Dying Fetus, Live Review – Glasgow, UK

It’s a cold, wet Wednesday night – perfect for some mid-week savagery. What’s better than cramming into a densely frequented Classic Grand to catch American death metal icons Dying Fetus live in Glasgow? A few years have elapsed since they last brigaded Scotland, so this is the ideal antidote to the new year lull in metal shows. 

The audience impatiently bays for the first musical kick from the brutal death metallers. Appropriately, the trio commence with their classic Justifiable Homicide, illuminated by a wall of blood-red light, overseeing a particularly belligerent mosh pit. The opener is pursued by the on-brand Subjected to a Beating from their critically acclaimed Reign Supreme album. Deftly, Dying Fetus weaves wave upon wave of slam death metal’s bludgeoning weighty riffs with memorable technical prowess.

Enjoying three decades of extreme metal supremacy, this triumvirate possesses a sizeable discography. The setlist strives to satisfy fans from across the band’s existence, playing a track from every full-length, bar one. Impeccable performances of favourites including One Shot, One Kill, Grotesque Impalement and From Womb to Waste keep the action flowing. Headbangers keep banging, the crowd surfers, surfing, and the mosher’s? Moshing. The action in the pit literally sees bodies flying and the audience composition continually being involuntarily rearranged. 

Guitarist John Gallagher’s stage banter unites these physical divisions in the crowd. The punters cheer every statement he makes and give him the exact reaction he wants, for instance when he twice entreats if they’d like to hear a new song. Compulsion for Cruelty and Unbridled Fury are previews of the forthcoming album and cycle through the model Dying Fetus schematics, sticking faithfully to what the band is renowned for. Bassist, Sean Beasley, puts to death the notion that bassists are background scenery. Simultaneously, drummer, Trey Williams, alternates between pummelling his kit like it owes him money and intricately tapping the skins and rims like he’s sending a rapid, complex morse code message.

Never has someone wanted a physical assault to continue so badly. Yet, this masochistic feeling lingers in a dazed state as Gallagher announces there are only a couple of punches left in the set. The title track of the latest album Wrong one to Fuck With sees the congregation chanting along with its eponymous chorus. The ending song is the tongue-in-cheek titled Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog, a track that doesn’t overstay its welcome, oscillating between frenetic and sluggish tempos. The venue instantly blares Celebration by Kool and the Gang as soon as Gallagher says thanks to confirm that there is no encore. They may be getting on now but Dying Fetus prove they can still deliver the goods. Bleeding ears never felt so fun.

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