Ingested – The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams (Metal Blade)

Friday, 12th April 2024
Rating: 7/10

Continuing along as one of the modern extreme metal acts that seem to be able to balance the line to appeal to both deathcore and death metal purists, Ingested have designed a visceral formula that provides plenty of punch to it. Their second album for Metal Blade Records, following 2022’s Ashes Lie Still, the act has mounted an impressive discography over the years that documents their changes from more deathcore and slam roots into something that more or less blurs that line that separates between them. The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams continues that trend for Ingested, though in ways that won’t be too surprising for any long-time fans.

The modern, explosive approach that Ingested have fine-tuned continues to power the way forward. Opening cut “Paragon of Purity” embodies that groove-friendly spirit, with pulverizing riffs and subtle melodies elevating the band’s sound into one that can hit like a sledgehammer yet still leave you aware of all of the details inside it. It’s a fantastic opener, and the tracks that follow it up (“Endless Machine” and “Where No Light Shines”) continue to soldier along in that same essence. It’s pounding and heavy, groove-forward yet bludgeoning. It’s not until “Starve the Fire,” which plays around with some clean vocals, that you start to realize that the formula is pretty tight up until that point. It is something that works for the band for sure, but much like many of the death metal acts around, it begins to feel a bit familiar the further into the album you go. So that injection of some melodic vocals add a bit to that track. Unfortunately, the one faltering moment is that of instrumental “Numinous.” While the point to diversity is good in theory, it’s a bit of a shift here and just feels kind of ‘there,’ in that it’s not particularly interesting as it meanders through some proggy instrumental melodies and minimal heaviness. Thankfully the follow-up “In Nothingness,” is likely one of the strongest cuts on the album to bring it all back, and features some solid guest vocals from Mark Hunter (Chimaira). There’s not many surprises for the remainder of the release, sans for the murky slow burn and build up of the closer “A Path Once Lost,” which seems a much more promising way of including some more melodic moments without jettisoning the format like the earlier instrumental track.

Ingested continue to do what they do best with The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams. It is one of those ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ type of feelings that are elicited, as they move into some fresh territory with a few tracks, but the direction isn’t always a successful one. That said, Ingested still know how to make a blistering death metal track when the time is right, and that certainly carries them through the album.

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