From their humble slam-inflected deathcore beginnings, Mancunian bruisers Ingested have steadily wormed their way into the hearts and minds of the death metal scene at large, savagely demanding attention en-mass with their EP Call Of The Void. Infusing more atmospheric elements as well as black metal and more melody, it showed a band with plenty more to give and, if they could make it work, an enticing, albeit risky, new path for growth.
Enter Where Only Gods May Tread, a statement in the most brutal fashion that the risk paid off; ‘Follow the Deceiver’ enters with a monolithic, pit-ready riff guaranteed to snap necks. What follows is four minutes of unrelenting brutality, only slowing down briefly before frenetic blastbeats enter once more and the titanic opening riff recurs around the three minute mark and a breakdown enters to finish grinding the listener into dust.
As bold a statement as the opener was, Where Only Gods… only gets better from here, with soon-to-be (hopefully) live favourite ‘No Half Measures’ pulverising eardrums and instruments alike. So far, so much brutal death metal. Ingested have clearly shown growth but it’s with true curveball (and possibly one of their finest songs) ‘Another Breath’, featuring the gravelly tones of Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein and a beautiful, haunting opening that they truly shine. It’s an emotional gut punch, steeped in desolation and nihilism and the vocal interplay between Kirk and Evans is executed flawlessly. The song fuses the glacial pace and emotional heft of sludge with the grinding assault of death metal to form something that suffocates with all the inevitability of a lava flow.
Another easy highlight comes midway through with ‘The Burden of Our Failures’ where the band slow proceedings down once more as well, blending in more melodic elements such as the bleak solo shortly after the three minute mark, following a quieter passage that offers some respite from the aural violence being inflicted. Not merely content to throw in some new elements and step completely out of their comfort zone once though, Ingested once more throw caution to the wind with one of their most ambitious songs to date in closer ‘Leap of the Faithless’, a nine-minute-plus-change sprawling epic, bringing all the various threads together for a monolithic piece. Veering between ambient, slam, guitar solos and blackened textures, ‘Leap of the Faithless’ shows a band confident enough with nailing their core sound to branch out and truly embrace the promise showed on earlier work.
Ingested have always found their happy medium somewhere between outright slam and breakdowns, crafting their songs out of a combination of the two along with thunderous drumming and layered vocals. This isn’t necessarily a bad formula, merely one that did nothing to help them stand out from the crowd. With Where Only Gods May Tread, the band finally spread their blackened, filthy wings wide with a devastating opus that puts them squarely at the head of the pack.
Where Only Gods May Tread is released August 14th via Unique Leader Records.