“Wrong One to Fuck With”  

by Thor

If you’ve read anything I’ve written about Dying Fetus in the past, then you know that I love this band.  Their death metal elixir is a perfect blend of primitive brutality and technical chops.  Their slam-to-arpeggio ratio is almost always perfectly balanced and as a result, they’re rarely boring and always heavy.

However, Dying Fetus’s last LP, 2012’s “Reign Supreme” was surprisingly underwhelming.  It was Dying Fetus, to be sure, but a less ambitious version.  The songs were overly simple and lacking the band’s signature frenetic, chaotic compositional thumbprint.  Given that fact, I had no idea what expect from their new release from Relapse Records – “Wrong One to Fuck With.”  Frankly, the title alone gave me high hopes, but the question remained: was “Reign Supreme” Dying Fetus’s “Black Album?”  The short answer is no.  More specifically, FUCK NO.

“Wrong One to Fuck With” is quintessential Dying Fetus, taking off where 2009’s “Descend into Depravity” left us smoldering in a shattered heap of helpless waste.  The east coast hardcore-infused beatdowns are back, injecting slams in between face-melting grind passages and melodic spasm of finger-twisting guitar virtuosity.  These songs are complex, yet accessible because fundamentally guitarist/vocalist John Gallagher, bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley, and drummer Trey Williams never go too long without roping a groove-noose around your neck and dragging you through the musical mud.

If I must complain about anything, it’s that the mix’s sub frequencies are lacking.  Beasley’s bass guitar isn’t very present and Williams’s kick drums are missing the desired punch.  These elements of a mix commonly find their way onto the back of the proverbial milk carton during the mastering process and it’s not the first time this band has had an otherwise perfect album diminished by perplexing production issues.

Nonetheless, “Wrong One to Fuck With” isn’t a bad sounding album by any measure and if you’re a Dying Fetus fan, then you’re guaranteed to find a lot to like here.