Dying Fetus - _Stop at Nothing_
(Relapse Records, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
While Dying Fetus have never built their admirable reputation on the basis of constant innovation, it may raise an eyebrow or two to learn that their latest album bears more stylistic relation to their debut than it does either of their two previous records. Whether or not this was a conscious decision by John Gallagher (the sole remaining member of the line-up circa 1998's _Killing on Adrenaline_) remains to be seen, but unfortunately it results in the end product sounding strangely dated and very much like a band taking quite a few steps backward. A further shortcoming of _Stop at Nothing_ is the work of new vocalist Vince Matthews, who despite having the obvious ability to mince it up with the best of them is neither as convincing, aggressive or as unique as the departed Jason Netherton. Similarly, Netherton's politically-aware and thought-provoking lyrics, which have developed into a veritable Dying Fetus trademark over the years, are sorely missing from this package. Despite these drawbacks however, _Stop at Nothing_ is nonetheless pretty enjoyable. Technically faultless and helped in no small part by a top-notch production job, it seamlessly blends its death metal brutality with a hardcore groove that proves to be as crushingly effective as anything the Fetus have added their name to. Indeed, were it not for the fact that it is so outclassed by its predecessors, _Stop at Nothing_ would probably have scored much higher. Unfortunately though, Dying Fetus have proven in the past that they are capable of much more and this time around they have failed to reach the bar, which by the looks of it may well have been raised to unattainable heights.
(article published 5/18/2003)
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