REVIEW: Fate Worse Than Death – The Death of Innocence [2015]


Artist: Fate Worse Than Death 

Album: The Death of Innocence


You’ve heard the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” right? Of course you have—and so far in your life it’s probably been true. But what happens when you’re proven wrong? What happens when the things that don’t kill you just leave you begging for death? Imagine an unbelievable weight crashing down on your shoulders—your spine condensing, caught in a war between a murderous mass on your back and gravity beneath your feet. Imagine concrete flooding your lungs, backing up your larynx and expanding, splitting every square inch of flesh.

If these things seem like too much to bear, then you’re better off staying far away from Fate Worse Than Death. These Massachusetts murderers are back for blood with their latest full-length offering, The Death of Innocence. In a word, this crushing quintet are remorseless—as The Death of Innocence is over a half an hour of uncompromising brutality and raunchy, ruthless lyricism that will scald the listener’s ears and scorch their brain. If you’ve been looking for a catchy, cunning deathcore release so heavy it will make you beg for death, look no further—you’ve found it.

Fate Worse Than Death know no subtlety—they are not a blade slyly slid between your ribs or into your spine, they are a wrecking ball demolishing everything you hold dear, as well as the arsonist that burns the wreckage to dust. The Death of Innocence is more than just an end to childish naivety, but rather, the end of life as you know it. Maturing from the brash and belligerent sound in their previous full-length, Fate Worse Than Death provide a slightly more polished and technically savvy take on their tremendously aggressive sound, beginning with percussionist Tyler Morrow. Morrow is a monster behind the kit, fluent in flashy, furious fills (heard abundantly in “Narcissist” or “There is Too Much Fear) and solid, steady patterns that are used to build towering monoliths of hardcore-tinted brutality (think “Too Brutal for Bloomfield”). The latter lets Morrow work hand-in-hand with bassist Aaron Frotten to flatten out a beefy, bone-busting low-end that serves as an enormous majority of The Death of Innocence. Rarely do Fate Worse Than Death rise from the murky, gritty pools of dissonance they spill atop the listener’s head—but when they do, they meet with resounding success. Rare moments like those heard in the groove at the tail-end of “Victimizer” or the introduction to “P.O.V. Kind of Life” showcases a newfound diversity in the otherwise sinister and cutthroat styles of guitarists Matt Morin and Scott Ferguson. Morin and Ferguson spend a majority of their time swinging at the listener’s head like twin sledgehammers, sending deep, sprawling splits across the listener’s skull with each ruthless breakdown and organ-melting slam. However, rare moments of groove and riff throughout The Death of Innocence showcase growth in the ranks of Fate Worse Than Death—even if their “growth” is simply just finding more insidious and unthought of ways to eviscerate the listener.

Fate Worse Than Death’s instrumentation alone is chill-inducingly eerie at best—at worse, it will tear the skin clean from your flesh. However, the truly unbelievable evil to be heard on The Death of Innocence stems from the band’s frontman, Ray Ouellette. Ouellette is a preacher of putridity, pestilence and pure misanthropy—nothing less, nothing more. Every lyric spat on The Death of Innocence does just that—strip the rosy lenses of youthful living from the listener’s eyes and replace them with rank, volatile acid. “Narcissistic” is perhaps the greatest example of Ouellette’s onslaught of lyrical hatred, with a rant that starts with “I can’t stick my dick in your college degree” and ends in a rip-roaring, cruel-but-chuckle-worthy “Fuck your selfies.” However fearsome and furious his lyrics may be, his vocals are even more so—with highs and mid-range yells that sound like Frankie Palmeri in his 2006-2008 peak, and gurgling lows that would fit in a Black Tongue release, Ouellette’s lyrically lurid nature is delivered perfectly with a plethora of punishing, abrasive vocal techniques.

If you’re imagining a hate-filled experience that would make the likes of contemporary deathcore acts shudder, then you’re beginning to get the picture. Not only have Fate Worse Than Death outdone other artists in their violent, visceral niche, but they have trumped even their own previous releases—as The Death of Innocence outdoes The Worst Things In Life… by strides. While the band’s latest album is still an aggressive, armed-to-the-teeth amalgam of bone-busting breakdowns, it features better flow, occasional hints at high(er) fretted technicality and grooves gutwrenching enough it feels as though there’s a worm wriggling in the listener’s ears and winding down into their colon. Shrill, sinister and skin-peeling, Fate Worse Than Death’s The Death of Innocence is a combination of quick stabs and slices paired with slow, sizzling burns that will take away the last ounce of joy the listener has, replacing it with nothing but thoughts of the end.



For Fans Of: Emmure, Ender, The Acacia Strain, Legion, Black Tongue

By: Connor Welsh