Ingested - The Architect of ExtinctionMancunian brutal death metal act Ingested’s last few years have not only seen them move away from the typically over the top, sexually violent lyricism of their early material (“Condemned to Rape”, “Anal Evisceration”, and “Intercranial Semen Injection” are now over half a decade old), but has seen them progress musically too. The deathcore-isms of the follow-up to their hyper-aggressive debut might not have gone down well with too many, but third record “The Architect of Extinction” seems destined to make sure that all is forgiven.

Being undoubtedly less deathcore-informed than its predecessor, right down to the cover art, doesn’t make “The Architect of Extinction” a total return to the “Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering” days however, and in this case that’s positive as Ingested develop that sound into something further. 2013’s “Revered by No-One, Feared by All” EP demonstrated a clear step up in terms of song-writing and impact, and “The Architect of Extinction” capitalises on that momentum.

A high quality production job courtesy of a high profile label budget, Ingested having signed to Century Media for the release of this album, makes sure this material is as sonically muscular as it deserves, the guitar tone suitably bowel-moving without the riffs being muddy beyond recognition, and those riffs themselves are enjoyably memorable. The blast beats batter nicely, but Ingested really show their strength when they slow things down a tad, their decision to open up proceedings with the churning cranial crush of ‘The Divine Right of Kings’ instead of a burst of speed proving a good move.

Despite obvious triggering, drummer Lyn Jeffs manages to show his chops, and there’s enough rhythmic variation throughout the ten tracks to keep things fresh and engaging. Meanwhile the vocals are reliably barbarous, ravaging shrieks spicing things up placed between the still incomprehensible but never drain-like gutturals. Frankly, it’s nice to hear a brutal death metal record that manages to have memorable tunes, good production and a skilled vocalist, as the three all too often seem mutually exclusive in slam.

The highest points however come when Ingested go beyond mere slam and move into areas not too frequently explored in death metal this violent. The instrumental track ‘Penance’ and closer ‘Rotted Eden’ both take the time to utilise acoustic guitars, the former coupling them with a melodic chord progression and a rather lovely solo in a way that’s genuinely quite emotive and the latter thriving on their sinister menace.

It’s not a record that will send the media at large or the masses raving, but “The Architect of Extinction” does definitely put itself near the top end of the brutal death metal spectrum. A tasty British offering in a style often dominated by Russia and the US, for a slab of remorseless brutality you can do a hell of a lot worse, and with surprising emotional depth also for a slam record it’s another damn fine record to start off 2015 with.

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