01. Fade Into Obscurity (Dehumanized cover)
02. Unchallenged Hate (Napalm Death cover)
03. Gorehog (Broken Hope cover)
05. Unleashed Upon Mankind (Bolt Thrower cover)
06. Twisted Truth (Pestilence cover)
07. Born In A Casket (Cannibal Corpse cover)
John Gallagher is basically a manifestation of death metal itself. Take a look at his credentials. The man has been the only founding member of Dying Fetus to stay with the band since it’s formation in 1991. He worked hard to get his group noticed, touring while they were unsigned, and because of this, they developed at devout cult following. Since signing with Relapse Records in 2000, he has released four albums. Through the bands 20 year existence, the band has gone through numerous musicians (14, to be precise). However, the band has had a stable line-up since 2007, with Sean Baisley, who has been a member for 10 years as bassist/backup vocalist, and Trey Williams, who has been their drummer since 2007, and has recorded and toured as a trio ever since. Yeah, his credentials are awesome. So when word leaked that he would release a cover EP in celebration of the bands 20 year anniversary and their upcoming stint on the Summer Slaughter tour, I immediately became interested. One of the most influential bands covering songs that influences him and his bandmates is an awesome thing that more bands should do, in my opinion.
So what you have here is 7 tracks that is a total of 21:55 in length, covering the range of Dehumanized to Cannibal Corpse, and even features a short original entitled “Rohypnol“. First thing I’d like to mention is that these covers are very faithful and conscious of the original. There is no random moment where the tempo is double speed of the original song, they are very faithful. However, that does lead to a dilemma: If you don’t like the original, odds are you won’t like the cover. And unfortunately, that’s what had happened to this reviewer. Whichever songs I didn’t like, I listened to once or twice for reviews sake, but never listened to again.
Another thing I find myself not liking is John Gallagher’s vocal style. He is a beast of a guitarist, and he has great low gutturals. However, his vocal style has a bad drawback: his words often sound like pig squeals, even when he doesn’t mean to. Pig squeals are definitely an acquired taste, and I don’t have the taste nor the mindset required to listen to them in a musical context. It sours the whole experience for me, personally. This really sours the original piece “Rohypnol“, to the point where I don’t even like listening to it. The majority of the piece is him is pig-squealing. The music is very, very good, and also very catchy, but the pig squeals sour it for me. The last 15 seconds, however, is a piece of grindcore mastery, sounding absolutely batshit insane.
Despite my criticisms, there are some great highlights. John Gallagher’s solos are very tasteful and technically deft, and his rhythm playing is on time. The bass and drums are played very well. The drums are of note, as Trey Williams absolutely shreds his kit as time, playing blasts very fast at times, gravity blasting on occasion, and his rhythm unwavers on the kickdrum. Also, the production on this EP is spectacular. The guitar is at a fine level, putting the vocals in the forefront. The bass hits you like a sledgehammer in the stomach. It’s so prominent. The drums are finely mixed, with nothing being overly triggered.
This was a very hard review to write and score. Ultimately, as is with all cover albums, it all depends on the songs being covered that will determine if you like the EP or not. Personally, I thought it was an enjoyable experience, but if there were a couple more songs, or a couple of different songs, the EP would’ve been a bigger success with me. However, it is a solid EP that should be listened to by Dying Fetus fans and the bands being covered.
Dying Fetus – History Repeats gets…