Ingested return with their ungodly slamming death metal in their newest release, The Level Above Human (Unique Leader). The Manchester, UK slam kings unleash an onslaught of misery and devastation throughout each song; chugging guitars, insane blast beats, and guttural vocals present an album of slam at its finest. The Level Above Human is an excellent achievement for the band, showcasing their supreme mastery in crafting violent music.
Vocalist Jay Evans keeps to a consistent blend of guttural growls and high-pitched shrieks. The balance between the two styles, along with the slight instrumental variations, aid in bringing unique flavor into each track. “Sovereign” unleashes a bombardment of booming bass and thunderous drumming; both Brad Fuller and Lyn Jeffs (bassist and drummer respectively), provide an overwhelming aura of tension through the constant pummeling of instrumentation. The track waves in tempo, taking sections to speed away, while also slowing things down to produce murky chugs.
“Invidious” introduces some vibrancy into the material, the overall tone of the track playing on a lighter note. Don’t mistake this for anything delicate, for the band still gives it their all on this relentless beat down. The guitar shifts from a dense rhythm to thrashing away, constantly utilizing tempo changes throughout the material. “Misery Leech” offers a mix of inflections in both the guitars and vocals. In particular, there’s a great range of shrieks and growls that blend with both the thrashing and lighter components of the track.
When it comes to slam, it’s easy to know what you should expect in regards to formula. Rather than go for the straightforward approach of mindless structure, Ingested present a display of technicality. The band does a brilliant job changing up the flow as to keep sounds fresh; even though this is a slam album, you won’t find a ton of repetition or monotony (even if it does appear at times). For the most part, there’s an even distribution of blast beats, chugs, and various uses of rhythm and melody.
“Last Rites” takes on a drastically different direction compared to previous songs. Instead of flying out in typical speedy fashion, the tempo scales back, with the guitar lingering on somber tones. Dense chugging makes a return eventually, but the speed is still not in full swing. The track shines on the talents of guitarists Sean Hynes and Sam Yates, highlighting their range in style and technicality. “The Crimson Oath” is generic in structure and sound, offering nothing that stands out as different compared to what we’ve heard previously. Luckily, this is one of the very few times where the record encounters a hiccup, with the final two tracks bringing things to a killer end.
The music exudes a sincere murderous vibe, rife with chaos and savagery. This is pure death metal gold, slamming its way throughout each track in well calculated rage. For those who already love the band, or who are in need of top-notch death metal, Ingested have you covered in The Level Above Human.