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A full sixteen years later, Dying Fetus is still kicking around. Despite accusations of wiggerdom, of overly trendy music, of selling out, they've managed to keep going and stay pretty high on the heap of modern death metal. Hell, this isn't without reason: albums like 2003's 'Stop At Nothing' are absolutely vicious and infectious slabs of groovy death/grind that's impossible not to cause headbanging in the majority of the population. Which is precisely what makes 'War Of Attrition' so inexcusable.
Sweet christ is this album boring. To say that this LP was phoned in would be a step up: this thing was written in, emailed in, I don't know, fucking AIMed in. What the hell happened here? Previous Dying Fetus releases have been moderately technical, very catchy, and generally brutal fun for the whole family, but this? This is sterile, trite crap. Four years after their last LP, Dying Fetus have churned out possibly the laziest and least intense LP of their careers, and there's no reason as to why this should be. No enormous personal upheaval, no dramatic label switch, nothing to even remotely result in predictable paint-by-numbers bullshit like this.
The entire album reeks of abject sterility. Packing some of the driest production I've ever heard in a metal album, 'War Of Attrition' offers absolutely nothing that wasn't done better last decade. Yeah, the music is more technical, it's (I guess) faster, more artificially brutal, still has the breakdowns, etc. But it's missing one thing: PASSION. Yes, 'War Of Attrition' lacks any and all of the intensity of previous Dying Fetus releases and does nothing more than slap predictable 'tech' riffs over uninteresting drum patterns and ridiculously listless vocals from King Wigger himself, John Gallagher. Perhaps this godawful shift to shit could have been predicted by the lazy-ass cover art that could have been grafted together by any fourteen year-old kid with a torrented copy of Photoshop and an hour to kill. What the fuck, four years we've been waiting and they give us, of all things, this record?
Here's how a song on 'War Of Attrition' goes: Start up with a moderately fast 'technical' riff over some bland double bass drum pattern. Throw in a couple copy/paste bridges, have Gallagher gurgle like a fucking retard over them, add catastrophically uninteresting breakdown, end. Repeat EIGHT FUCKING TIMES. How can an album that took four years to make offer so fucking little in the way of, oh, I don't know, content? You want to know how? Because Dying Fetus got fucking lazy. Gallagher and crew (I think that's what rappers call groups of friends nowadays) got fat and happy on Relapse royalties and decided that making brutal music was now secondary to keeping the paychecks rolling in by cracking out eight more songs that kids are too stupid NOT to mosh to. I vaguely nodded my head at the second breakdown in 'Homicidal Retribution'. That's as active as I got.
Speaking of which, how fucking lazy are these song titles? 'Homicidal Retribution'? 'Insidious Repression'? 'Unadulterated Hatred'? Come fucking on! Dying Fetus song titles have always been tepid at best, but the 'adverb plus aggressive verb' pattern is done on HALF THIS FUCKING ALBUM this time. 'War Of Attrition' is a fucking joke. Don't buy it, don't download it, don't fund this meaningless bullshit in any way, be it even by so much as looking at it in the record store. I'm calling this the ultimate fucking disappointment of the year. And goddamn I'm sticking with that even though we're not half way through February. Fuck Dying Fetus, fuck John Gallagher, fuck Relapse Records, and fuck everyone who doesn't demand more from their music than this.
(Originally written for www.vampire-magazine.com)