Ingested - The Level Above Human
Manchester's slam crew Ingested are back after three years with their brand new beast, "The Level Above Human." Released on Unique Leader Records, the album features ten brand new tracks of pure, savage death metal clocking in at just under 45 minutes. The Level Above Human has been super anticipated by the metal community over the past few years, since the release of The Architect of Extinction. Ingested have proved - once again - that they are one of those few bands who can somehow continue to one-up their previous work and still manage to both maintain the classic Ingested sound but also bring new flavor into the mix. The end result this time around is one gnarly, downright brutal piece of art that is sure to leave you begging for more.
The album kicks off with what has become my absolute favorite track off The Level Above Human: Sovereign. It begins as any good death metal song should: straight into the fucking action and relentlessly devastating the listener. The band's sick fucking slamming guitars and violent drums begin to overwhelm your headphones as the shred begins. And it isn't long before the vocals kick in and bring the bands sound into full view: devastation in the highest degree. The vocals of Jason Evans absolutely stand out from your every day death metal band; there's a very raw, punishing tone to them that you will find on every Ingested track that when you hear it, you'll always know its Ingested. His range of growls is pretty wide, and you'll no doubt get to experience his spectrum of heavy throughout much of The Level Above Human, like in the next track "Invidious" for example. But going back to "Sovereign" real quick, if you've never heard an Ingested track before, this is the one you're going to want to start on. I was blown away by just how dirty the band gets in the opener of the album, and the brutality sure as fuck doesn't end here.
"Better Off Dead" has also quickly become a very notable track; its wailing guitars slowly building up and up to chaos as the vocals and drums kick in; all leading up to some of the best slams you'll find on the record. Fans of blast beats will no doubt enjoy drummer Lyn Jeffs mind-bending deliverance on The Level Above Human; if this dude isn't one of this scene's most underrated drummers, I don't know who is. There's so much going on on each song, but I truly hope listeners of the album will be able to pay close attention to the utter chaos Jeffs is pumping out from behind the kit; it's sheer devastation, for sure. "Purge the Parasite" opens with some grimy chugging before unloading into full force heavy metal goodness. It's one of Ingested's more "chill" songs - while it's still super heavy, it feels like one of the albums slower, possibly even "melodic"-feeling songs. But don't let that description fool you: it's still an in-your-face deliverance of death metal punishment. Other noteworthy tracks off The Level Above Human most definitely include the absolutely genius song "Last Rites" - it's one of the albums heaviest and damning songs - as well as "Misery Leech," which feels like an old school Ingested song that could have come off of "The Surreption" or even "Surpassing The Boundaries of Human Suffering" and it's fucking beautiful. And of coarse, what would Ingested be if it wasn't for guitarists Sam Yates and Sean Hynes alongside bassist Brad Fuller delivering their fine-tuned blissful shred and flair to the album? These dudes managed to put together some of the most insane yet super chill riffs and slams we've seen this year. Like I mentioned earlier, it's been three long years since we've gotten a new record from these guys, and they definitely put the work in to get this album just right, detail by detail. The hard work shows, and the end result is one hell of a fucking record. Ingested's "The Level Above Human" exceeded expectations from the band, and breathes new life into the bands legacy as the Slam Kings.