For a band that’s been around since 2009, UK death metal juggernauts Ingested seem to have no trouble creating new music with such frequency, but this time with something that frequently pisses off death metal fans – it leans into cleans. This exploration is one that makes perfect sense if you listen to their entire discography. The journey from their first and filthy as fuck 2009 record Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering to their 2022 fiery, melody-based record Ashes Lie Still illustrates Ingested‘s level of musicianship. Ingested is unafraid to explore different caves of sound and engage with different melodies, crafting a sound that never sacrifices intensity with ten brand new songs. 

The first track wastes no time getting deep down into the pits of hell, lead by heavy riff as Ingested vocalist Jason Evans growls “You are the paragon of purity”. The accompanying music video encompasses the overall theme of the record with perfection – it’s both simple and yet so well-done with its multitude of layers and expertly executed mixing. In the “Paragon of Purity” music video, we watch as the band plays alongside Evans slowly becoming drenched in blood, hanging from an unseen ceiling against a white background, leaking from a Jesus-esque cut in his forehead.

“Endless Machine” throws a fistful of fire via pig squeals, filthy drums and demonic voices and we hear the album title “the tide of death and fractured dreams” for the first time. Furious drumming and demonic vocalizing ensues, creating a massive build up. I notice the insane range of Evans‘ vocals and question if there’s a feature I missed. Nope, he’s just blessed with the vocal ability of the devil himself. 

“Where No Light Shines” features a repetitive chorus that somehow lifts the mood in a way that feels purposeful. “Expect to Fail” gives us a lovely marriage between vocals and beats present throughout the entire record, executed in a way that makes this effortlessly enjoyable to listen to. This listen came so easily, I never felt like I was waiting for a better song or better moment. Josh Middleton‘s (Sylosis) solid vocal feature is complemented by squealing that ensures none of the toughness is lost with Middleton‘s classic style of clean singing. “Ultimately, we’ll do whatever best serves the song, and if that’s a full clean vocal section then so be it” says the band on their 2024 sound.

“Starve the Fire” chugs along slow and gravely, and again the vocal chops are in line with the pitching guitar riffs that makes everything feel so incredibly smooth – it’s hard to even notice the pace changes. Once again, I’m amazed by the versatility demonstrated. “Numinous” sounds like it could be on a “focused meditation” playlist, giving us a slow lead-in that feels really thoughtful and calms you down from the perfectly organized chaos of the first five tracks. I’m becoming relaxed… but in the back of my mind I just know I’m about to be violently thrown back into the fire. “In Nothingness” does exactly that, being the only real predictable moment of the entire record, although I wasn’t expecting the hi-hat groove…and did I just hear a “midas touch” reference?

“Pantheon” brings back the uniqueness and uses the squealing as more of a back beat along with too many different types of drum lines for me to keep track, still maintaining the flow of a flawless production. “Kingdoms of Sand” leans back into death metal sounds while maintaining combinations of intentional medium-fast rhythms and quick steps, with the blast beats and devastating vocals that we’ve heard throughout the record. A true highlight of any Ingested record are Jason Evans‘ full-bodied vocals. His sound reminds me of stout-style beer, a classic that delivers exactly what you expect of it, even when mixing in different sprinklings of delicious flavors.

Final track “A Path Once Lost” is reminiscent of a horror movie’s closing credits, a song you might hear after you’ve just watched a film on a story of destruction. It gives you a much needed breath to take in the hard work you just witnessed, delivered by recording engineer Nico Beninat, before you’re jolted back awake at 2:19. The last few minutes of this song finishes strong and leaves me feeling satisfied with this entire record. Nice.

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