Dying Fetus: Reign Supreme

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Dying Fetus: Reign Supreme
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Dying Fetus: Reign Supreme
Death Metal
Relapse Records
June 19th, 2012
Release length: 38:26
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When it comes to the Death Metal dynasty, there are not many bands that find a large fan base that obediently froths at the mouth in anticipation for their next audio assault. Dying Fetus easily is at the top of that very list, and for good reason. Fans of the group have been largely greeted with serious and intense material, or satyrical and lyrically over-the-top compositions that can bring a smile to anyone’s face. Reign Supreme marks their seventh full-length offering since debuting back in 1996 with Purification Through Violence, and those loyal are chomping at the bit thanks to what they, and Relapse Records, have streamed on-line. But, are these teasings something worth the wait?

Reign Supreme has a pretty strng audio quality to it that greatly benefits the more groove-heavy Death Metal material than anything. The crisper sound allows the drums to come through perfectly with crystal clear cymbals that are just the right volume level against the varied wooden to natural snares, as well as the click to the bass kicks that are greatly masked by how loud the rest of the material is. The guitars are the main culprit there, having a nice heavy distortion that’s really loud, though it feels a little restrained thanks to the clearer production. This also hits the bass, but overall it still ends up pretty strong and manages to help make the performances blunt and even energetic. The vocals are the typical lower guttural approach, sometimes going into near squeel territory, but also having some rhaspier moments thrown in when it suits the music, and not just to have them there.

There are plenty of fast paced tracks throughout that really can grab your attention, and there’s also a strong chaotic atmosphere that is incorporated into it. There are plenty of groove-driven songs, but you’ll also happen upon a decent selection of blast beats. “Subjected to a Beating” ends up being something that just won’t really grab you. It has a slower approach and a fixation on blending in as many short blast beat bridges as possible. While it isn’t bad by any stretch of the mind, it just sounds a little generic, not quite as heavy, and the groove just isn’t too infectious amid the varied tempos incorporated. The five minute length even feels like the band is beating a dead horse, as around the three minute mark you’ll start to lose interest. Thankfully, this is the only rather negative track to be found on the recording, and it’s pretty early on.

But, there are plenty of other great songs here, and some of the best are the mildly shorter offerings. “Invert the Idols” is just a solid, aggressive, groovey Death Metal offering that will make the listener want to run to the nearest living thing and kill it. The pounding, catchy material does really stick more to a consistant style that hammers away for the whole just over two minutes, leaving little to be said other than it ushers in the oncoming brutality quite well. This is more of a rarity on the release as many others vary greatly in music. “In the Trenches” is another noteworthy assault, starting out at a relatively faster pace and continuously building to the point of machine-gun bass kicks and lightning fast riffs. But, as you reach the end, it slows itself into a breakdown, and continues to crawl to a hault. It sounds like a bad idea, but the execution feels like a natural adrenaline rush and then crash you might imagine would come from illegal activities.

There’s also many songs that end up just being the traditional Dying Fetus sound. “Devout Atrocity” is a sick mid-tempo offering that just pounds away at the listener’s skull, but offers up some quicker moments here and there, as well as some Hardcore inputs that will make fans of the style want to immediately start dancing along. The vocals around the three minute mark do sound more animalistic as well, and not quite in the best of manners. The higher gutterals appear at other points as well, and while it matches the energy being given off, it largely just doesn’t sound well against it like the near squeels do during crushing breakdowns. “Second Skin” is another strong offering that any former fan of the group will eat up, but it, as well as “From Womb to Waste,” really offer up a creepy atmosphere unlike any other here, complimented nicely by the guitar solos or just really haunting bridges that can appear.

Dying Fetus have not failed to deliver another solid offering. With only one song that doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the release, Reign Supreme is a superb entry into the group’s growing discography. At just a little over thirty eight minutes, you get a good deal of quality amid some really crushing, chaotic, and even creepy material that isn’t anything too new, but in it’s own way comes off as a bit of a unique experience at times that kill the somewhat stagnant sound the band has played with since the mid-nineties. If you enjoy the Dying Fetus sound, there’s no reason to not add Reign Supreme to your collection today.

01. Invert the Idols – 2:08
02. Subjected to a Beating – 5:00
03. Second Skin – 4:48
04. From Womb to Waste – 5:03
05. Dissidence – 3:32
06. In the Trenches – 3:49
07. Devout Atrocity – 4:34
08. Revisionist Past – 4:02
09. The Blood of Power – 5:30
Overall Score: 8.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records via Freeman Promotions.