This is going to be a short review. If you know American death metal, and you're not retarded, you know DYING FETUS. If you know them, you know they were arguably the hardest-working band in American death metal for years, culminating in a deal with Relapse and 2000's "Destroy the Opposition" — an album that raised the bar for undiluted, state-of-the-art death metal delivered with barbaric precision. You also know that after that album, the band's lineup splintered, and that 2003's "Stop at Nothing" seemed a little less intense, a little less… I dunno… DYING FETUS-y.
It's been a long four years since "Stop at Nothing", and while extreme music has edged closer to the mainstream, DYING FETUS has had to wait on the sidelines as many of their peers or former touring partners have gone on to wider acclaim. Finally, they return to reclaim their throne… but is "War of Attrition" worthy of their legacy?
At least one person has remarked that "it's 'Destroy the Opposition II'," and while it could be argued that there are minor cosmetic adjustments, the fact remains that the FETUS trademarks — the dual vocal assault, the punishing blasts, those guitar sweeps that add, if not melody, at least some tonal variety, to the band's attack — are in full force. And the breakdowns, holy hell, it's nice to be reminded that no one can ignite a frenzied, bloody pit quite like DYING FETUS. Most importantly, that feeling is back — that indefinable intensity that seemed slightly lacking on "Stop At Nothing", the adrenalized viciousness that makes listening to this band a visceral, almost physical experience.
Eight songs, thirty-six minutes, but you know what? Some albums don't need to be long. Any more music on this record would be redundant, and probably harmful to the average listener. The band's "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" lyrical stance will probably fan a few flames, too, but what else are you gonna sing to music like this? It's supposed to be controversial, and it's supposed to be brutal.
It could be said that DYING FETUS are coasting here, but the sheer vein-bursting pummel of it all says otherwise. Besides, after this long away, "War of Attrition" is exactly what the band needed to release right now – a strong, intense, unflinching and unreservedly brutal statement of intent and purpose. There can be no argument that the band is back, and as murderously focused as ever. What else do you need to know?