When it comes to metal, it’s hard to argue against tried and true traditions. Heck, there are still bands emulating the godfathers of metal, Black Sabbath. Though some bands may be treated as pariahs for being unoriginal, many bands are given the exact opposite treatment, being ostracized for changing from their beloved ways (Morbid Angel, anyone?). Dying Fetus don’t really have to worry about that. For about 20 years, Dying Fetus have been putting out strong metal albums, and the metal world has been moshing right along with them. The band’s latest release, Reign Supreme, isn’t looking to change that mold in any way, but does that matter?
For any longtime fans of Dying Fetus, knowing what to expect of a new album is remarkably easy: borderline grotesque lyrics about many not-suitable-for-the-dinner-table topics, constant face-melting riffs, furious drum work, mysteriously catchy songwriting, and most of all, pure chaos. All of that can be found on Reign Supreme and in standard Dying Fetus form. All of these things are very good. Delivering consistently solid material in a trademark sound is no easy feat, no matter how simple Dying Fetus make it seem.
Nearly unmatched in their uncanny ability to make slamming, technical death metal riffs catchy, Dying Fetus are in top form in that regard on Reign Supreme. Every song on the album features at least one extremely memorable and catchy moment, and the band doesn’t sacrifice their brutal integrity to achieve that goal. Whether it’s the opening shredding section from the first track “Invert The Idols,” the beginning to ”Subjected To A Beating,” or the album’s closing moments on “The Blood Of Power,” there are quite a few moments of heavy impact. Even while mostly routine at this point, the collection of riffs found on Reign Supreme are still perfectly satiating if what you’re looking for is a catchy collection of brutal death metal.
Without a doubt there will be people who complain about a lack of change for Dying Fetus, but there will likely be just as many who are more than happy to have the same old Dying Fetus they’ve always had (despite a litany of lineup changes). If you’re in the camp that thinks routine is good as long as a high standard of quality is maintained, Reign Supreme will suit you just fine—just know that you’re not going to find anything revolutionary on it. Reign Supreme drops on June 19th via Relapse Records, you can pick it up here.