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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?