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From one glance at the band, you'd be forgiven for shouting "POSER!", "SCENE KIDS", "SHITTY DEATHCORE" and similar insults due to the band's fondness of neck tattoos, stretched ears and straightened fringes. However, you'd be wrong in doing so. Yes they have the look of a Suicide Silence worshipping scene deathcore band, but looks can often be deceiving. They're actually quite heavy modern melodic death metal with some technical elements. There is very few deathcore influences (there's like one breakdown on the whole thing) and the band seem to take as many influences from Decapitated and Necrophagist as they do from At the Gates and The Black Dahlia Murder.
The guitarists manage to play fast technical riffs that manage to stay quite melodic at the same time. No one riff on this album is the same, but at the same time they're quite similar to other rising UK melodeath bands (such as Malefice or Bleed From Within). There are numerous solos to be heard on this album, each as enjoyable as the last. Don't be expecting 2 minute long shredfests. These are short and sweet numbers, usually with Swedish style dual guitar harmonies. The drum work is varied, with concise fills and some double bass. No obvious triggering and no clicky, tacky blast beats. No audible bass, but you'll survive without it.
The vocalist is the only one of two things that could make this band seem -core (the other being the single breakdown). His approach is typical growl/scream formula, however, he has quite a unique sound, instead of that typical vocal fry that every Mitch Lucker worshipper uses, or those inhaled burps that bands like Impending Doom and I Declare War have made famous.
As i've already stated twice, there is one breakdown on the whole thing, on second to last track "In the Face of Absolution". It's not a brilliant breakdown, and reeks of -core, but at least it is just that one used once, as opposed to being repeated every track and played a bit longer each time.
Anyway, the point is this. Despite appearances, this band is pure UK melodic death metal with ever slight -core elements. If you hate on bands for their image and nothing else, then carry on, as that sort of person will never change their mind once they've made it. Anyone who is able to look past a band's image, give it a go. What do you have to lose?
Review originally published at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas
So not only is Earache experiencing a bit of a comeback, the UK Death metal scene appears to be getting very healthy in a hurry: Man Must Die, Detrimentium, Sarpanitum, Trigger the Bloodshed and now Bath’s own oddly named Ignominious Incarceration and their rather impressive debut.
I’ll get this right out of the way now. Some of you are going to interpret Ignominious Incarceration as one of the modern pseudo death metal kid ‘core’ bands based on their youth, moniker, logo, comb overs, giant ear lobe thingys and overall looks , shirt designs and even elements of their music. And such a judgment could be certainly construed if you wanted to lazily lump them in with that genre and style and hate on it and them.
However, once you actually play Of Winter Born a few times, you will come realize despite all the above elements, Ignominious Incarceration display more real and honest presentation of death metal than any of their metalcore or deathcore peers could ever hope to convey (I’m looking at you Annotations of an Autopsy).
Musically, Ignominious Incarceration play a sort of melodic but still relatively brutal and technical death metal. The only real comparison in the balance I could think of was maybe a cross between Sweden’s Aeon, Vehemence and Woe of Tyrants, though don’t quote me on that and the band has cited Decapitated, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder and Beneath the Massacre as some of thier favorite acts -so maybe thats more reliable. That being said, the naysayers will say some of the dual melodies and solos do have a certain modern death core ‘wanna be European’ presence (i.e “Savior”, ‘Solitude”, “Dynasty Damnation”) and the production from Scott Atkins (UK metalcore act Sylosis) is awfully polished. But on the whole, when taken as a single entity, the back bone of the music is far more death metal structured- there are no breakdowns, no uber noodly blast beats, no pig squeals (Andy Wardle has a fairly standard mid level scream/growl), just well done melodic death metal with a beefy edge and some very cool solos (”Deeds of Days Long Gone”), though not quite total shred fests like Woe of Tyrants and their ilk.
If it feels like I’m trying too hard to convince you this isn’t death metal tinged metalcore, maybe it’s because I’m trying to convince myself. But either way, I really like Of Winter Born; it oozes confidence and modern death metal sensibility without coming across as Hot Topic death metal and retaining plenty of subtle Floridian and European death metal influences. The ten tracks are all well done, polished and have enough memorably and melody without being too sugary or metalcore-ish and enough heft without being deathcore. Standouts include “Avarice”, the aptly named “Elegance in Aggression”, “Of Winter Born”, “Tides of Pestilence” and “In the Face of Absolution” perfectly mix old school and new school to great, direct ( only closer “Elusion of Mortality goes over 4 minutes) effect making for a consistently impressive and well played, relatively trend free death metal album full of promise for the future.
Finally-is that cover fucking awesome or what?