Dying Fetus: Grotesque Impalement

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Dying Fetus: Grotesque Impalement
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Dying Fetus: Grotesque Impalement
Death Metal
Blunt Force Records, Relapse Records (2011)
March 9th, 2004
Release length: 38:26
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Grotesque Impalement has sat in my personal collection for years, and was actually the first CD I ever picked up by Dying Fetus. Of course, this EP left me confused as all hell, even though the message of strong, groovey yet punishing Death Metal was clear on the few serious tracks of this very short EP. Considered one of the band’s biggest highlights, and a farewell to the non-political attitude of the band that many have come to know and love, this six song EP has become a staple release for fans of the group, and it’s pretty clear why right from the start.

The material on Grotesque Impalement may not be some of the greatest Death Metal recorded, but there’s no denying that it is a strong release none the less. The material here captures the band’s brutal, yet groove influenced material nicely, especially for the title track, “Grotesque Impalement”, a slower paced track that is rather simple in it’s performance, but features very deep gutterals that match the groove these simple guitars and drums lay out for the song. Of course, the Baphomet cover, “Streaks of Blood”, really hammers away at the listener and shows that Dying Fetus does still have a brutal edge, though the track is not their own, and leaves behind the Groove oriented material. But, where is the Hardcore or Grindcore influence you ask? Well, there seems to be a real lack of Grindcore influenced material on here, but “Bringing Back the Glory” is clearly a Death Metal take on a straight forward Hardcore song, which is easily discernable right from the opening, and also features some varying blast beats throughout.

Other then the title track, there are two songs here that truly stand out. “Tearing Inside the Womb” brings things back to the well-mixed style of Death Metal with Grindcore and Hardcore. While “Grotesque Impalement” tried to sound brutal in a slow, menacing way with groove-like riffs, this song just manages to capture the band’s natural fury with blast beats, a little groove, and heavy, intense sounding music in a composition the band does well. It also has a lot of energy behind it, which feels like the EP is sorely lacking on all accounts. The other is “Hail Mighty North/Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666 Opus II)”, which is where this EP messes with your head. The track before it is a comical spoken word set up about a boy named Davey, who clearly isn’t right in the head, which then goes into “Hail Mighty North”, a parody Glam Rock song that is actually more enjoyable then half the material on this EP, not just for the comedic value, but actually because it’s a catchy Glam Rock song with gutterals laid over it. That and you can clearly tell, from the intro track and the main song, that the band was just having a lot of fun making it.

But, the problem with this release is that it’s very diverse, and often doesn’t really sound like a real Dying Fetus release atll. “Grotesque Impalement” feels like traditional Dying Fetus, but that’s about it, and it actually feels like it’s the same song twice on one track, seriously overstaying it’s welcome. Without even thinking, you’ll believe that you somehow hit the repeat button, even though you know you didn’t. “Bringing Back the Glory” sounds like a whole other band in general, which, technically it is since it’s a cover of the original by Next Step Up. but, it doesn’t sound like Dying Fetus in any way, having the band’s signature sound kept off the recording in favor of a more traditional Hardcore track. It’s not a bad song, it’s just nothing that spectacular and feels drawn out after a while, especially when it slows down into a breakdown at the end that just doesn’t really have an impact.


Since the 2011 Reissue version has been provided digitally, I can only assume that some of the physical elements of this reissue’s packaging are the same as the previous two I purchased for review on this site. The press release states that it comes with liner notes, so it probably won’t have the booklet like the previous two reissues, as well as have the same set up of detailed information of the band members for each recording. On top of all that, the artwork is expanded and includes additional photographs. But, aside the physical changes, the reissue also features three bonus tracks. “Reduced to Slavery (Unreleased Track, 2000)” is a solid recording that captures Dying Fetus at their best, having a strong Death Metal intimidating presence laced with their signature Groove approach that makes it catchy as all hell. While this is unique to this reissue, the other two seem to follow from the previous two reissues, as “Purged of My Worldly Being” sounds like it’s from the same live show the others came from, sharing a similar raw quality that makes the songs sound far more intense then the original recording version, as well as more intense. “Dumpster Love”, however, keeps in the tradition of this EP nicely by being yet another parody classic rock track like “Hail Mighty North/Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666)”, but it’s just not as enjoyable by any stretch of the mind, and actually just comes off more obnoxious then satyrical.


The music captures on Grotesque Impalement is good, but at the same time debatable as being an EP that will stand the test of time. “Grotesque Impalement” and “Tearing Inside the Womb” are great tracks, and the latter clearly has a lot of strength and energy behind it, but the rest of the release, outside the comical Glam Rock parody and set up track at the end, are pretty much forgettable Dying Fetus songs that don’t really offer much for the listener except a couple good spins before they start to get old. It’s a decent EP that is worth checking out if you happen to find it cheap, simply because of the varying styles on the EP. Fans of Hardcore may very will find the Next step Up cover song “Bringing Back the Glory” to be more enjoyable then those who are into the band for the Death Metal aspects, but that’s about the only exception. Grotesque Impalement makes for an interesting companion EP, but doesn’t offer much in the line of material that fans will come back to later on down the line. If you plan to pick this one up, however, it’s definitely worth picking up the 2011 reissue over the initial pressing, as the bonus material really makes the release, as it is some genuinely solid Dying Fetus.

Initial Pressing:
01. Grotesque Impalement – 5:08
02. Streaks of Blood (Baphomet) – 4:31
03. Bringing Back the Glory – 3:33
04. Tearing Inside the Womb – 4:44
05. Final Scream (Prelude to Evil: Davey’s Nightmare) – 0:59
06. Hail Mighty North / Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666) – 2:55

2011 Reissue:
07. Reduced to Slavery (Unreleased Track 2000) – 3:27
08. Purged of My Worldly Being (Live, 1999) – 3:54
09. Dumpster Love (New Recording 2010) – 2:38

* Review updated with 2011 Reissue on February 17th, 2011

Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

2011 Reissue Score: 7.5/10


Initial review copy of this release provided by personal funds.

2011 Reissue review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records.