Artist: Dying Fetus
Album: Wrong One to Fuck With
We all make mistakes—and especially from a young age, we’re told that mistakes are how we learn. The errors we make help us not to make those same mishaps again, shaping our young minds into a primitive mold of “right” and “wrong.”
What happens, though, when you make a mistake there’s no recovering from? You go to far, push someone’s buttons just a little too much and they snap—and when they snap, your neck isn’t far behind. In short, sometimes you just pick the Wrong One to Fuck With—and the result is a lesson in pain and mortality that ends in the loss of life. At least, that’s what happens when the listener picks up the latest full length record by brutal death metal masterminds Dying Fetus. Aptly titled Wrong One to Fuck With, the band’s 2017 release isn’t for the faint of heart or inexperienced ears. With a relentless, riff-driven dynamic that combines elements of raw, savage deathcore, brutal and technical breeds of death metal both and hints of sinister, slamming hatred that make it an album too heavy to take lightly.
Wrong One to Fuck With is just over fifty minutes of absurd, energetic and over-the-top brutality, anyone saying otherwise needs their hearing checked. Dying Fetus continue to do their name proud with a seamless instrumental delivery of intensity and intimidation that starts with the first seconds of “Fixated on Devastation.” The Maryland-based terrifying trio is built around the astounding and break-neck work of drummer Trey Williams, whose work on Wrong One is simply put, the best heard on a Dying Fetus record to date. With a sharp, bright and ever-so-slightly tinny snare to contrast a crushing and abrasive kick drum and skin-shredding cymbals, Williams’ sound is second only to his technical prowess. Songs like the barn-burning introductory track, “Fixated on Devastation” are a solid testament to his speed. Meanwhile, “Reveling in the Abyss” and “Seething with Disdain” see an emphasis on slightly slower and more-fill based drumming, working with bassist Sean Beasley to create a beastly and brutalizing low end that makes Dying Fetus’ breakdowns and slammier segments hit like both barrels of a 10 gauge straight to the chest. “Seething with Disdain” is an excellent example of this—while “Fallacy” sees Beasley working more quickly alongside guitarist and vocalist John Gallagher, whose riffs are sharp enough to slice through diamond, even with a gritty and grisly guitar tone that sounds akin to a rusty chainsaw painstakingly penetrating rotten and putrid flesh. Gallagher dominates on every song Dying Fetus bring to the table—as Wrong One to Fuck With carries little, if any, filler. “Fallacy” sees his technical prowess in pure form, while “Ideological Subjugation” and “Seething with Disdain” sacrifice technical intensity for bludgeoning brute-force heaviness. The result is a fluid oscillation between oppressive brutality and…equally oppressive technicality, with Gallagher’s riffs and throat at the helm.
While Gallagher’s riffs, leads, chugs and slams are all readily intelligible and cleanly played as they pulverize the listener, his voice is nearly the exact opposite. Rich with skill, Gallagher and Beasley both bring a grisly vocal element to Dying Fetus’ ferocious sound. Where the opening cuts—“Panic Amongst the Herd” especially—sees more reliance on mid-and-higher register screams and shrieks, as Wrong One to Fuck With carries on, the vocally gifted duo dive deeper and deeper until the ending songs dominate with a mostly murky and murderously low series of growls and bellows that remind the listener of lurid slamming death metal. This changes only for the few intelligible syllables of the closing and titular track of the album—for the most part, the listener has one hell of a time figuring out what Gallagher and Beasley are saying, they only know it makes them thirst for blood and carnage above all else.
Wrong One to Fuck With is a strong and unshakable album—where the most obvious flaw is the relatively cringey name. Tactically and intelligently used breakdowns and slams add punch and simplicity between moments of musical absurdity—giving spin kickers and mosh fiends something to fall in love with. The only other “flaw” is that…well, fifty-plus minutes is a lot of Dying Fetus, and by the time “Fallacy” kicks in, the listener might wish it…well, wasn’t. Wrong One to Fuck With is a tough album to make it through in an uninterrupted sitting—with more heaviness than many bands have in their entire discography. However, on a song-by-song basis and as an overarching release, Wrong One to Fuck With is definitely not something to fuck with.
For Fans Of: Cryptopsy, Wicked World, Cattle Decapitation, Ingested
By: Connor Welsh