Dying Fetus - Descend Into Depravity
Relapse Records
Technical Death / Grind
8 songs (33:45)
Release year: 2009
Dying Fetus, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Kyle

As I picked up Descend Into Depravity off of the shelf at a local music store, surveying the song titles and ludicrous album cover, I turned to a fellow metal fan standing next to me and asked him what he thought of Dying Fetus and the album in general. His response to me was mostly impassive, telling me that the album is probably one of their best, though it’s not too much different than their previous releases; “They’re like the Iron Maiden of death metal, they always release what is essentially the same album, but it’s always good”, he said. And though he’s right on one account - Descend Into Depravity is indeed one of DF’s best albums to date – I also have to correct him on the account that not all Dying Fetus albums sound alike. This is, at the very least, true when compared to 2007’s disappointing and wholly uninteresting War Of Attrition.

Descend Into Depravity is essentially a comeback album for Dying Fetus, surpassing everything I’ve ever heard by them (I’m still a virgin to a few of their releases). This is one of the most brutal records I’ve heard in quite a while; the guitar tone is filthy and crushing, the drums carry on the band’s signature show of shimmering cymbal bombardment and old school snare sound, and the vocals are as guttural and piercing as ever. This is by far DF’s best produced album to date, Relapse Records yet again showing that they are THE label to go with if you’re looking for flawless production. The technicality level here is simply insane; there’s sweeps and breakdowns littered all over the place, and some time signature changes are nothing short of mind numbing, such as the one featured in Atrocious By Nature, which is easily the best track on the album with its wide variety of tempos and riffs. There’s even a purely thrash portion near the end! Also worth mentioning is the booklet art; the pictures featured within are very dark and visceral, similar to the image on the album’s cover, and reminds me of the same art style of the Sin City movie. It’s excellent stuff for fans of photography.

Sadly, however, Descend Into Depravity fails to fix the one flaw the band has always had. Yes, the musicianship of the collective members of Dying Fetus is astounding, and the riffs and sweep lines are very inventive, but the songs simply lack good structure. A Dying Fetus album is the musical equivalent of a Michael Bay movie: You shell out about fifteen dollars to see (Hear) it, and you pretty much know what you’re getting, but you’re still hoping in the back of your mind that maybe the storytelling (Song structure) will actually be good for a change. Wrong: you sit and watch a bunch of explosions (Drumming) for two and a half hours straight, with half of the shots consisting of a sweat-soaked Megan Fox (Awesome sweep picking), but because of the nonsensical story (John Gallagher’s guttural vocals) you leave the theater with only a vague memory of close-up cleavage shots and a ton of superb action scenes (Riffs) that are strung together rather unprofessionally.

Analogies aside, Descend Into Depravity is a really fun album to listen to; every riff oozes with talent and the drumming is so friggin’ impressive (Yet bass is nowhere to be heard, buried so far under the mix as it is) that I have to give this a relatively high score. Every single track is filled with some brilliant moments – see the killing songs list below for the ones that feature the best moments of the bunch – But then again, what you pay for is what you get: A ton of excellent moments, though it makes no difference whether or not Dying Fetus splits the album into eight tracks or keeps it as one huge song; this is essentially a collection of incredible riffs ordered in no particular fashion.

Killing Songs :
Your Treachery Will Die With You, Shepherd's Commandment, Atrocious By Nature, Descend Into Depravity
Kyle quoted 81 / 100
Other albums by Dying Fetus that we have reviewed:
Dying Fetus - Destroy the Opposition reviewed by Tony and quoted 88 / 100
Dying Fetus - War Of Attrition reviewed by Goat and quoted 74 / 100
Dying Fetus - Killing on Adrenaline reviewed by Aaron and quoted 86 / 100
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