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INGESTED The Tide of Death And Fractured Dreams

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Saturday, April 6, 2024 @ 9:25 AM


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INGESTED
The Tide of Death And Fractured Dreams

Metal Blade Records




Whatever British brutes INGESTED were, umm, ingesting during the pandemic certainly didn't hurt the trio's productivity. Indeed, if anything, it kicked it into overdrive. The Tide of Death And Fractured Dreams is the band's fifth release overall since Where Only God May Tread in August 2020, when Covid was really ramping up. After January 2021's delightfully titled EP Stinking Cesspool of Liquified Human Remnants, The Surreption II- a re-recorded version of 2011's The Surreption from INGESTED's slammier days - arrived that July, just in time for the Delta variant. Ashes Lie Still followed in November 2022, during one of the Omicron waves. Good times, indeed.

But that's over now, finally/apparently, and as Tide of Death is being unleashed all is right with the world again - ha! Which may explain why the album is a more upbeat - or, I should say, more up-tempo - effort as INGESTED gives its propulsive, chugging deathcore more "propulsion" over the grand scheme.

Where Ashes especially was prone to fitful bursts of velocity amid its breakdowns and elephant march stomping, Tide of Death offers more steady forward motion and less lurching and spasmodics. To be sure, there are still plenty of dramatic contrasts as INGESTED opted for moderation when it comes to fine-tuning things here. But they are incorporated in such a way as to smooth the transitions to a degree and not lose momentum - or at least as much.

Instead of going full-stop for the breakdown/beatdown sectionsthere is more of a sense of natural ebb and flow, which can be said about the album - the band's eighth - as a whole. Tide of Death is constructed with its higher energy tunes at the front and back, a more measured middle and a genuinely epic finale in "A Path Once Lost", with its haunting clean vocals and harmonies and low-key but dramatic presentation that should remind folks of WHITECHAPEL's more recent work.

The first four songs are driven primarily by surging riffs, crunching chugs and occasional blast beat/double-bass rolls. You can usually predict when the breakdown is arriving as the pace will slow in expectation of the bludgeon to come - and the band certainly delivers in that regard. But the velocity will build anew, especially with the furious finish to "Expect to Fail", which features Josh Middleton of SYLOSIS joining INGESTED frontman Jason Evans for something of a shouting match.

The album's midsection slows things down and builds on the atmosphere that the otherwise bulldozing "Where No Light Shines" hints at with its moody intro and melodic outro.

"Starve The Fire" mashes up doom, djent and goth with its brooding pace, jackhammer riffs and the clean harmonies of its sweeping chorus. The instrumental "Numinous" is predicably the most "musical" track here, mixing Spanish guitar motifs and prominent synths into its slow build. Without having to compete with Evans' constant roar, guitarist Sean Hynes and drummer Lyn Jeffsget to shine unencumbered if only but for a few moments.

CHIMAIRA frontman Mark Hunter joins in on "In Nothingness", but brings cleaner, moanier vocals for the more melodic choruses that are played against quaking verses and explosive, albeit brief, post-chorus sprints. The pace then quickens with the galloping "Pantheon" and Evans' sometimes phlegmy, LORNA SHORE-like vocal delivery. Like "Endless Machine" from earlier, "Kingdoms of Sand" delivers rather relentless intensity that gets downright grindy/black metally, though the song does ramble on for a bit longer than it needs to.

As noted earlier, "A Path Once Lost" wraps the album with epic splendor and, as on "Numinous", shows INGESTED can manage the more melodic end of the spectrum and sound fairly comfortable, if even confident. The band also doesn't overplay its hand in that regard, demonstrating the moderation noted above. And while that is typically not a hallmark of deathcore, which generally revels - often at its peril - in maximalism, perhaps it should be.

3.5 Out Of 5.0


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