After hitting yet another career high on 2017’s Wrong One to Fuck With, the Fetus fellas didn’t spend their time sitting idly by during that multi-year global pandemic that put the entire music industry on pause. Instead, they got to work crafting yet another milestone release that somehow manages to cram even more brutal slam riffs and more catchy hooks into its runtime than anything they’ve released before.
“It was largely written during the pandemic and coming out of the pandemic,” bassist and co-vocalist Sean Beasley says of Make Them Beg For Death’s origins. “A year and a half almost of nothing. John (Gallagher, guitar and vocals) moved a couple hours away during the time off,” he reveals, “…so getting started again after was just something to work out logistically. Everything moved pretty fast once things opened up again.”
Hot off the heels of a wildly celebrated record that marked the return of the classic Fetus sound, so much so the band even dusted off their oldschool Dying Fetus logo for Wrong One’s album cover, it seemed like continuing down the vintage mosh/slam riff road was the natural path to take for their newest album.
“It just seems the way to go nowadays,” Beasley affirms. “The beat down riffs are the hooks that most people remember and connect with a song. With so many tech bands out there now, a lot of the time certain riffs can feel unnecessary, unless that’s the direction of that song. It was always a balance between solid riffs, speed, and more technical parts.
“Having good overall songs is more important to the ending result. Some with more slammy riffs than others. And the crowd response has been great on the new ones. You always want to play for the fans of your band. Seeing great crowd reaction is something special when performing. Crowds are going to react more to the beat down riffs than something faster or more technical, it’s just the nature of live music. But people also listen when not at a show, so more complete songs feel like a better offering than endless breakdown riffs, one after another. Too much of anything can be bad,” he warns. “Having a good balance is important.”
Songs like “Compulsion For Cruelty,” Make Them Beg For Death’s first single, strike that perfect balance. There’s enough guitar histrionics and blast beats to pacify even the most stringent tech death nerds, while the groove that propels the song and it’s infectious breakdowns are all but guaranteed to seduce even casual, hard rock/metal adjacent listeners into losing their minds in the pit. “Unbridled Fury” “When The Trend Ends,” and “Undulating Carnage” are more examples of Dying Fetus’ unparalleled ability to blend skull crushing heaviness, ultra precise musicianship, and ridiculously catchy hooks into one cohesive slab of death metal goodness.
Regarding “Unbridled Fury,” their new record’s second single, Beasley says, “It’s an easier song technically to play on bass, but the groovy trade-off vocal parts in that song stick with me. I think it’s one of the songs that I’ll start hearing in my head for no reason when I’m doing something totally unrelated. The catchiest parts always get stuck in your head. I guess it’s my favorite live at the moment, also.”
It’s clear that in the year 2023, team Dying Fetus just wanna rock. Make Them Beg For Death is a testament to the band’s masterful chops and songwriting, capturing the brutality and aggression of the band’s early days, and adding a level of finesse and dare we say … fun into their potent brand of death metal. The end result is another killer record that you and anyone within earshot of your car stereo speakers can bounce along to and enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Tracey Brown