Ingested – The Architect of Extinction (Century Media)Tuesday, 20th January 2015
Of the many death metal sub-genres that have popped up over the years, “slam” is one that has been ever so inconsistent. But that’s due to the fact that there’s a fine line to it: overplay the chugging riff aspect and you end up lumped in with the deathcore drivel and deliver not enough of it and you risk losing the designation to begin with. Thankfully for the UK’s Ingested, this is not a problem on their third full-length, The Architect of Extinction.
As Ingested have progressed, the emphasis on persistent slams have diminished and allowed some room for other elements to seep in. Listening to the blistering opener, “The Divine Right of Kings,” it’s clear the band still has plenty of “slam” left in them but the frenzied bursts of speed that come by way of the ‘90s brutal death metal movement as well as the sneaking in of a few melodies keep it from becoming too monotonous. The same formula propels things forward through the first half of the album, which keeps the energy high and the pace frantic. Unlike many in the field, the chugging slams never fail to hit their mark, possibly due to the decreased reliance on them. The large curveball that is thrown comes in the form of the surprisingly melodic instrumental “Penance.” The melancholic lead almost feels more Insomnium than say, Dying Fetus, but it works and effectively gives the listener a breather so they are fresh and ready for more pummeling in the second half of the disc.
No one is going to point to The Architect of Extinction as a genre breakthrough, but it’s strong indicator of what can be done with slamming death metal when it is properly executed. Some may argue that it is a bit accessible for the genre, but kudos to Ingested for actually allowing for some songwriting to get in the way of what could have easily been “Slamfest 2015.”