Ingested / Latest Masterpiece A Brutal Odyssey Of Resilience

British Brutal Slam Death Metal trio Ingested are back with their eighth full-length studio album, The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams, and it’s another brutal beauty. But Ingested have been impressing the hell out of me since their Revered By No-One, Feared By All EP in 2013.

Ingested – The Tide Of Death And Fractured Dreams (Metal Blade Records)

Release Date: 5 April 2024

Words: Jools Green

Revered By No-One, Feared By All marked the point where I really paid attention to just how good these guys are, and I’ve been beating my way to the front for the privilege to review their albums whenever a new release is announced ever since

The Tide of Death And Fractured Dreams is no exception, and once again, I’m hugely impressed with what they have delivered.

Ingested - The Tide Of Death And Fractured Dreams - Album Cover
Ingested – The Tide Of Death And Fractured Dreams – Their best work yet.

The secret of their prolific creativity, they explain, is that “We’re always working on new music behind the scenes. It’s almost as if we are never out of a writing cycle. If the ideas keep flowing, you may as well take full advantage of it.” Ingested started working on this release straight after laying down the tracks for Ashes… in the studio.

“Ashes was constructed in the COVID period, and the mood of that album definitely reflects that time. With Tide, we wanted to bring the energy up a bit. As much as we like what we did with Ashes, its depressive tone isn’t something we want to continue to explore quite as much. There are definitely some dark moments on Tide, but for the most part, we took a more upbeat approach to the songs this time around.”

The title, The Tide Of Death And Fractured Dreams, is “essentially a metaphor for trying to make it through life,” INgested says, “and forging a career for yourself, including all the hurdles that come your way. We always write about personal experiences or struggles. We don’t tend to have an overall theme for an album, it’s usually what’s been going on in our lives that puts the pen to paper.”

The opening track, Paragon Of Purity, reflects on how Ingested loves what they do but misses their families as being on the road is hard, especially with the gruelling schedules they put themselves through. But the band looks at the situation from a positive perspective.

It’s a brutal chugger from the offset, with a repeat of searing riffs coursing above, interspersed with crushing breakdowns and a pace that flows from brutally fast to crushingly slow with the vocal growls slicing a ruthless path through the music.

Maintaining that positive outlook, Endless Machine is about working a dead-end job, not being appreciated for the years you have put in and then finally taking that step and working for yourself in a career you love.

It is a punchy chugger that slogs along, like that dead-end job, but then you get hypnotic breakdowns and equally hypnotic spiralling leadwork and intense bursts of riffing, that light at the end of the tunnel when work equals joy. I love the sense of journey across this piece.

The next two pieces, Where No Light Shines and Expect to Fail, take a bleaker turn but ultimately with a positive outcome. Both are written by Jason Evans, and both are about similar issues. “They are both about being betrayed and feeling marginalized,” Evans says.

“That feeling of being made to feel small and weak by people you should be able to trust, and being made to feel like less than nothing, as though you’ve been put in a place where no light shines, and you shouldn’t really even try to succeed. You should only expect to fail. These songs are about biting back at your detractors and proving they’re full of shit.”

The first, Where No Light Shines, is eerily haunting to open, but it soon develops power and punch. That eerie quality to the leadwork is revisited across the track, becoming utterly brutal and crushing in the second half, with that superb contrast of the eerie leadwork coursing above. A hugely powerful piece.

The second of those tracks, Expect To Fail, features the first of two guest vocalists, Josh Middleton from Sylosis, delivering a thick, chunky sound from the offset. The twin vocal delivery adds further texture, and the bass lines are just superb, pounding your senses into submission.

It is a cleverly straightforward delivery, brutal but subtly melodic and catchy as hell. In total, these are two tracks that prove the detractors very, very wrong!

Opening on searing riffs, Starve The Fire goes on to deliver impactful, slightly bouncy bass lines. The vocal growls and hisses cut through with precision, alongside the occasional brief burst of well-placed clean backing vocals adding a haunting edge, which I really like.

The instrumental piece Numinous brings more surprises. Clean guitars open, creating a reflective atmosphere, gently building until midway, then punchy bass lines punctuate that reflective atmosphere, with the clean guitar work continuing to build in steady, heady increments. A superb, deceptively powerful and somewhat transcendent piece.

In Nothingness features the second guest vocalist, Chaimera’s Mark Hunter. It’s a track that benefits from an extensive vocal range. Alongside the raw and brutal delivery, there are some very eerie cleans, with riffs that have a somewhat exotic feel to their construct, which adds an extra dimension to the hypnotic repeat that courses through the track.

Some of the conflicts for Ingested were rooted in depression and insecurity, which fueled the next track, Pantheon, when vocalist Jason Evans was struggling with an identity crisis.

“I wrote Pantheon when I was suffering from a heavy bout of imposter syndrome,” Jason says. “We’ve done all these big tours with all these huge bands, bands we grew up idolizing and now we’re rubbing shoulders with giants, so to speak. That song is about questioning if you belong and if you’re good enough. Am I able to keep up with my peers? Can I fill the shoes of my idols once they are gone? Do I deserve it?”

Personally, I think that anyone who has followed the progress of Ingested over the last few years will say they are more than worthy. As for Pantheon, it’s a crushing brute of a track, a punchy driver punctuated with intense busts of riffs, pummelling bursts of drum work and dramatic pauses adding even more impact.

Penultimate piece, Kingdoms Of Sand, is as hypnotic as it is crushingly brutal. The vocals are searing and acidic. The final piece, A Path Once Lost, is the longest track of the album at over six minutes duration. It definitely brings a new twist to the proceedings, opening on sparse reflective guitar and clean reflective vocals and harmonies, which lasts for over two minutes.

When the track develops the more brutal mood you would expect from Ingested, it’s even more impactful. More powerful, clean vocals continue to permeate the track, and you also get a swathe of very exotic-tinged leadwork, returning to the reflective guitars to the close. I do love this track. It’s very deep and shows a different side to Ingested.

The Tide Of Death And Fractured Dreams is a brutally good listen and definitely Ingested’s best work to date.

Sleeve Notes

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