Review Summary: Less stupid than the name
Ignominious: Marked by shame or disgrace.
Incarceration: A confining or state of being confined.
Ignominious Incarceration: Tech death metal band with stupid pretentious name.
Some would say that being Of Winter Born is snow
way to raise a child, and despite being cold
names, Ignominious Incarceration have weathered
the criticisms and landed a blow straight between the ice
of their tech death competition in the form of their 2009 debut. This UK band have frozen
fans with one of the most solid metal debuts of the year, and that’s a cool
II (Ignominious Incarc…not the number 2…you get it…) rustled up a 2008 EP, half of which appears on this follow-up. A medium-sized stick away from being labelled ‘core’, this British quintet have saluted (one-finger style) the trend for newcomers to ride the wave of commercial success through to deathcore beach, by trying their luck on the other side of the river. The game plan consists of intense riffage defended well by technical musicianship. II’s technical style is not too dissimilar to Psycroptic, Arsis and Necrophagist but the riffs are much more melodic without trading off the intensity and ballsy guitar-work. An instant parallel would be Woe of Tyrant’s “Kingdom of Might”, which has similar song structures and guitar wizardry. Clocking in at a concise 35 minutes, Of Winter Born is the shoulder-swung hammer blow of death metal monstrosity that has been sending power metal fans running for the hills. Pure head-banging and air-guitar fun to be had, this 10-track trek is full pedal-to-the-floor metal that kicks ass - day and night.
When the cover art oozes into the song formation, the DM stakes are driven home with the help of the flat edge of that silver dude’s sword. He grabs you by the balls and points you in the direction of the nearest physio as title-opener, Avarice
, tears cartilage from intervertebral discs in a flurry haterush of brash metal-demon exorcisms and melodic divinity. The first few, oh-so-crucial minutes, tell that this band displays form of a confident and smile-cracking nature, the cogency of which is hard to come by in debutantes. Pulling this together is impressive and comforting, as metalheads can now safely tune in to what this band preaches without risking a barrel-full of monkey-fondling deathcore faggotry. Guitars are brilliantly wielded with fine technical prowess to be exemplified on tracks such as…ah heck, all tracks are brilliant. Elegance In Aggression
is the rising and plunging of riffs, followed by mighty river-flowing guitar patterns that siege brains and infest a fresh cluster of metal-virgin neurons. The melodies witnessed are extremely infectious and digestible, effortlessly, and naturally, weaving their way through the start-and-stop approach of the drum blasts. It’s not often that the guitars will stop suddenly or trail off aimlessly, because all songs are anchored by a steady rhythm of guitar sleight or drumming sustenance.
What II have done is beginning to be made apparent mid-way through the album with new riffs that fail to slip past the mind hours after listening. The breakdowns are few and far between, although it’s the throw-away ‘core-ish’ vocals that plague the band in infamous concern. Not the one to normally suggest self-mutilation, I wish the vocalist work on his death vocals by drinking sludgy tar to create those gravel-lined growls which would fit so nicely amongst these rip-roaring anthems. The production is fine along with the song structure, although at times songs run into each other with limited differentiating features. This is common in the genre, and is quickly forgiven by the common melodic moments across the album that creates terrific peaks of steadiness.
This is a powerful album by a tech death band with an oddity for whimsical guitar melodies. The fun never stops from the first track to the last, appearing to take from the Gothenburg sound and straying away from trying trends. Of Winter Born is a death metal album done right. Sensible. Interesting. Promising. It’s even got a great cover. But luckily you won’t need to judge this album by the cover, the music says it all.
Ignominious Incarceration’s “Of Winter Born” is out March 9, 2009 via Earache Records