Near the end of 2014, I reconnected with an old friend and found that some things in life definitely stand up to the ravages of time and an ever-growing mosaic of experience. Deathcore is not one of these things, and has aged as gracefully as an unrefrigerated jar of mayonnaise. British bruisers Ingested partake in this oft-maligned genre and are now releasing their third full-length, The Architect of Extinction. Time to dig out your old camo shorts, fire up MySpace, and party like it’s 2009.
Like nu-metal before it, deathcore has become a term synonymous with shitty music, and as such it feels unfair to label Ingested as a deathcore band. That said, it’s hard to avoid: this is too chuggy to be straight death metal, not old-school in the slightest, not quite brutal death metal, and generally fits the mold of death metal with some hardcore thrown in. Ingested succeed here by adding a liberal dosage of slam into the mix, and these segments sound closest to what Abominable Putridity was doing on Anomalies of Artificial Origin: slowing down and stretching out actual death metal riffs instead of chugging along with a total disregard for songwriting in favor of being “brutal.” Being that this is still primarily deathcore, the standard breakdown naturally makes a few appearances (most noticeably in “The Heirs to Mankind’s Atrocities” and “I Despoiler”), but Ingested‘s measured use of them gives these parts actual impact, as opposed to groups like Suicide Silence whose rampant overuse make breakdowns annoying and trite.
The Architect of Extinction also succeeds in the brutality department, as unlike Suicide Silence or All Shall Perish, Ingested don’t embarrass themselves when they write their full speed death metal riffs. Sounding like the less melodic side of Aborted circa Global Flatline, Ingested make these riffs fairly enjoyable and fleshed-out parts of each song, instead of a time-filler between breakdowns or guitar solos that are technical for the sake of being technical. That said, Ingested are still plagued by the lack of memorability that’s been present since their first record. This stuff is good violent fun while its on, but the band still lacks the sharp hooks of Aborted and slam fiends Internal Bleeding. This makes The Architect of Extinction‘s ten songs bleed together, with the exception of late album highlights “Amongst Vermin” and “A Nightmare Incarnate,” which are far and away the two best riff showcases here.
Cryptopsy‘s Christian Donaldson handles production, and to the surprise of no one, The Architect of Extinction sounds a lot like Cryptopsy‘s self-titled release, albeit with less emphasis on the bass guitar, but the same emphasis on brickwalling the album to near-oblivion. Lyn Jeffs’ drum sound is nearly identical to Flo Mounier’s on Cryptopsy, albeit more replaced than the latter’s. Sam Yates and Sean Hynes’ guitars are modern, sharp, and nicely chunky, allowing the chugging to sound fairly potent and never letting a note of the faster segments get lost in the maelstrom. The one sticking point is vocalist Jay Evans’ annoyingly high place in the mix, and this is exacerbated when his vocals are layered, which is frequently. His performance is solid, but essentially standard issue for the genre: Evans gurgles, screams, and growls his way through the album, with mostly incomprehensible lyrics about murder, how awful society is, and religion not being his cup of tea. Not exactly inspiring, but not really damaging either.
While it isn’t a very memorable record, The Architect of Extinction isn’t a bad one either. It’s a 45 minute beating that’s enjoyable while it’s on, but forgettable once it ends. I had a difficult time giving Ingested my full attention for 45 minutes straight because the music simply didn’t command it, and while Ingested may not turn too many heads with The Architect of Extinction, they’ll surely keep their audience’s heads banging with their brand of slamming deathcore.