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This is the first decent DF album - 71%

Noktorn, December 10th, 2008

This is Dying Fetus' first good album, which is a pretty remarkable accomplishment considering the enormous amount of flaws it has to overcome to be decent. The production is still awful, with almost nothing but bass and no dynamic range at all and an unbelievably awful guitar tone, John Gallagher's vocals are still almost laughably hit or miss, and at under 35 minutes the album still feels like it takes a century to end, but somehow 'Killing On Adrenaline' still manages to be a net win for the band by virtue of a handful of good decisions that manage to narrowly outweigh all the crap the band is saddled with.

For instance, does anyone actually like Dying Fetus during their blast/technical death riff segments? They're almost universally terrible because the band can't write a memorable tech riff to save their lives and those sections nearly always come off as a series of random sweeps on guitar and pointless blasting only there to artificially inflate the running time of the song. Everyone who listens to Dying Fetus listens for one thing: the grooves. When the band is willing to slow itself down (which is thankfully pretty often on this release) or even just resist the temptation to blast, the songwriting is extremely strong and memorable. When the thuggish hardcore guitar interacts properly with the Jungle Rot-style syncopated drumming, it just works beautifully; when you get down to it, Dying Fetus is a hardcore band in death metal clothing, and the closer they get to the former genre, the clearer it is where their skills lie.

The division between good and bad on this album is pretty strict so honestly it's not a very smooth listen. You fade out during the crappy blast/tech sections and fade back in during the groove riffs; I don't know, turn on the TV when it's going fast or something because you won't be missing anything of note. Be sure to mute it as soon as a chug riff comes up, because those are almost painfully fantastic every time. Gallagher's vocals only occasionally work, but all the emphasis is on the instrumental performances anyway. It's surprisingly fun most of the time; it's certainly not Dying Fetus' greatest work, but it's the first time they managed to climb out of the bizarre quagmire of pseudo-mechanical tech death they were stuck in for so many years before.

If you really want to get the best Dying Fetus experience, grab this and the subsequent two full-lengths and you'll pretty much have everything that's necessary. This is the weakest of the band's good material but it's still enjoyable if you're a dumb thug like me. Ignore the dumb decisions and you're left with a pretty solid album overall.