same path as they tread on "War of Attrition (2007)". The shift between unintelligble deep growling vocals and slightly more intelligible aggressive growling vocals, the tempo changes, the fast arpeggios (and even the rare neo-classical influenced moment), the ultra heavy breakdowns, it´s all in place. As is the top notch musicianship and the technically challenging performances. It´s Dying Fetus as they´ve pretty much sounded since day one. So it´s not drastic stylistic changes you´re looking for, when reviewing a Dying Fetus release, but rather the quality and catchiness of the songwriting...

...and in that department "Descend Into Depravity" belongs in the better part of the band´s output. The material on the 8 track, 33:47 minutes long album is most effective and crushingly heavy and brutal. You may not be able to tell the tracks apart upon initial listens, but given a few spins the tracks become more recognisable and memorable. It´s the immediate impact of the violent sonic assault which is the real winner here though, and you´re a real badass if you come away from listening to this album without a sandblasted face. The brutality and aggression of the material is scorching. "Descend Into Depravity" features a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production too, so upon conclusion it´s a high quality release by Dying Fetus. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

DYING FETUS War of Attrition

Album · 2007 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"War of Attrition" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The album was released through Relapse Records in March 2007. It´s the successor to "Stop at Nothing" from 2003 and features a couple of lineup changes compared to the predecessor. Lead vocalist Vince Matthews has jumped ship, and the vocal duties are now shared by guitarist John Gallagher and bassist Sean Beasley. Gallagher has always performed the unintelligible deep growling vocals in the band´s music, and continues to do so here, while Beasley takes up the more aggressive yet still brutal growling vocal style. Drummer Erik Sayenga has also left Dying Fetus and is replaced here by Duane Timlin. With guitarist Mike Kimball making his second appearance on a Dying Fetus album, the lineup has gone from a five-piece to a four-piece.

Stylistically the material on the 8 track, 36:50 minutes long album pretty much continues the brutal technical death metal style of "Stop at Nothing (2003)". In fact there are very few surprises here if you are familiar with the band´s releases all the way back from their inception in the early 90s. Dying Fetus are a technically skilled band and they deliver their music with great passion and conviction. Their trademark heavy grooves are here in abundance as well as the fast arpeggio sweeping and the two types of growling vocals, as mentioned above. So don´t expect much development of sound. What you get is high quality playing, powerful compositions which will force your head to bang and your body to move, and a brutal and raw yet clear sounding production.

So if you can forgive Dying Fetus that they have by now found a trademark style which they stick to and don´t deviate much from, "War of Attrition" is yet another high quality release in a long line of high quality releases by the band. I´d rank it with "Stop at Nothing (2003)" in the band´s discography but below "Killing on Adrenaline (1998)" and "Destroy the Opposition (2000)", which to my ears are still the band´s most accomplished releases. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

DYING FETUS Stop at Nothing

Album · 2003 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Stop at Nothing" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The album was released through Relapse Records in May 2003. There´s been a massive personnel change since the release of "Destroy the Opposition (2000)", and it´s only band founder/guitarist/vocalist John Gallagher, who remains from the lineup who recorded the predecessor. Drummer Kevin Talley, guitarist John Voyles, and bassist/vocalist Jason Netherton left Dying Fetus to form Misery Index in 2001. Especially the loss of the latter had some impact as Netherton was one of the main composers of the band and one of the two lead vocalists. New in the lineup are Sean Beasley (bass), Vince Matthews (vocals), Mike Kimball (guitars), Erik Sayenga (drums).

While there was a special magic to the previous lineup and their skills were generally through the roof, the new lineup are very well playing too. As far as the vocals go you won´t even notice that there is a new vocalist, and we´re still treated to one deep growling unintelligible vocalist and one slightly more intelligible and aggressive growling vocalist. Stylistically there have been very few changes too...actually I hear none, and Dying Fetus continue to play their brand of brutal technical death metal with the trademark focus on brutal grooves. The band as usual varies pace quite a few times during the tracks though, so while they often play really brutal grooves, there are also plenty of blasting deathgrind parts featured on the album.

The material on the 8 track, 35:39 minutes long album is well written for the style, but to my ears the tracks are generally not as memorable as the case were on the last couple of albums. Dying Fetus releases were never easily accessible material though, and the more spins you give it, the more memorable the material gets. "Stop at Nothing" features a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Dying Fetus, although it doesn´t quite reach the heights of the two albums which preceded it. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

DYING FETUS Grotesque Impalement

EP · 2000 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Grotesque Impalement" is an EP release by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The EP was released through Blunt Force Records in early 2000. The material was recorded at Hit and Run Studios in November 1999. "Grotesque Impalement" bridges the gap between the band´s second and third full-length studio albums "Killing on Adrenaline (1998)" and "Destroy the Opposition (2000)", and features the same lineup as the latter mentioned.

The original version of "Grotesque Impalement" features 6 tracks and a full playing time of 21:51 minutes. Relapse Records reissued the EP in 2010 and added 3 bonus tracks. The original version features 2 re-recordings of "Grotesque Impalement" and "Tearing Inside the Womb" from the "Bathe In Entrails (1993)" demo, a cover of "Streaks of Blood" by Baphomet, a cover of "Bringing Back the Glory" by Next Step Up, and two "comic" heavy metal tracks in "Final Scream (Prelude to Evil: Davey's Nightmare)" and "Hail Mighty North / Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666)".

The 2010 Relapse Records reissue version (in addition to the above) features "Reduced To Slavery", which is an original composition from 2000, which was used as a Japanese bonus track on "Destroy the Opposition (2000)". "Purged Of My Worldly Being" is a live recording from 1999. It was a track which in it´s original form appeared on the "Infatuation with Malevolence (1994)" demo. "Dumpster Love" is a track recorded in 2010, which follows the "comic" heavy metal tradition of the two closing tracks of the origial version of the EP.

The re-recordings of the demo tracks, the Baphomet cover, and "Reduced To Slavery" all sound more or less like Dying Fetus did in those days. Brutal and techncially well played death metal with a strong focus on groove. So it´s the hardcore punk cover of "Bringing Back the Glory" and the "comic" heavy metal tracks on the EP, which make "Grotesque Impalement" quite different from the regular releases by the band. There´s a lot of melodic guitar playing and clean and semi-raw vocals on those tracks, which are quite new when dealing with Dying Fetus. A band which usually stands for unrelenting brutality. It´s nice to hear they also have a humourous side and it works pretty well.

Upon conclusion "Grotesque Impalement" probably isn´t the most important release in the band´s discography, but on the other hand the content is really entertaining and generally of high quality too. The sound production is slightly more rough around the edges compared to the two studio albums which bookend it, but it´s still well produced. So a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

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