Reign Supreme

Dying Fetus

Reign Supreme

Dying Fetus’ seventh album pushes the boundaries of death metal into the red. Guitarist/frontman John Gallagher (the Upper Marlboro, Md., trio’s only original member) says that 2012’s Reign Supreme is a return to form, with an updated emphasis on guitar work and production. The opening cut, “Invert the Idols,” exemplifies this claim with a sudden onslaught of hypermathematical six-string leads that sound more machine than human. But once the riffs start blasting and Gallagher’s “singing” erupts like a belching volcano, the song recalls much of 1998’s Killing on Adrenaline, save for a crisper and more upfront mix. In the following “Subjected to a Beating,” Gallagher’s voice enters a previously uncharted range that’s further explored in “From Womb to Waste,” where it almost sounds like he's layering a track of throat-singing inflections over his guttural growls. Where many bands of this ilk tend to sound homogenized, Dying Fetus injects varying nuances and styles to keep things more interesting. On “In the Trenches,” he does this by slightly slowing the speed-metal tempos into gooey sludge.

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