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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.