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WAY better than "Stop At Nothing" - 80%

MrVJ, September 18th, 2007

"There's a common talking-point that all Dying Fetus fans can agree with, and it's that “Stop At Nothing” was one of the worst albums released in 2003 and effectively being one of the biggest let downs in the past decade, as that being the follow up to the absolutely stunning “Destroy The Opposition” that was released in 2000. I myself have just pretended that “Stop At Nothing” never existed and I'm sure many other fans have done the same, so basically to me it's been seven years without a Dying Fetus record, and finally this past March they have released “War Of Attrition”. I should also note that the only original member in the band is long-standing guitarist/vocalist John Gallagher and he apparently wrote six of the eight tracks entirely himself and it really shows.

It seems to me that Dying Fetus have really turned up the “technical” notch on their guitars because almost every other riff is filled with “weedily weedily weedily wooooooo!!!” (yes, that's what a riff sounds like). They've also effectively took lots of lessons from brutal death metal bands as you can tell on a few songs that they just throw structure out the window and go for ball-crushing death metal. This is also the first album without long-time vocalist Vince Matthews (ex-Sadistic Torment, ex-Covenance, Criminal Element) who was replaced by bassist/vocalist Sean Beasley (Garden Of Shadows, ex-Sadistic Torment). Frankly, I think the man should change his name to Beastly, because he is a monster on the bass, and his vocals actually resemble Vince's quite a bit, but I seem to be leaning towards Sean's vocals more on the like-ability factor. He seems to put out more of a torturous scream than Vince could, and for the lyrical and musical content of Dying Fetus that is very important. There's also the matter of Mr. Duane Timlin (ex-Krieg, ex-Broken Hope, ex-Judas Iscariot) on drums. Sure, he's no Kevin Talley (ex-Dying Fetus, ex-Decrepit Birth, ex-Misery Index), but Duane certainly holds up his end on the music spectrum, working very well with what the rest of the gang has given him. There also isn't much to be said about Mike Kimball (Disordered, ex-Malignant Inception), also on guitar. He doesn't really do much other than emphasize what riffs are being played by Gallagher.

The music is generally interesting and blows that shitheap called “Stop At Nothing” completely out of the water, almost completely re-solidifying my confidence in Dying Fetus to keep on going with their 16 year career. As I mentioned before, the riffs are certainly more technical than I remember and they're even very catchy with little bits of groove thrown in for good measure. There's also the occasional hardcore riff thrown in there to slow down the music just a tad, but there's no breakdowns in sight! The musicianship is very professional, making it look as if the band has been fine-tuning these songs for four years (although I'm sure they have).

Sometimes it's a very good thing to only have one remaining original band member, because it can give them a certain incentive to try and out-do their previous material. Sometimes they do it, and sometimes they don't, but with how “Stop At Nothing” turned out, Gallagher would have to be completely brain dead to not out-do “Stop At Nothing”. This is a very good album from a very good band who hopefully will start all over again and climb their way back to the top of the death metal mountain."

Originally written for Metal