With their 2007 release Paths of Attrition
, Ignivomous established themselves as one of Australia's premier death metal acts. Despite the shamelessly derivative nature of the genre, the band allows no pretext regarding their style – their delicious amalgamation of thick atmosphere and invigorating composition resulted in the outstanding demo Path of Attrition
, and one should expect no less with their debut full length Death Transmutation
Leaving no tables unturned in their sonic degradation, Ignivomous do not kneel before their influences so much so they come off as clones, yet still take particular care to throw nods to a vast array of bands with their full force, no bullshi
t interpretation of old school death metal. There is an unstated elegance to Ignivomous' brand of death, if the word elegance could be used in describing something so filthy. Combining Incantation
's crushing, doom inspired riffs with a level of technicality that grapples for Immolation
's well defined niche in the genre, Ignivomous are an immaculate incarnation of the dirtiest death metal abscess.
For the most part, Ignivomous do not offer any relief in the shuddering compositional halts which delineate Incantation and co., opting for a literal barrage of intense and impenetrable riffage. Though not explicitly ‘murky' like Portal
's newly released Swarth
, Death Transmutation
is covered in a grimy coat of filth that provides an indispensable level of coherence to the record's relentless face hammering. The Incantation influence is at times rather explicit but is often also subtle, merely reflecting the band's talent at reworking old ideas into a fresher template.
The final tracks of the record are much more pronounced in their doom aesthetic than the first half of the album, with ‘Beckoned to a Global Tomb' incorporating an exponentially increasing doom tint. Closer ‘Alchemy of Suffering' is an eight minute beast and, through its portrayal of all that is good about Ignivomous, is possibly the best track on the album – an eerie and utterly claustrophobic mid-section sets the tone for the album's end, the song combining both brutality and melody in an epic overture to the death metal gods.
Complementing Ignivomous' pure and unadulterated death metal frenzy is Edwards' vocals. While the vocals may perhaps be considered extraneous analogous to the album's sporadic and infrequent passages of shred, they certainly add vast quantities of ‘fu
cking awesome' to Ignivomous' overall philosophy of ‘total fu
cking destruction'. Thick and throaty gutturals, they are constantly consistent and simply another low-end texture to go with the album's general monolithic depth.
What makes Death Transmutation
all the more worthwhile is its challenging nature – sometimes it feels like too much is going on, more so than is comfortably comprehendible. This is not to say that being occasionally cluttered is to the album's disadvantage however; it merely means that a greater investment is required on behalf of the listener, ultimately with a greater pay-off. This is a common occurrence for records of this density, and it can only be praised when it turns out as successful as Death Transmutation
. The record is the culmination of Ignivomous' past two years of triumph; both Path to Attrition
and Eroded Void of Salvation
were outstanding releases, but did not have the complete and satisfying feel that only an LP can deliver. In respect to a progression in discography, Death Transmutation
is an almost perfect release – fortunately for both the band and its fans, it is also a remarkable death metal album, one which should not go unheard.