DYING FETUS, War of Attrition (2007, Relapse)

The skull:
Is this the first skull in the Big Dumb Skulls Skullection to wear a wig? We’ll have to
have our guys in the truck check the stats on that. The wig is not what the eye goes to
first, though: it’s the missles, the Statue of Liberty crown, and the American flags. You
wonder if this is some kind of anti-American statement or a hyper-patriotic one? Guessing
by the band name and the type of music they play, I’m assuming it’s neither…just a band
tired of parading out the guts ‘n’ entrails imagery looking for something more
intellectual to convey. Nice try.

The music:
It’s hard to take Dying Fetus to task for being so generic in style and delivery. They’re an interesting mixture on this album of tech-death, steamroller simplicity, super-low vocal delivery, and chunky post-death grooves. They’re still generic in style and delivery, but they’ve been doing it consistently since 1993, so I step back and offer respect for their longevity. As for their popularity, well, Miller Lite and Justin Bieber are extremely popular, so popularity is no indicator of quality. But that’s where the comparison stops: Dying Fetus have integrity, and I recognize that. Listening to War of Attrition, it’s hard not to be impressed with how tightly played it is, how technically dazzling some moments are (“Fate of the Condemned”) and how cleanly produced it is without lacking impact. I also wonder how anyone can make room for this in their life when so many other, more interesting death metal albums had already come before this album in 2007. I guess some people can eat McDonald’s every single day and never tire of it.
— Friar Wagner