Ignominy – Imminent Collapse (Transcending Obscurity)

Monday, 6th March 2023
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Most would agree that instrumental mastery is an important trait for a band. When it comes to the technical death metal spectrum, though, a lot of it misses the mark for yours truly. Too much guitar wankery and not enough coherent songwriting can lead to an unfocused endeavor. Canada is fertile ground for top tier technical death metal, however, with Gorguts being the most heralded example. Continuing that line is Montreal’s Ignominy. Having formed in 2013 and with their promising Fear the Living EP in 2019, we arrive at the band’s debut full-length, Imminent Collapse.

What Ignominy provides are 6 full songs (and 2 interludes) of uncompromising and dissonant death metal, while reigning in overt randomness for a more measured approach. An early segment of opener “Frantic Appeasement” features a slow build of tension before the tempo increases, maintaining a steady course that’s accentuated by Alexandre Préfontaine’s filthy bass tone. There’s a number of stop start riffs that break up the momentum slightly, but may appeal if that’s your kind of shindig.

First single “Defaulting Genetics” is highlighted by drummer Marc-Antoine Lazure’s pulsating beats, providing needed balance to the fretboard gymnastics courtesy of Philippe Gariépy. The eerie opening riff on “Reminiscence of Hatred” is a standout moment, setting up what is the album’s dreariest (and best) song. A well-placed and unexpected time change in the last third of the track oozes despair.

“Nightmare Bacteria” continues with a versatile vocal performance by Alexandre Desroches; from commanding low growls to higher register screams that keep the listener unaware of what’s around the corner. “Convulsions” carries a similar incongruous tone, while “Visuals” invokes a different vibe of dread via a menacing clean guitar piece, setting up the uncaging of an aural pummeling.

Ignominy has a solid, enjoyable debut on their hands with Imminent Collapse. Technically proficient, while carrying out their mission of punishing and forlorn death metal, there’s a ton of elements that drag one down into the audible muck. Allowing certain key moments to breathe, rather than occasionally changing direction, may have helped the album flow a tad better. Overall, this is a fine and compact listen (clocking in under 35 minutes) that has a lot to offer. Definitely looking forward to how these gents develop and refine their songwriting as they hone their craft.

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