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Cold, unrelenting hatred and disgust. - 100%

tshred666, April 22nd, 2012

What can be said about this album that hasn't already been said? It truly is the magnum opus of the genre (just barely outclassing Symphonies... and Horrified). It set the standard that all grind bands in the '90s and the new millennium have tried to match. Musically, it's not that far removed from side two of Scum and Reek..., but because of the cold, harsh production it's more aesthetically pleasing than the other two, and not to mention Mick's drumming is much tighter than Ken's (though Ken's drumming on every subsequent Carcass release is top notch).

Lee's voice is the grindcore equivalent of Tom Araya. Powerful, percussive, and just so alive. While there are grind bands that have objectively better vocals (in the sense that you can decipher the lyrics), Lee's voice here just hits your eardrums like a sledgehammer. Not even Bill's vile and rotten gutturals on Reek... and Symphonies... match the indescribable greatness on this album. Speaking of Bill, his riffing here is more or less the same as it is on Reek of Putrefaction, but because of the higher tuning and better production it stands on its own to feet. While his playing here is simplistic and immature compared to Carcass and Firebird, it reflects what grind and hardcore are all about: aggression and passion. Mick's drumming is a chaotic flurry of up-tempo punk grooves and unrelenting blast beats, made even more chaotic by the reverberating production. Shane's bass is buried under all the chaos caused by Bill, Lee, and Mick, but you can't go bassless. If you did, it would probably sound hollow and weak.

Since death metal was in its infancy in '88, there's very little death metal influence on this record as opposed to most grind records, and surprisingly enough, there is also very little thrash to be heard (which is where the early European grind differs from early American grind). Instead you get what is pretty much Discharge, Doom, and Crass with the metronome turned all the way up.

Lyrically, they kept to the formula of anti-establishment idealism present in nearly any socially conscience punk band. Though where Scum points out the corruption of western society in the '80s, FETO presents a myopic and disturbingly realistic dystopia that constantly punishes the everyday working man.

The only standout track is the doom opener "Evolved as One", as every other track is essentially crust punk on amphetamines and steroid-induced rage. An essential album for any grind aficionado or anyone who wants to look into what grind is all about.