Make Them Beg For Death

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Enlighten Through Agony
02. Compulsion For Cruelty
03. Feast Of Ashes
04. Throw Them in the Van
05. Unbridled Fury
06. When The Trend Ends
07. Undulating Carnage
08. Raised In Victory, Razed In Defeat
09. Hero's Grave
10. Subterfuge

The death metal scene is in such absurdly good health at the moment that there is little room for error at the top of the tree. DYING FETUS have deservedly become a benchmark for brutality over the last 32 years and have rarely been outgunned along the way. But however you slice (or stab) it, bands of this stature need to consistently deliver. "Make Them Beg For Death" arrives six years after the Maryland trio's last record (the utterly crushing "Wrong One To Fuck With") and a lot of very brutal and very fast new bands have emerged during that time. Can John Gallagher, Sean Beasley and Trey Williams still set the standard for all-out savagery? Of course they fucking can.

The title and artwork tell a crystal-clear story, before you even press play on this latest unrelenting beating. DYING FETUS are probably more popular than they ever imagined a band with such an obnoxious name and such merciless music could be, but their ninth full-length follows the same rules as its eight forebears: compromise is a dirty word, and all that matters is the violence.

Instantly recognizable (a rarity in itself in brutal DM) from the first pummeling riff, "Make Them Beg For Death" virtually dares the mainstream to take an interest. Three minutes of blasting, bloody war, "Enlighten Through Agony" is the DYING FETUS experience in a barbed-wire nutshell. Producer Steve Wright has done a fantastic job here, imbuing the threesome's precise attack with a fullness and muscularity that adds another layer of authority to an already imperious show of strength. Songs like "Compulsion For Cruelty" (expect huge, slam grooves and hyper-speed grinding) and "Feast Of Ashes" (for fans of dissonant churn, virtuoso shred and life-threatening circle pits) stay true to the spirit of the band's old, pioneering days, but from musicianship and songwriting to production and presentation, DYING FETUS have undergone a small but significant upgrade.

"Make Them Beg For Death" means serious business. You can hear it in the vile chromatic blitzkrieg of "Throw Them in the Van" and the super-catchy stomp 'n' blast of "Unbridled Fury". That seriousness lurks with malicious intent during "When The Trend Ends": a multi-tempo carve-up with more than passing resemblance to early CANNIBAL CORPSE. It sucks the air from the room as "Hero's Grave" cranks old-school tropes up to insane speeds and executes them with cutting edge levels of aggression.

This is, in other words, exactly what DYING FETUS fans will be hoping for. But somehow even more vicious, uncompromising and definitive. If they felt under pressure to show the competition who's boss, you wouldn't know it. "Make Them Beg For Death" is just a not-so-gentle reminder that the brutality throne is not up for grabs quite yet.

Author: Dom Lawson
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