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this isn't very good at all - 45%

Noktorn, September 28th, 2008

This collection of Dying Fetus' early demos could be interpreted as the band's first 'real' release, and boy does it manage to be nearly as uninteresting as 'War Of Attrition'. I would almost say that the band was TRYING to be awkward and uninteresting, like making death metal as still and lifeless as this was some sort of deranged performance art project, but I think that's ascribing a great deal more intelligence to Dying Fetus than I think they've ever had. It's probably Dying Fetus at their most technical, so I'll give them that, but man, apparently the technicality hamstrung this band massively. Thank god they lost a significant amount of it on the next record.

This sounds a great deal like Fleshgrind trying to be thugs, which is possibly the most awkward combination of sounds in the world. Imagine a robot covering Devourment and you're very close to what this sounds like. The delivery of the music here is incredibly mechanical, just like Fleshgrind, but instead of having the cold and cruel atmosphere of that band's early work, Dying Fetus on this record attempts to play thuggish NYDM, a style that really relies on a much warmer, looser sound. It's really as though this music is played by machines; there's no tonal variation or particular feeling in any note; I'd imagine that this release would sound essentially the same if every instrument was synthesized. The drumming is so overly tight that it genuinely sounds programmed, and any effort to add a bit of feeling through a groove or syncopated snare pattern feels just as ridiculous as if you tried to give your mom a hug but, whoops, it's actually just a bunch of chicken wire.

The music itself isn't that remarkable either; most of the riffs have a lot of notes just for the sake of having a lot of notes. All the attempted grooves are awkward and misplaced and immediately gobbled up by another round of machinelike blasting and unmemorable riffs. It barely feels like music at all at times, like you told a computer to make a song but didn't really give it any parameters of how to go about it. It makes for music that I guess sounds like death metal as far as aesthetic goes but is as real as a wax replica is to a human being. Occasionally there's some headbangability here and there, but the band is unwilling to stick to one rhythm or riff for more than fifteen seconds, so all the good on this record is forgotten immediately after it appears. To top it off, every song sounds like it takes somewhere around a century to end, making the experience of a bunch of notes going nowhere that much more frustrating.

Apparently everyone in the band started smoking a lot of weed after this release and got worse on their instruments, which makes the band's actual full-length albums much more tolerable than this one. I don't understand the appeal of this or why anyone would want to listen to it apart from being a curiosity piece. It makes me feel awkward when I listen to it, bad awkward, like dancing with a girl and feeling her erection against your leg.