The first two Dying Fetus albums were certainly decent, but hadn't completely convinced me of their status as death metal "gods". Grotesque Impalement, a short 21-minute EP released in 2000, was the first Dying Fetus release that really grabbed my attention. Featuring some of the finest material the band has to offer and excellent uses of humor, this EP was a step in the right direction for this Annapolis-based act. There are definitely some flaws here, but Grotesque Impalement is a generally strong effort from Dying Fetus. Now that Relapse Records has put together a version with excellent liner notes and ten minutes of bonus material, anyone who missed out on this the first time around is advised to check it out.
The music on Grotesque Impalement is very similar to what was on the first two Dying Fetus albums. That means you should expect very technical brutal death metal/grindcore played in a raw and unpolished fashion. The only change here (and it's a fairly major one) is that Dying Fetus included some 80's heavy metal influences in "Hail Mighty North / Forest Trolls Of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666)" and the bonus track "Dumpster Love" (which is absolutely hilarious and worth hearing for everyone). The original EP also consisted of two re-recorded demo tracks, two cover tracks (Baphomet's "Streaks of Blood" and Next Step Up's "Bringing Back the Glory"), and a reproduction of the intro to Grim Reaper's "Final Scream". If you get the Relapse Reissue (which I would recommend), you get the aforementioned "Dumpster Love", the previously unreleased "Reduced to Slavery" and a live version of "Purged of My Worldly Being". Musically, this is a fairly strong EP and Dying Fetus had clearly become much more talented musicians by this point.
I had an issue with the production of the early Dying Fetus albums, and although some work could be done here, this is a huge improvement. Grotesque Impalement generally has a powerful and full sound.
Grotesque Impalement is a very good, and often great, EP by Dying Fetus that I'd recommend all fans of eclectic death metal to look into. This was the best release that Dying Fetus had formulated up until this point, and the end result is fairly pleasing. I have a few issues with the consistency of the music, but a 3.5 star rating is still deserved. This is an album that will smack you in the face with brutal riffs and vocals, and the fact that I'll still occasionally laugh proves the versatility that Dying Fetus had mastered on this EP. I'd recommend fans of the band and extreme metal to take a look into this.
1. Grotesque Impalement
2. Streaks of Blood
3. Bringing Back the Glory
4. Tearing Inside the Womb
5. Final Scream (Prelude to Evil: Davey's Nightmare)
6. Hail Mighty North / Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666 Opus II)
7. Reduced To Slavery (Unreleased Track, 2000)
8. Dumpster Love (New Recording 2010)
9. Purged Of My Worldly Being (Live, 1999)