Dying Fetus: Infatuation with Malevolence (Blunt Force Reissue) / (2011 Reissue)

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Dying Fetus: Infatuation with Malevolence (Blunt Force Reissue) / (2011 Reissue)
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Dying Fetus: Infatuation with Malevolence (2011 Reissue)
Death Metal, Grindcore, Hardcore
Relapse Records (2011), Wild Rag Records
1995 / January 18th, 2011
Release length: 38:26
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One band both Death Metal and Hardcore fans seem to have in common is Dying Fetus. The band originally formed back in 1991 in Annapolis, Maryland, and since then hasn’t really issued a lot of material, especially when given the time the group has been around, but for the most part have issued enough solid material to become a staple in the Metal and Hardcore worlds. Recently, Relapse Records decided to reissue some of the earlier material of the band, and it’s about time with the sudden -core boom attracting newer and younger fans to acts such like Born of Osiris who are without an understanding of this band’s past. When you sit outside a concert and hear these fans claim Dying Fetus rips off Born of Osiris, you tend to want a line drawn, and the label is answering it with these reissues, with the first being Infatuation with Malevolence, the band’s compilation of their two demo tapes. But, which version is the superior one, the reissue or original pressing?

Actually, the 2011 Relapse Records reissue is the third pressing of this album, as the second pressing was issued by Blunt Force Records with some bonus tracks. The original 1995 pressing, however, features all ten of the tracks from the original demo tapes, and both recordings sound fantastic on this pressing. These recordings show a much younger band that doesn’t really have much of a direction, but still seems to know well what they wanted to record, and it becomes obvious. For some reason, this compilation is looked at more as a full-length instead of a compilation, which is a little odd, and probably not that wise a move half the time as the material on here clearly shows the band in it’s youngesst state thanks to music that isn’t the most interesting, and can often become rather boring, while some tracks are rather entertaining, making this more a mixed bag of emotions that will either be a hit or miss for the listener.

Much of the band’s early trademark sound is clearly present on this release, and the music seems to range from very simple to a little more technical. For instance, the track “…And the Weak Shall Be Crushed” sounds like an intense song, but in reality it is actually kind of boring with it moving at a slower pace with guitars that are simple and sound empty due to the way they are played, being one simple chord with a slightly awkward amount of silence before the next one, best described in a more “hopping” manner. The production itself also lends a little more of an open feeling to the music, but once “Purged of My Worldly Being” kicks in, it’s like a whole other band. The music still goes at a slower pace, but the guitars don’t feel anywhere near as spaced, which was the problem on many tracks, and the production even sounds a little muddier against deeper vocals that sound more energetic with extra effort put into it, making it the shining point of the five Infatuation with Malevolence demo tracks.

The Bathe in Entrails demo comes next, but was actually released prior to the group’s Infatuation with Malevolence demo, and you can really hear a dramatic shift in the sound. While the first five clearly showed the band trying to incorporate a stronger -core element to the music, the Bathe in Entrails tracks really seem like the perfect mixture of Death Metal and Hardcore with some Grindcore for good measure. The vocals on these tracks sound much more natural, leaving behind the less robotic gutteral patterns that adorn the first three tracks of this recording, and the muddier production here really accentuates the distorted guitars and vocals perfectly, giving it a much stronger edge and heaviness. “Nocturnal Crucifixion” clearly depicts a heavier, and far more brutal version of the band with it’s crushing riffs and intense drumming with heavily bass-driven gutteral vocals that simply sound as energetic as the drumming gets on this, and on many other songs. These tracks also show some great range by the musicians, as well as the vocalists, hitting varyious ranges, and simply using the distortion and bass amplification on their voices to create monstrous vocal attempts throughout, such as on the following track “Wretched Flesh Consumption”.

Out of all the material here though, there is nothing that best sums up the band’s musical future then “Grotesque Impalement”. The track is heavy, and still features that slight Hardcore groove to it that will become the staple of future Dying Fetus releases, but is just far more intense and intimidating on this demo then anything on their following demo release. Of course, there are tracks on this demo that have some moments that just aren’t all that great, such as the slower moments on “Wretched Flesh Consumption” sounding a little more open like on the first three songs, but doesn’t feature as many awkward moments of silence as those tracks.


Eventually, this release was picked up by the label Blunt Force Records, and it was reissued with some bonud live tracks, only one of which are from these demo days. “Tearing Inside the Womb” sounds a lot stronger in this live recording then it does on the original studio mix, as it does feature more energy in the performance then that original version does. The distortion is also a lot heavier on this one, though the production quality is good, but still rather raw. The drumming ont his, and the others, is a little rough to listen to sometimes, as the snares sometimes sound a lot louder over everything else, and can really echo in the recording. Of course, “Kill Your Mother/Rape Your Dog” and “Skull Fucked” both sound fantastic in these live recordings and really come off more enjoyable then the studio versions. But, with this edition, there is also the track “Tearing Inside the Womb” as a bonus track, but it is just not as enjoyable as the other tracks, as it greatly lacks any energy, as pointed out above. Aside these additional tracks, the release also features some different artwork that just looks a lot nicer then the original pressing’s.


This is the reissue that does things right, but at the same time leaves you scratching your head a bit. it features all the tracks originally made available in the original and previous reissue from Blunt Force, but at the same time it takes the instrumental track, “Visualize Permanent Damnation”, and places it after the first bonus track, the studio recording of “Tearing Inside the Womb”. This will lead to some confusion among those who have the original pressing. Outside of that, the edition comes in a digipack format, but doesn’t have an actual booklet inside like the others. Regardless of whether it’s one page or more, it’s just not present, and instead there is more information given on the panels inside, such as notes from Jason Netherton, the band’s founding bassist, which were composed sometime in 2001 about the history of the band and these recordings. On the right side is a list of everyone who played on what songs, as well as small photos to go alongw ith it for both of the demo tape recordings.

Aside all of that, there are two more bonus tracks included on this reissue, which include “Nocturnal Crucifixion (Rehearsal Demo 1997)”, which is a much more raw quality recording of the song, obviously done on a tape recorder during band practice. This recording actually has the music sounding a little tighter then the one that appears on the demo, but that is to be expected considering the gap in time between it’s release on the original demo, and the year the recording was made. Next is “Purched of My Worldly Being (Studio demo 1993)”, which really feels more like a modern day Dying Fetus recording then something from 1993 due to how clear it is, and how much closer it sounds to more mid-career Dying Fetus then the earlier material, especially the Infatuation with Malevolence demo tape recordings present on this compilation.


This compilation is going to be hit or miss for many. Most need to go into this release understanding that it is a compilation of the band’s demo material, and not their actual debut full-length recording. All the bonus tracks that appear on the later reissues of this recording really do wind up making this effort a little more important over the original pressing, as it offers some never before released material in the long run. The 2011 reissue may have it’s faults, but it’s still a nice layout with some extra additional material, but if you’re someone who has always been on the edge with this band, then simply buying the original ten track release is just not necessarily worth it. The music is clearly from the start of the career, and it shows thanks to some of the tracks having awkward moments of silence in a Hardcore groove, but the release definitely picks up after the first three songs, fourth song if going by the original track lists. Is it worth replacing the previous reissue? Only if you’re that big a fan of the band. Otherwise, if you have it, there’s no real need to purchase the latest reissue.

Initial Pressing:
01. Eviscerated Offspring – 5:05
02. Your Blood Is My Wine – 5:31
03. …And the Weak Shall Be Crushed – 4:52
04. Purged of My Worldly Being – 4:06
05. Bathe in Entrails – 4:38
06. Nocturnal Crucifixion – 3:22
07. Wretched Flesh Consumption – 2:53
08. Grotesque Impalement – 5:10
09. Vomiting the Fetal Embryo – 2:54
10. Tearing Inside the Womb – 4:36
11. Visualize Permanent Damnation – 1:09

Blunt Force Reissue:
12. Intentional Manslaughter (Live) – 5:39
13. Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog (Live) – 1:27
14. Skull Fucked (Live) – 2:53

2011 Reissue:
12. Intentional Manslaughter (Live) – 5:39
13. Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog (Live) – 1:27
14. Skull Fucked (Live) – 2:53
15. Nocturnal Crucifixion (Rehearsal Demo 1997) (Bonus Track) – 3:27
16. Purged of my Worldly Being (Studio Demo 1993) (Bonus Track) – 4:10

Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

Blunt Force Reissue Score: 8/10

2011 Reissue Score: 8.5/10

Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.