- The Level Above Human
- Slam/death metal
The Level Above Human is something I’ve been craving from 2018, an album with a blistering pace and full energy screaming. Something to blow your hair back, and then your scalp too. This style of brutal slam takes the blueprints set by Cannibal Corpse and fills with nuance and takes the extreme aspect as far as it can go. Often more average deathcore bands will do this to the point where it becomes flat but Ingested have surpassed that with some solid beat driven extreme metal.
The Level Above Human is yet another release this year that utilizes some of my favorite parts from ‘core’ genres in a way that really heightens the medium. The vocals switch between fast death vocals and layered screaming that is more popular in metalcore/deathcore. They also aren’t afraid to slow the beat down for some classic hardcore riffs between the insanity. These moments blend well into the overall album and serve as a bit of a treat for someone who is so heavily invested in both sides of the extreme music world. Ingested have achieved a fair bit of acclaim within the general metal community, being that they are borrowing much more from the ‘death’ side of things when it comes to deathcore. It probably also helps their legitimacy that this LP is a chunky one. A lot of similarly brutal bands go for tracks that have a length of only a couple of minutes, these guys go hard, and they go long. None of the tracks are under 3 minutes.
Purveyors of Truth is one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year so far. It raises to a peak and then rides it until it comes crashing into the ground for a brutal pummeling. The vocals often deliver lyrics at a pace that seems real difficult to achieve. When I was a teenager and deathcore had just started people referred to the vocal style as “cookie monster vocals” because you can’t understand the words or even the inflection at that speed. There’s also vocals where you can make out the lyrics, this guy has decent range on his unclean vocals and carry an LP well alone.
It’s at this point you look at how much of the album is left – 6 more tracks – and wonder what they are going to do for the rest of it. And of course, they are just going to continue absolutely shredding the shit out everything. The track immediately following, Transcendence of the Gods has some of the best beat control I’ve heard in a while and the vocalist does a great job accompanying it appropriately. There aren’t any bad tracks, you can put any of them on and find the groove immediately. There’s a lot of variation on tempos and a fair bit of micromanagement of palm muting for the guitar. There’s also well controlled blast beats coming in from the drums.
I’m surprised I’m only just finding out about these guys considering they’ve been around since 2006. I’m struggling to find a fault as I’m listening through the album. The mixing is good, every instrument is good, and the composition is interesting. Between this and Conjurer’s Mire (Review), this has been a good year for metal in the UK. They’re bringing out some real talent. If slam isn’t to your taste then of course your opinion will differ, I believe even the cringiest genres have good music.