When you think about it, the cover art for this album really is perfect. In invoking the imagery and typeface of classic horror movie posters, it accurately reflects the sounds and vibe of Make Them Beg For Death. Like the slasher flicks of the 1970s and ’80s, the new Dying Fetus album delivers all the essential ingredients for a brutal death metal experience. For death metal fans, a Dying Fetus album is akin to watching a Friday the 13th movie (well, the first batch of them, at least). If you want gore, sleaze and cheese, you know what you have in store. Likewise, if you want grunts, blasts, and mind-bending riffs, you’ve come to the right place. So let’s get some popcorn ready, gather around the stereo and dive in!
Dying Fetus has a long and storied past in the death metal underground, shaping and honing their sound over decades to become one of the style’s most respected names. And while albums like Killing on Adrenaline and Destroy the Opposition stand as classics of slam-fisted barbarity, the band has really been on a steady course since 2012’s masterpiece, Reign Supreme. Right from the drop, “Enlighten Through Agony” makes it clear that Dying Fetus is still delivering at this high level. As guitarist and vocalist John Gallagher notes, “The philosophy is the same now as it was when the band started … To write catchy riffs and to make it memorable. Whatever style of music you’re doing, make it something people want to hear repeatedly.”
Make Them Beg For Death is simply packed with those catchy moments, as the band has taken care to make every moment count. It helps that John has landed on a solid, mid-range-powered guitar tone, and possesses an almost comically good death metal growl. Additionally, bassist Sean Beasley and drummer Trey Williams perform their rhythmic duties like a veteran artillery battery firing off relentless salvos through the album’s 10 death metal bangers.
And just as all great horror movies have their most captivating moments, this album has some exhilarating moments of sonic terror. Check out the 2:32 mark on “Compulsion For Cruelty” for the fist-pounding chugs and dizzying guitar licks. Go to the double-bass romp at 3:34 on “Feast of Ashes.” See if you can decipher the choice lyrics on “Unbridled Fury”:
Can’t take it to look at all the stupid faces
Disgusted in all, knowing their disgraces
Feeling daily bend trying not to break
Reaching for my “fuck it” pills I have to take
Other highlights include the righteous beatdown of “When The Trend Ends,” especially the delicious palm-muted guitar attack. Fewer things are more satisfying than hearing mid-paced drums and pounding bass synced up with palm-muted guitars and guttural vocals. I also love the way the band made the faster parts drop in on songs like “Undulating Carnage” and the tongue-in-cheek song titles like “Raised In Victory Razed In Defeat” (lol).
There really aren’t any blemishes on this album, as it delivers everything you could want from a Dying Fetus album. You don’t watch brutal and kitschy horror films to experience life-altering self-actualizing. In the same (torn and bursting) vein, you don’t listen to Dying Fetus for the innovative and spellbinding innovation and experimentation. That said, the album may be cohesive to the point that individual songs don’t really stand out on their own. There isn’t a new equivalent to “Subjected to a Beating,” “Grotesque Impalement” or “Killing on Adrenaline” that immediately cuts above the bloody corpses here. But again, when you have a set of 10 songs that are simply this good, who cares? Put this on before your next spooky movie night, you won’t regret it.