Bands on Relapse Records can generally be divided into two categories: face- rippingly fast (Burnt by the Sun, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Benumb) or mind-numbingly slow (5ive, Bongzilla, Neurosis). Dying Fetus definitely falls into the former category. The band is one of several thousand grind-hardcore-punk-thrash outfits polluting stages and stuffing record bins from coast to coast and across the world. The Fetus is political, of course; the cover of its last album, 2000's Kill the Opposition, features a picture of Uncle Sam caught in the middle of a serious beatdown. The group will drop its new album, Stop at Nothing, in May, and it's laying the groundwork by touring with Hate Eternal, a Morbid Angel side project turned full-time band. This is a good thing, as Morbid Angel is pompous and silly at this point -- the band doesn't mean to be, but all that barking in ancient Sumerian is funny, not scary.
Hate Eternal is a return to speed, power, and concision. The band's most recent album, King of All Kings, gets its crunching, pummeling work done in a half-hour, vomiting up 10 songs as savage as anything out there. No other rock genre today displays extreme metal's vitality. This show is proof.