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Treading water - 70%

tominous, April 17th, 2008

The sound that Dying Fetus have fashioned over the years is inimitable and very sought after these days. The almost redneck groove ‘n’ grunt coated with lavish sweep picking and clinical squeals are Dying Fetus necessities and you will be pleased to hear all are present and correct in War of Attrition, their 2007 Relapse release. This is more of a political diatribe as opposed to the gory fun of older days, and in this respect Dying Fetus have grown stronger. The change in stance has been noticeably reflected in the music which seems a little more reserved and …sensible? Difficult to imagine granted, but there are less over the top antics - replaced by more tiresome songs.

The ingredients are there, but the magic and excitement that were once on Killing on Adrenaline (1998) and Destroy the Opposition (2000) seem lost. We all remember “Kill Your Mother/Rape Your Dog” and “Pissing in the Mainstream” et al, tunes which seem so long ago now, but on this latest platter even after a few listens the songs are still rather hard to differentiate - with maybe the exception of the last song “Obsolete Deterrence.” Another problem that this album is faltered by is the classic ‘lets make the first couple of songs better than the rest’ syndrome which is not something you would expect from a death metal band that are currently at the head of the herd.

This latest album is maybe part of their personal war against the attrition in quality of Dying Fetus output. This just feels like a time of deflated creative inspiration, they have not lost the skill to make this music by any means, the production is top notch and the songs are tight and pacy as always. Let’s hope after this brief plateau the ascent will continue. War of Attritionis good but not great, it is Dying Fetus doing what they do best and it is listenable but not up to previous standards set by themselves.