Review Summary: Brutal Death Metal meets Deathcore.
Some of you (not many according to the user ratings) may have heard Manchester, Englands Ingested on their previous album, Beyond the Boundaries of Human Suffering. For the many of you who haven’t it was one of the catchiest, most memorable and easily accessible Brutal Death Metal albums I’ve ever heard (although considering the dross that saturates the genre that’s not hard). Now none of those words should really describe a Brutal Death Metal album, but Brutal Death elitists should not simply dismiss this band on the back of that. BtBoHS was a sickeningly heavy slam laden hunk of brutal death and most importantly it never took itself too seriously.
There are a couple of things that set Ingested apart from other intolerable ear-f***ings you will receive from other bands in the genre. But the most important is the lead singer Jason Evans. In a genre where diverse vocalists are like rocking horse excrement, he sported a high rasp, a guttural and unintelligible gurgle, and a ‘core-ish mid ranged scream. Making the experience far more interested than falling asleep propped up against a washing machine for 40 minutes... I mean listening to Abominable Putridity.
Another important aspect is the production, if you heard their first album you will know the production was pristine and sounded absolutely crushing, lending itself to the brutality of the music beautifully. Even if the drums were utterly deafening and frankly sounded ridiculous.
It’s follow up, The Surreption sees the same skull crushing production that made the first sound so killer except with some added brutality to the guitars, which sounds thicker and chunkier, making the slams and breakdowns sound huge. Also the drums have been toned down ten-fold (thank god) and sound more like actual drums this time round.
While The Surreption is most certainly an Ingested album, things have definitely changed since their last effort. The band has taken a more mature approach here, which is a shame as the slight immaturity of their first album was fun.
Gone are song titles like Skinned and f*cked, Pr-released Foetal mush or Intercranial Semen Injection. The gut-wrenching slamming for the sake of slamming has been reduced, to be replaced with more run-of-the-mill breakdowns. And most disappointingly of all, gone is Jason Evans excellent vocal diversity. Whilst still top notch, Evans vocals are far less impressive this time around employing his mid ranged metalcore shout more than any of his other styles throughout the album. Every word of his vocals can be heard clearly, his inaudible gargling never really used, and his highs used more for effect and backing vocals. Whilst the not-so-death metal fans will rejoice at its accessibility, fans of the seriously heavy stuff will be disheartened by all this dilution.
Whilst they have matured, this doesn't mean they won't be slamming and grinding their ways through your ear canals to a certain extent, the songs on this album are of course extremely heavy and have seriously infectious grooves throughout.
It’s hard to explain why exactly but where their first album was clearly a definite Brutal Death Metal/Slam album from front to back, this album seems far more geared towards the deathcore crowd (an argument which is only strengthened when a singer from Despised Icon appears on the track The Consequence).
As for the other members of the band, the guitars groove and downbeat their way through some very heavy tracks with great efficiency. As the band has matured so has the guitarists song writing. They incorporate some pretty epic passages, the occasional atmospheric lead and some nasty evil sounding tremolo picking parts. They are however used very sparingly and still predominantly just cave in your skull in with beatdowns. All of this makes for far more memorable songs which you can nod your head to, wave your fists around like a lunatic to or even just hum along.
Whilst the vocals are still very good, if not as good as their last album, and the guitarists have improved (from a none slam fan's point of view), the bass and drums are another matter. The drums don't really stand out on this album and simply blast and double bass their way through each song without any interesting fills or patterns, and the bass guitar is indistinguishable from behind the wall already very heavy guitar.
The album lasts for 42 minutes which is longer than their last, but this is to be expected with their slight shift in genre and although the album can get a bit monotonous about two thirds of the way through, it doesn't outstay it's welcome as much as you would expect.
I definitely enjoyed this album and will certainly be spinning it again in the future when I want something brutal yet accessible and catchy. This is a Brutal Death Metal band's attempt at writing an album for fans of bands such as Whitechapel or King Conquer and whilst it may be a disappointing departure from their previous material for some, hopefully for others it will be a refreshing compromise between modern Death Metal and Deathcore. If this album catches on like they have hoped then this band may have a bright future in the deathcore scene, definitely an album worth checking out.
Fan of Brutual Death Metal? Check out their debut Beyond the Boundaries of Human Suffering.
Fan of decent Deathcore like Whitechapel? Then buy this album!