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Dying Fetus' 2003 release of Stop At Nothing was an above average album. It was heavy, fast, moderately technical, and musical with its groovy rhythms. So given this many people were very excited for the release of War of Attrition, but at the same time, I was not expecting the fastest most brutal death metal. What we got was another Stop At Nothing and some may argue that this is simply an over statement.
War of Attrition is close to and possibly on the same level as Stop At Nothing, but definitely not more extreme in any way. War of Attrition has its moments. It is classic Dying Fetus as described above. In this release, there is no significant progression and that is disappointing in my eyes especially since they've had 4 years to prepare. Don't get me wrong this album is aggressive and has its moments, but Dying Fetus is simply not progressing, though one could argue that they are tighter and more musical especially since 1995, but very little since 2003.
One aspect that this album could improve is the drumming. Duane Timlin is an improving drummer but his style is predictable and dull at times. The double bass is fast, though many metal drummers could match this speed. There will be a fast part, like around 200 bpm, that may last for 30 seconds with Mr. Timlin just blast beating the whole time, which by the way is the climax. He may throw in a drum filll here and there, but then the music slows down and gets some what groovy. During the groovy parts he could provide more double bass patterns to enhance and follow the guitars, but he just usually rolls the double bass, sometimes fast other times like at 120 bmp. He could also throw in gravity blast beats to enhance the sound. He sounds pretty polished as he has his moments, but its no wonder drummers like John Longstreth can tour with this band after practicing for only a couple weeks.
The overall sound is still heavy, fast, and groovy like albums of the past. The vocals are still classic Dying Fetus and the guitars are catchy, but there is still little-to-no element of impovement since 2003. I must rank this album not just on past Dying Fetus works, but with all metal works. As far as the newer and more extreme metal out there, Dying Fetus is falling back in terms of aggressiveness, speed, and overall ferociousness. They will always have a hand in extreme metal but for now they are par.