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Regular but it doesn't deserve the hatred - 69%

6CORPSE6GRINDER6, June 23rd, 2017

Dying Fetus' debut album shows that they had the musicianship to do great things, you can hear some skillful guitar playing and a decent bass to go along with but neither the songwriting nor the production were as good as on their latter records. That being said, I must add that this is a pretty enjoyable piece of brutal death metal with hardcore influences.

The band's sound is pretty much conformed by those two subgenres mentioned before. Suffocation meets The Offenders. We have brutal, faster than life parts with blast beats all over; but also we have hardcore parts with punky thrash beats and slow and heavy breakdowns that lay somewhere in between. Pinch harmonics play an important role on the band's sound, as well as sweep picking stuff that sounds pretty technical. The vocals are not favoured by the recording either but you can hear the depth and power of those gutturals. This guy can growl really low.

The first thing that seems to annoy everyone is the production. It sounds raw as fuck but almost everything is legible, except from the bass (isn't that kind of normal, anyway?). Besides that, the only technical flaw I can hear in the mix is that the cymbals are too loud. I dare to say the guitar tone is enhanced by the roughness of the mix, it sounds thick and heavy with some slight tube ground noise to keep it real. Bass guitar is buried under the guitars and drums almost always, but you can hear it when the strings hit high notes and it adds some weight to the mix. I love the natural sound from the drums in this record, no triggers, no effects, just brutality. Drum fills sound crystal clear because the player is so accurate, despite the limitations they probably had in the studio compared to nowadays situation. Cymbals are a little too loud, so the record overall is pretty noisy but it's death metal so it's OK.

The album closes with a Napalm Death cover that sounds awful and some track features a small clean guitar section that reminded me a lot of Nile. To close up, I'd rather say that this album is far from perfect or even the band's best records, but it's still a worthy listen for an extreme metal enthusiast.

Decent but.... ehh - 55%

DeathToJesus666, December 29th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Relapse Records (Digipak, Limited edition)

So this is the debut of a band that would later craft masterpieces like "Destroy the Opposition" and "Stop At Nothing"? Well it may be hard to believe, but everyone has to start from somewhere. This is where Dying Fetus had to start in order to achieve the technicality and complexity of the later albums I mentioned. Though not entirely a bad album, it is a pretty messy debut with songs just seeming to go everywhere. Especially the difference here in contrast with the later material is the amount of singing done in songs. It just kinda seems like at some points on the album they just sang over a part where they couldn't think of one of those hook-laden riffs Dying Fetus are known for and just chugged along with the song.

Another difference between this album and their more mature albums I mentioned would be the lyrical content. However, it seems after looking at the lyrics of some of the songs I must say I am glad I couldn't understand what John was saying, as some of these lyrics just pale in comparison to the later material. Here's a band that started writing lyrics like "We exist to destroy fuck you all, fuck you all" and then would later write lyrics like .... well just look up the lyrics to one of their newer songs like "From Womb To Waste" and you can see what I mean. I know I have talked on about the cons about the album but nevertheless there were some good things listening to it too.

Like for example audible bass. Who doesn't love it when you can hear the bass in metal? The guitars are really thick and heavy too, a perfect example would be "Blunt Force Trauma" or "Nocturnal Crucifixion." However with the pros being said as well there is one more thing that bothers me quite a lot. The production. It's horrendous, especially the snare and double bass drums, they just sound like total shit. I don't know why some brutal death metal bands think it's alright to horribly de-tune the snare and make it sound as if their pounding on tin cans. Even though it is tolerable, it just makes the experience of listening to an album annoying. Even though Dying Fetus is a great band and has since redeemed themselves since the release of this album, this album cannot be forgotten due to it's mediocrity.

What a fucking mess. - 41%

hells_unicorn, January 29th, 2011

This is a difficult album to like, especially when coming to it in expectation of a brutal slaying of the ear drums and a morose adventure into the dark recesses of human depravity. It boasts a really nasty exterior and collection of song titles that could possibly challenge Chris Barnes to keep his lunch down. It brings to the table a very credible set of musicians who are actually capable of cutting heads with Cryptopsy and hold their own in the process, as a single listening to the lead guitar madness and tech. riffs sprinkled in between the slam sections. But ultimately this just doesn’t cut it where it counts, and that is the unity of the whole.

The first thing that really busts what little balls that this album would have is the piss poor production. It’s difficult to fathom why anyone would want to blare out the guitars in the matter that this album does when the character of the amp distortion is so mechanical that it almost sounds like the gears of a robot being grinded into dust to a perfect, symmetrical beat. This is the sort of sound that might be expected out of Marilyn Manson or Trent Reznor’s various concoctions, but not out of any self-respecting death metal band that has equipment beyond what sells at the swap meet. Add to it a really dry and empty sounding vocal production, and a drum sound that deemphasizes the snare and cranks up that clicking kick drum sound, and a completely unbalanced mess is what emerges.

The truly sad thing about this album is that it sounds like it took a lot of effort to put together, and may well have been solid had a few things been done differently. John Gallagher is all over the place, throwing in Cannibal Corpse growls, garbled imp speak, maniacal renditions of Lord Worm’s gut wrenching screams, and even what sounds like a few pig squeals; all in a manner that is extremely disjointed and unorganized. The sectional composition of most of these songs is also fairly flat, in spite of all the tech. elements being tossed around. The breakdown sections mimic the well known NYHC model, albeit in a somewhat more meandering fashion, and are the only real point of change up to be found from the mechanical speed and blast sections.

It would be a mistake to call this album a poor man’s “None So Vile”, as it is an insult to both poor people and the revolutionary yet controversial album that Cryptopsy is best known for. But that is the closest I can get from a historical standpoint as to what this album actually is. But even when taken at that, there isn’t a whole lot that really possesses you to want more after a first listen. Even if the production was evened out and cleaned up a bit, these songs would still not lend themselves to repeated listens. It’s sad that this band spent 5 years screwing around before actually putting out an album, and sadder still that they didn’t really have anything to add to a style that was pretty well on its way out of the fore front of revolutionary ideas. But saddest of all, this is an album that just doesn’t stand well even on its own merits.

Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on January 28, 2011.

Still notably mediocre - 48%

Noktorn, November 11th, 2008

What an unbelievably annoying production job this album has. There's nothing obviously wrong with it, it just sounds stupid and it makes for a displeasing listen. The guitar tone sounds very cheap and weak, sort of like a mid-'90s version of those crappy direct-input guitar tones you hear all over the place these days. The bass drums have that empty, clicky thud that you heard all the time in this era of death metal, and even the vocals seem weak and powerless, somehow getting swallowed up by the guitars which take up a massive amount of the soundspace despite being played with the amps on four. I guess the album is akin to filling up a closet: yeah, it's full, but there's not a lot of space to work with so it's still lame in the long run.

The songwriting is only a bit better than the production and probably deserves the sound quality it has. It's marginally more even-handed than the band's demo material but still by and large rather incoherent, with too many filler riffs that go nowhere except masturbatory displays of meaningless technicality and an overall underdeveloped sound. At least Dying Fetus had begun to establish its own sound on this release as opposed to the weird aping of Fleshgrind heard on 'Infatuation With Malevolence'; you can hear the urban influences and groove taking the center stage rather than the overly blast-heavy and constantly technical style of their earlier work. The music still possesses that bizarre quality of seeming sloppy yet overly tight at the same time, as if the sound of all the instruments was geared towards musicians much more even-handed than the ones actually playing.

There's a reason that the vast majority of songs on this album have been forgotten: they're gutted something terrible by the albums that pop up later in Dying Fetus' career, so much so that these are reduced to total irrelevancy when viewed within the context of the band's greater catalog. There's isolated good sections on the songs, and they don't drag as painfully as they do on the demo material, but they're still far from anything I would characterize as particularly listenable or worthwhile. There's a special place in hell reserved for the vocals: Gallagher's never been a particularly stellar vocalist, but the production along with a lazy sounding performance makes that aspect of the music positively cringe-inducing at times, if the ear-splitting sweep riffs weren't enough to do that already.

In short, it's better than 'Infatuation With Malevolence', but not by much, and it's still a rather unnecessary album to all but those interested in it for historical purposes.

Beaten Into Submission. - 50%

Perplexed_Sjel, March 4th, 2008

'Purification Through Violence' appears to be the place to start if you're looking to experience the delightful sound of this early American death metal band. Despite the fact that it took Dying Fetus a mere five years to get around to releasing a full-length album, this is still very primitive in sound. 'Purification Through Violence' resembles something you'd expect from the early day death metal bands. Whether this sound is still accessible now to audience's is an entirely different matter to whether or not it would have been well received amongst death metal fans on it's release. In my opinion, the sheer brutality of Dying Fetus' sound will help it stand the test of time, but it's probably not enough to keep it from receiving a certain amount of poor feedback.


My problem with Dying Fetus has always been the vocals. There are several different styles used within the one album. I think it would have been wiser for Dying Fetus to stick to the one style and work on improving it. However, the band have seemingly stuck to incorporating several different vocal styles into their music. First, we have that guttural style. That low growl death metal prides itself on. Whilst death metal fans are used to it, it still could have been performed to a better standard. Like several aspects of the music, the vocals are particularly weak. They don't hold much grasp on the audience. Second, we have a higher pitched screamed style, which would most likely be heard on any grind release. Dying Fetus seemingly do incorporate elements of grind into their music, particularly in terms of vocals. On 'Purification Through Violence' one could say this grind style is suited to the album on the whole. Grind is notorious for short songs, and this album is fairly short, therefore the screamed vocals are well placed amongst the heavy instrumental sections.


Song lengths have always been a problem of mine when it comes to both death metal and grind. Why? It's sometimes difficult to feel the mood of a song when it stops and starts in short bursts, like 'Purification Through Violence' does and when songs finish before they've even started due to short song lengths. It's always been a problem with grind, short song lengths and is a problem here. Suffice to say, due to lengths of songs, it's hard to grasp a feel for the music. Other than the brutality and gore the music is meant to represent, the lyrical side to Dying Fetus is deemed redundant because there isn't enough time to come to terms with song meanings or soundscapes of songs because they're too quickly evolved. The technical side to Dying Fetus is something that must come into question. Musicianship isn't of the highest order during 'Purification Through Violence' because the evolution of songs is poorly done, for the most part. Songs are concentrated on short, intense bursts. Percussion only really plays a part when it's being played at a fast tempo, otherwise it just fades into the background. The guitars aren't a focus unless there is a solo, or they're playing at a rapid speed. Bass is often drawn into the background of the soundscapes, going missing for long periods of time.


Thankfully, as time goes on, Dying Fetus do improve, but this is very much a primitive death metal release from a band who're perhaps too influenced by early Suffocation. Dying Fetus need to spend more time focusing on their own sound, as opposed to producing a carvern copy of something someone else has already done. To me, the acoustic sections, which are few and far between, do little to persuade me that Dying Fetus have yet found their sound.

Very Nice, Rotten Debut - 87%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, September 3rd, 2007

The first Dying Fetus album comes in 1996 and it’s very raw. If they recently, especially from Destroy The Opposition album, had a better, cleaner production, here you must forget about it.
Let me say that is not bad, absolutely, but it is more “underground”, fucking heavy and low tuned, especially for the guitar sound.

They were still influenced by brutal death metal in that period but in their sound you could already hear some influences from other genres, especially from hardcore in the guitar parts and in the drums patterns. “Blunt Force Trauma” begins with an intro of distorted, screaming voices and after awhile the massacre begins. This is not the most violent song but guitars are technical, creating with the drums a lot of tempos changes. You cannot hear a single part for more than 10 seconds!

The vocals often change…you can hear grind screams or guttural growls and this is the way the first song ends. Sometimes the way of singing is typical of the hardcore genre, but more distorted. The fast parts come with “Beaten Into Submission” song but sometimes they last for few seconds before another more hardcore or technical part begins.

The beginning of “Skull Fucked” song is typical of grind genre with blast beats, screaming voices and fast guitars, alternated to strange acoustic guitar sounds just in the first part. One of most violent songs of the album. The central break is fucking slow and heavy, and reminded me early Suffocation.

So often, Suffocation influences can be heard, especially during the slowest parts, while grind influences obviously can be found during the blast beats. The hardcore component gives a higher impact to the riffs, creating a good, raw mix. Usually the songs are not too long and it’s positive because they don’t bore you even if it would be difficult anyway, because of their continue changes.

“Raped On The Altar” in my opinion is the most rotten, raw song of the album. Just great. It begins with a female voice (maybe belongs to the girl prepared to be raped…!) and after it’s a mess. There is also an acoustic guitar break, immediately played by the electric one too, during the blast beats…incredible!!

The final song is the infamous cover of Napalm Death’s "Scum" song, that begins with the sound of a person that is puking. The cover is even more rotten but played in classical Dying Fetus style. Very nice.
Well, this is the first step of band the would have become quite famous in this genre; it’s still pretty raw, but the group's technical side is already very clear and their impact is big. A very nice debut album.