The Architect of Extinction is utterly destructive. This fourth full-length album from the Mancunian brutal death metal crew Ingested manages to strike that fine balance between punishing heaviness, ferocious technicality, and still staying fresh and interesting. Albums in this genre often suffer from monotony, but this album is pretty much all killer, no filler, setting the standard for brutal death metal for the rest of this year.
To be quite clear, Ingested do not aim to pull at your heartstrings, they aim to put you six feet under with an all-out assault on your senses. That assault has five prongs: The first, and perhaps the single most devastating, is vocalist Jay Evans. On The Architect of Extinction, I would argue Evans makes a strong case for being the single best vocalist in the brutal death metal scene right now. The reason for that is not only the fact that he has great variety, effortlessly pulling off seriously impressive gutturals, as well as some terrifying screams; but that the lyrics are very comprehensible. Evans spearheads this assault, but the rest of the band are of course no less valuable.
Guitarists Sean Hynes and Sam Yates alternate between pummeling slamming death metal chugs and incredibly complex riffs, with bassist Brad Fuller nicely filling out the lower end of that onslaught. There are a number of impressive guitar solos on this album as well, such as on the track ‘I, Despoiler’ which, though short, brings enough of a sense of menacing melody to keep the more fatigued listener on board. Equally compelling melodic riffs like those towards the end of ‘The Divine Right of Kings’, ‘I, Despoiler’, ‘Extinction Event’, provide some valuable variety and diversity to the sounds on offer on this album.
The unusually melodic instrumental interlude track ‘Penance’ both provides some brief respite from the cacoghony of sound on this album while also demonstrating their tasteful use of melody where it is appropriate, even if it might seem a little out of place next to the brutality of the rest of this album. And drummer Lyn Jeffs completes this lineup with some phenomenal drumming. Check out 1:40 of ‘The Divine Right of Kings’ to get a feel for the tasteful ferocity of this guy’s assault; Capable of some of the most insane blastbeats and powerful fills, he also has a sense for when sometimes less is more.
In my view, this album sets a pretty high bar for the rest of 2015, as this is one of the few brutal death metal albums I’ve found myself enjoying enough to simply let play on repeat many times in a row, they really captured something special here. If I had any major criticisms I would offer them, but to be honest as far as brutal/technical death metal goes, this album pretty much gets it alright, and any fans of the aforementioned genres really cannot go wrong with this album. It has all the brutality and technicality necessary to satisfy the most masochistic of extreme metal fans, but also a keen sense of tasteful melody; the production is clean enough that there’s no obstacles in the way of their assault, but not too squeaky-clean to render the album sterile or clinical. A resounding success and by far their best release yet.