When I listen to new music, one of the first things I listen for is originality. In metal, so many bands sound the same, especially particular sub-genres where the formula has worked well and succeeded in the past. Why not replicate this formula and adjust it enough to call it "ours" and we too can be successful? This is fine, and bands are entitled to create whatever they please. For the listener though, over time, it's apparent and natural to dismiss these imitators and continue searching for a different quality. After a song or two off Ingested's The Architect of Extinction I was about to give up. Thankfully, the vocals were so stunning, I stuck around for a few listens and the album started to open up.
This five-piece band from Manchester was formed in 2006. Previously known as Age of Suffering which formed in 2004, these members have been crafting music for a significant passing of time. Ingested's first few releases included a split EP, followed by two full-lengths, Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering, and then The Surreption. Each release has been able to stand alone as the bands evolution systematically grew. The jump from each release seemed to display an amount of maturity in not only the musical aspect, but also the focused sound they've been aiming for. For those who enjoy labels, this band resembles sounds to include both a deathcore influence, as well as a brutal death metal influence.
In comparison and development from their last album The Surreption, it's apparent many of the unique riffs from The Surreption have vanished. One of my biggest complaints is that the variety of new guitar work in The Architect of Extinction is very limited. There are more chugs and slam-like segments where the old driving riffs used to be. This is good for their focus and consistency, but is missed since there is less of a creative evolution when looking for originality. Of course, slams and chugs can be original, but are less expressive and rewarding when celebrating progression and musical evolution. There are brief segments where a creative riff is tossed into the mix, and it's a pleasant element that leaves the listener deprived and wanting more. This tease is a theme throughout the album, but one can appreciate this, as it's a clear example of the band being unambiguous on their focused intent on the direction of their sound. These technical riffs, and their brevity, is growth indeed, as it calls upon the darker dystopian that is brutal death metal.
Ingested has seemed to finally arrive after many years of creating music. Some tracks, though, continue to leave questions. Around halfway through the album, "Penance" presents itself. An instrumental that is slow and not very catchy or unique. For 3 minutes and 14 seconds, all is forgotten of what was just played and you're left with a bewildered discontent feeling. It disrupts the flow of the album significantly. "Rotted Eden" is the only other track that I skip over. Some may thoroughly enjoy this closing track, and it appears to be an epic closing, but all I hear is a rip-off of one of White Chapel's Our Endless War tracks. It's not a disaster, but it is out of character for Ingested to incorporate a more melodic structure, and repetitive discourse. Ingested is good at what they do, and this is what they need to stick with.
One of the strongest attributes on this album would be the vocals. In comparison to their older releases, they are much more focused and refined. The low growls and mid/high screams and shouts are really all that's needed for these guys, and they make it work perfectly. There are several portions where the vocals seem to abscond from human capability, and a truly animalistic guttural digestion is revered in full capacity. "The Heirs To Mankind's Atrocities" will make your throat hurt just listening to it.
Over all, a solid album, not perfect or close to it, but a well produced and brutal experience is what is needed for this type of extreme metal. A heavy release for the start of 2015, a decent start for a fresh year of new music.