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A hybrid genre reaching its maximum potential - 86%

MutantClannfear, May 27th, 2013

I feel like I've been crapping on a lot of bands lately because they mix brutal death metal and deathcore and absolutely suck at it, so how about we take a look at what the style can do when a band apply themselves? This here is Ingested, and even a quick glance at the information surrounding the band will show you that they're obviously no stranger to either the brutal death metal or the deathcore scene (though they generally tend to associate more heavily with the latter). This album, Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering, gets an unnaturally high amount of attention because it's sitting right on the borderline between the two genres, and while it gets both positive and negative feedback due to its high level of visibility, I don't think anybody gives credit to just how exceptionally this release mixes brutal death metal and deathcore into a solid, coherent musical effort.

Ingested have essentially perfected the brutal death metal/deathcore formula here. First off is the guitar tone, which is arguably the most important part of all of the elements here. Whereas most brutal death metal/deathcore bands castrate their guitars and give them this annoying sterile and mechanical tone, Ingested have hit the sweet spot with their guitars. They're clean, but on the other hand still feel somewhat organic instead of cold and boring. The bass isn't scooped out, there's still some warm fuzziness involved in the mix and yet they're defined enough for the guitars to impact with astounding force when they need to. It may sound like I'm making a big deal over something inconsequential like a guitar tone, but honestly once you start getting involved with anything remotely deathcore-influenced it becomes a big issue. If the tone's too clean the heavier, rhythmic parts won't have any force behind them; if it's too dirty the deathcore riffs won't have as much eerie punch as they should. I'm not actually sure if Ingested realized this while they were recording, but by God they hit the perfect happy medium between the two extremes and it fits the sound here perfectly.

I think a big reason the slams here work here is because Ingested seem to actually know what deathcore sounds like and fit the slams around the deathcore influences accordingly. A big problem with slam/deathcore bands is that the deathcore-influenced slams end up sounding weak and light-hearted and just... well, cheesy. Ingested astoundingly sidestep this problem as if it never existed by basically only using two, slightly modified types of slams - those that are based on deathcore breakdown chords transplanted into the rhythm of a Devourment slam, and then slams that are basically palm-muted versions of regular deathcore riffs. In other words, the band only use slams that make sense within the framework of a deathcore song, and know how to go about doing that properly (hint: it isn't by taking all the heaviness out of your music and sounding moronic). The slams here are heavy and thick, and assault the listener with fuckloads of groove in the exact way that they should. That's not even taking into account that the deathcore riffs are all top-notch as well: if you've heard a deathcore album before then you know that the riffing is usually super-downtuned, eerie, vaguely Finndeath-influenced leads - and that's exactly what Ingested deliver. They really are some exceptional, quality fucking riffs, though; the one at the beginning of "Contorted Perception" has been stuck in my head since I first learned of this album's existence years ago. They're not filler to justify adding more slams to the song later, they're legitimately respectable melodies that bring a lot more to the music than you'd think at first glance.

But of course, it's not like this album is only good when you think of it as a properly-executed slam/deathcore album. Even on a basic level, this is flat-out good music: doesn't drag itself around for too long, builds up and releases tension extremely well through both the riffs and slams, and just presents itself as a ridiculously entertaining and agreeable album. It has problems of its own to deal with, unfortunately: the drummer displays a lot of raw technique and never fails to give the guitar work whatever it needs to thrive, but the whole kit is triggered to hell and kind of kills Ingested's much-appreciated "organic" vibes. I'm not really a fan of the vocals, either - the occasional bestial snarls fit the music like a glove, but the growls are weak and the cupped-mic gutturals sound really processed and synthetic. Basically, I like that Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering sounds and flows as naturally as it does for a slam/deathcore album, and anything which contradicts that vision is an undesirable quality. But with the astounding guitar performance in mind, those pretty much feel like nitpicks at best and hardly make this album any less great. Overall, if you have even the faintest interest in either slam death metal or raw, unfiltered deathcore I'm sure you'll agree that this album is damn near a masterpiece.

An extremely brutal and fresh debut - 88%

GuardAwakening, September 22nd, 2012

In most cases of finding a band brutal and interesting enough (or both) for your needs within non commercialized metal in this day and age, you start coming across bands on YouTube that either bear for your interest in one way or just kill off your expectations in another. Ingested is one of those bands I found myself listening to after being discovered one day while on YouTube that stuck in my mind a week later. Catchy riffs, enjoyable vocals, insane drumming. It wasn't long until I got this album for myself and began texting my friends and posting online about how good I found their music to be.

Ingested is a British death metal band and like most in the genre with a one-worded and non-intricate name as such, you'd expect them to be all for being as close to a Cannibal Corpse clone as possible. But that is definitely not the case for these young metallers. You'd be surprised what you'd find in this brutal 9-track opus. If I could describe their musical style, I would say the band is 30% Trigger the Bloodshed, 50% Pathology and 20% Despised Icon.

In other words, the band includes a fresh death metal helping with a pinch of deathcore over the top of it. Hopefully that description didn't kill your interest in reading this so far. We all know that deathcore is possibly the most hated and controversial metal genre that has ever existed (and boy ain't that truth), but Ingested's deathcore influence is kept to a bare minimum (although prevalent on tracks such as "Copremesis") and breakdowns are usually never played out and when they are, you usually don't even notice.

The real spotlight here is definitely on the drummer and vocalist, especially the drummer. If you were a fan of Annotation of an Autopsy's II: The Reign of Darkness album because of Lyn Jeff's outstanding skinswork, well he has an even more insane performance here. Jeffs plays at such a speed, you even have yourself worried at times if the guy is gonna hurt himself playing at the rate he does, but alas at other times, you find his creditability of loving a good blast beat - even over the band's slower sections - a tad annoying and eventually you'll be wanting him to slow down (and not because of worry of injury either).

As if that isn't enough, the drums are mastered much higher than every other instrument on the album, so when his crazy blasts come it, it drowns out the guitar work in some sections leaving the band's guitarists to shame, so with that said you can leave your hopes of even hearing a note from the bassist to rest. Kind of a bummer being that the guitarwork on this release is actually better than average most of the time.

As for vocals, Jason Evans possesses a range greater than most extreme metal vocalists you've heard. Over the main corse of the album, he prefers a deep full-throated Whitechapel-esque guttural, but at other times; takes use of a Job for a Cowboy roaring growl and a The Black Dahlia Murder shriek. The guttural is definitely more abundant than his other ranges, but at other times (especially by the album's climax) he begins to combine different gurgles and growls, giving it a fresh and unexpected sound. In fact, I would encourage more vocalists to take inspiration from Evans instead of just using the same two or three vocal styles throughout their entire album.

As for lyrics, they're the typical brutal death metal theme. Putting emphasis on being the nastiest of the nasty and bearing stories of rape, murder, necrophilia, and more rape. They're even more graphic than Annotations of an Autopsy's first full-length. I would want to say that if you're reading this review and haven't even heard the album yet (or read its lyrics). Please just listen to the music, don't even read the lyrics (yes, they are that disgusting).

My bottom line is the record is fresh, not too long, extremely brutal and a very fun listen. My only complaints (as stated above) is the somewhat poor track mastering and how the drumming in some cases gets a tad overwhelming with its ultra-fast playing style. I would certainly recommend this debut to fans of Thy Art Is Murder, Abnormality and Trigger the Bloodshed. Let's just hope by years to come, Jeffs doesn't find himself with a bad case of carpal tunnel.

Cool Drumming, Bro! - 59%

tentornasunder, November 12th, 2011

This is Ingested's first full length release, and for what it is, it can be easily enjoyed, but hard to really dive into. The music found within is pretty easy to sum up in a few paragraphs, and as such this will be a short review.

This album isn't unenjoyable by any means- it is in fact quite entertaining every once in a great while. The drums are insanely fast, but that is pretty much where the appeal ends for this record. The guitarists and the bassist do nothing notable throughout the whole play time. It's all crunchy mid paced grooves and tremelo picked riffs. The vocalist has a good growl, and can go to extreme lows, but he also pulls off a few pig squeals and that for me destroys any merit he may have had.

Now the drummer, and the reason I listen to this at all really, can play at maximum speeds. This is all good in a metal context, but there are two flaws; one, he is a classic example of a one-trick pony. Without double bass and blast beats, he really would just fade. And two, his drums sound like complete shit. They are outrageously over triggered and just sound like someone tapping a coffee can lid as fast as they can. There is no organic sound or rumble to his kit, just obvious samples.

So yes, this album is fun to listen to, and can be used to shock people with the super duper cool drums. There is no lack of credibility, because these guys can actually play, but this record just falls into an ocean of typical death core sounding metal you've heard a thousand times. Pick it up if you find it used and enjoy some ridiculous drumming.

My favorite song would have to be Pre Released Foetal Mush.

Slamming, but flawed - 85%

DomDomMCMG, July 26th, 2011

Ingested are a brutal death metal band from Manchester. Their main influences lie in slam death metal and the deathcore scene, so you can expect to hear elements of both on this album.

The vocalist, Jason Evans, has a wide range. He has a mid-range growl, a lower guttural, a higher pitched shriek and occasionally uses a pig squeal. His gutturals are the most commonly used, with the others coming in less often. Because each technique isn't too overused, they never get boring and it gives this album a very refreshing feel. All his techniques sound decent, and while he's nothing special, he certainly has a better range than most death metal vocalists these days. Unfortunately, as the vocals and the drums are both pretty high in the mix, hearing anything else over either is a problem

The guitars are fast and heavy, but hearing them is a problem. They're almost drowned out by the vocals and drums, meaning I can't really say much more beyond that. However, there is one thing that sticks out: a solo in Stillborn. It's nothing special, but solos in this genre are rare and hearing it makes a nice change from slams and chugging riffs.

The drums are really, really, really fucking fast and so blatantly triggered! They sound like a machine gun going off! The only problem with that is that they NEVER slow down, and like I said before they're so loud they tend to drown everything else out but the vocals (which may explain why the bass is so inaudible apart from very briefly in closer Anal Evisceration).

Lyrically, this is typical brutal death metal e.g. rape, gore, mutilation etc. However, the lyrics are slightly more humorous (I challenge you to read the lyrics to Intercranial Semen Injection and not smile just a tiny bit).

Overall a solid effort, but a better production could've done it a ton of favors. Also, listening to this album several times within a short amount of time leads to it getting quite boring. Definitely an album you bring out every once in a while when you wanna hear some brutal, heavy shit.

80/100, nothing more.

This is MEATY! - 77%

Ally_2K10, January 6th, 2010

This is a band I stumbled across in the deep, dark depths of myspace, maybe you've heard of it? Anyway, this is round about half an hour of thee sickest and nastiest stuff to come out of the UK for a while I imagine. As soon as you read the song titles, it doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Anyway, it all kicks off with the aptly named 'Skinned and Fucked', which starts with the most rediculas blasting and a solid riff. The vocals kick in, which I feel are a real highlight on the album, and then you know the CD isn't just all bark, its got a real mean bite aswell. The vocals on the CD are the best part for me, Ranging from the standard growl, to real low gutturals, with the occasional shriek and ofcourse, everyones old favourite, theres a few pig squeels in here and there.

There's one or two problems with the album however. I think the guitar is too quite, and are over powered by the drums. The bass, as is nearly always the case, is pretty much inaudable, which being a bassist, is a bit of a bummer. The guitar riffs are something that I feel could have maybe been a bit better, but its a brutal, slamming album so alot of the riffs are more chugging with some groove, but I felt that they could maybe be slightly better. And as is mostly the case with brutal death scene, it follows the tried and tested blast, slam, blast, slam formula, which I don't mind.

The drumming, while it's so fast, it is triggered to FUCK! It sounds like a machine, it honestly doesn't sound like a guy playing at all. I'm pretty sure the other guys who reviewed this CD would have touched on it aswell. I feel it's a shame because the guys obviously very talented. The guys like Usain Bolt on drums!

All in, I think is album is a good listen, I've listened to it several times, and still enjoy it. If you like the manky lyrics (and who doesn't?), slamming riffs and drums that quite frankly could give you bowel movements, I'd give these guys a whirl. If you like Devourment or even Waking The Cadaver, give them a bash.

Key tracks: Skinned and Fucked, Intercranial Semen Injection, Condemned to Rape, Anal Evisceration

No compromise in trampling your intestines - 75%

autothrall, November 14th, 2009

When it comes to brutal death, the 'slam' category is not something I typically derive entertainment from. So many bands of this style phone in boring rhythms offset with stolen Cannibal Corpse/Deicide riffs and dumb Earth Crisis breakdowns, smother them in gore and porn lyrics performed at the most guttural level possible, and seem to amass a great deal of credibility over nothing. So, how is the debut from UK's Ingested any different?

Because it does this well. On the surface, this is no different than a thousand other brutal/slam death metal albums you'll hear, but this young outfit impresses through their ability to craft their mosh pit extremity into cohesive songs that fuse the expected level of guttural violence with some truly crushing old school death rhythms. The riffs are kept simple throughout, but never once extraneous or dull. Most of the complexity comes through the insane battery of drummer Lyn Jeffs, truly a beast. The vocals are your typical pattern of brutal grunts, but they are offset by even deeper gutturals and harsher snarling, and thus kept interesting throughout. The absolute best moments of this album are on tracks like "Intercranial Semen Injection" where they bust out this insanely great, primal death metal riff astride a wall of Jeffs' berserk footwork. The material is consistently strong if you have the stomach for this level of punishment: "Stillborn" sounds like a heap of rotting corpses being fed into a trash compactor, and "Cremated Existence" is like a drunken juggernaut of dumb yet satisfying pit rhythms.

Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering also benefits from a huge production. The drums are at the perfect, machine-like level, while the guitars sear. The record sounds deep and brutal yet clear as day. Thematically, I can't say the band is very creative, but this is not a genre of music where fans are seeking such things, so "Skinned and Fucked" and "Anal Evisceration" should be right up their alley. This is a good debut effort from a band who makes no compromise in their effort to trample your intestines. A labor of solid, grisly craftmanship.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

S'alright - 58%

matt85210, August 15th, 2009

Ingested are another UKDM sweetheart that has risen in underground awareness as of late, due to their incessant touring and contribution to the UKDM scene, and this, the release of their first full length. And it has divided its critics to a certain extent, some pointing fingers at the quality of the production and the 'chug-a-chug' sections and claiming "sellout!", others lauding the band for a fairly decent take on Americanized brutal death metal.

Of course, as always, when it comes down to it both arguments are ultimately valid. Firstly, it should be noted that the band are comparatively young, so to be releasing a CD such as this deserves some credit, considering the circumstances. Opener, 'Skinned and Fucked', is 4 minutes of sonic punishment, with some nice Devourment-esque slamdowns and grind-till-you-drop blasts. 'Pre-Released Foetal Mush' is another mentionable track, its offbeat rhythms and awkward guitarwork calling to mind earlier Decrepit Birth and, oddly, brief moments of later Cannibal Corpse.

Kudos must also be given to the band for their ability. Apparently working as one big rhythm section, the album is nicely heavy and tight, compacted and restrained by some highly impressive drumming. The vocals are exactly what you thought they might be; low growls and high screeches which, although staying decidedly inside the box, are nevertheless well executed, aggressively riding the groove of the guitars and drums.

There is, however, something missing. A good portion of this CD struggles to make itself memorable, at times just drifting between different slams and hooks without any real sense of direction. This isn't helped by the crap production on this album. The drums are triggered to the point of sounding like The Berzerker, sucking any remotely organic sounding tone well out of the mix, and the bass (apart from a 2-second slap section during 'Anal Evisceration') is absolutely nowhere to be found.

The artwork on this album is bloody awful, at best. The front cover involves what looks like a 40 foot cross between a venus fly trap and the plant from A Little Shop of Horrors (although with a couple of extra heads and covered in spikes because, y'know, that's metal, right?) feasting on the bodies of naked dismembered girls and shoving its spiked tentacles up their vaginas. How very br00tal. This tongue in cheek, "we're really twisted and fucked up but not really" theme is mirrored in the lyrics, which are concerned primarily with rape and the murder of young girls.

It's all just a bit... y'know... lame. I know that in brutal death metal vocals are used to accentuate rhythm and lyrics aren't really supposed to be taken too seriously, but it goes some way to suggest that Ingested have some growing to do as a band before people can truly start to take them seriously, because the mindless bludgeoning and raping of whores and girls is too obvious (Cannibal Corpse have been doing it since '88) and just too easy to be interesting anymore.

58 is a fair score, I think. It's good for a first release and it shows a lot of potential, but there is still a fair bit of work to do. Don't dismiss them too easily though, as I genuinely have higher hopes for future releases, and I have heard their live show absolutely slays. You'll probably want to avoid 'Surpassing The Boundaries Of Human Suffering', but you should at least keep tabs on Ingested, as they may have a lot more to offer in a few years.

Brutal and Slamming... - 55%

EclipseInParadise, August 4th, 2009

...Beyond that there's not much else to say. First a bit of history. On the UKDM scene this band has a mixed reception. Seen by some to be a band that sold-out its underground metal death values in favour of the trendy 'deathcore' style, whereas others hail them as one of the best new bands on the UK scene. For me, the truth is somewhere in between. Having seen the band progress from its early days as Age of Suffering, they have gone from a more traditional style, towards something more 'modern', being influenced increasingly by bands such as Annotations of an Autopsy along with a heavy dose of bands such as Devourment. Live, they are devastatingly tight and heavy but, for me at least, this album does not live up to its expectations.

The tracks are a mix of new and old (some also appearing on the aforementioned split). The performance is incredibly tight and well executed, proving to be the album's saving grace, giving an idea of the energy and precision of their live performance. Riffs are predominantly made up of heavily palm-muted and trem-picked sections, with a few too many pinch harmonics added in the usual places. They usually follow bouncy slammy rhythms a la Devourment, Dying Fetus etc, often being brought back in slower with a sub-drop in that tried and tested, predictable way. The bass plays pretty much no role in the mix at all beyond supplying some bass frequencies to back up the guitars and is mostly inaudible. Vocals are what would be expected - deep gutturals with some higher screams, recounting perverse and depraved scenes of torture, rape and murder. Lyn's drumming performance is incredibly fast and tight, at times somewhat interesting, though his machine like style comes off as exactly that - it may as well have been a drum machine, which leads on to my major grievance with this cd.

The production job here is well and truly shocking. The aim has clearly been to make it as heavy, fat and brutal sounding as possible. What we actually have, whilst being clear and heavy, is characterless and ultimately unengaging. The drums are the worst culprits. The entire kit sounds triggered with clicky samples and no dynamics at all. Snare fills are cringingly drum-machine like as though all the human errors have been painstakingly edited out. We are left with bland and unnatural, unsatisfying results, magnified by the lack of innovation. The entire package is a basically a cliche. The cover art, riffing, vocals, and lyrics we've all seen a thousand times before. It doesn't bring anything fresh to the table and the philosophy of more brutality = better proves partly to be its undoing.

So then, how to conclude? Despite my harsh critique of several elements, this isn't at all a 'bad' release, though some might argue mediocrity is the worst crime of all. If you're very much into the modern slam and deathcore influenced death metal then you'll most likely find much to enjoy here. If however you like things more metal than '-core', prefer some clever tricks and turns, or simply prefer the sound of a real band over digital processed tones and samples, just leave this alone and wait to see the band live.