The past few weeks saw the mighty kings of slam Ingested bring a full on aural assault across the UK on their headlining tour, giving it’s homeland fans what they have been waiting over 3 years for… a first glimpse at their upcoming 4th album and debut on Unique Leader records ‘The Level Above Human’*! In support of this career-defining album, their headline tour kicked off across various UK venues alongside the best in the UK metal scene, including Osiah, Abhorrent Decimation and Harbinger.
Now, the Mancunian death metal titans are in pursuit of global domination, bringing this game-changer of an album to 4 headline shows across Mexico, then North America with Bodysnatcher and Signs Of The Swarm. And then will embark on a ferocious stint at this years “Devastation On The Nation” tour alongside Aborted, Psycroptic, Disentomb, Arkaik, Vale of Pnath and more, including fellow brits Venom Prison who are embarking on their first ever North America tour! You do not want to miss this!
We caught up with Ingested at the sold-out London album launch show, which coincided with the first ever (and annual) Tone MGMT/Embedded Promotions showcase, at the club/venue Birthdays in Dalston, with the action taking place in the 200 capacity basement for a whole day of in-your-face brutality. Featuring the very best up-and-coming and rising artists across the spectrum of the UK death and tech metal scenes right now, the line-up was stacked with 8 bands as supports who are all causing a stir up and down the country, and should definitely be on your radar!
Here’s the low down!
(* Ingesteds ‘The Level Above Human’ is set for release via Unique Leader Records on April 27, get your pre-order bundles here. Digital is available across the follwing platforms: iTunes, Bandcamp and Google Play)
With a good sized audience buzzing with anticipation and excitement for the days events to unfold, first on the bill were Essex heavy hardcore quintet Depravity. Although young in their inception, they have already played at Machesters formidable “Fall In The Brawl” fest alongside 25 other bands, and have played alongside Leeched, MTXS, Negative Thought Process and more. Taking to the stage with a fully charged set consisting of songs from their recent 2017 EP ‘Life Is Pain’, this young blood had plenty to shout about and utilized their chance to show that they are a force to be reckoned with! The crushing riffs in “Pray For Death” were a full-frontal assault that was intensified by the contrasting high and low screaming vocals of front man Dan Hounslow, who himself give a passionate and energetic performance on stage with arms thrown and pacing during the interludes. The backlit strip lights added to the experience where the band became towering headbanging figures over the audience who relished in the punishing breakdowns, especially of track “Life Is Pain”. Band members were screaming along to the dark lyrics that were echoed by fans in the crowd who were replicating the passion shown on stage. The set felt short but gave a real taster as to the intensity and social awareness of Depravitys music and gives me a real excitement to see what they produce for their debut album. (Purchase ‘Life Is Pain’ here.)
2017 was a big year for Nycosia that saw them support Jinjer last November, and marked a career defining performance at UK Tech-Fest alongside heavy weights The Black Dahlia Muder, Obscura, Aborted and more. With a rejuvenating passion and determination for 2018, Nycosia have been teasing a new sound and new music, and for this performance they delivered a set that was both intoxicating to witness and diverse in delivery! Combining a mixture of tech and djent the set was raw and emotional with vocalist Adam Barkley absolutely screaming his lungs out and mind-blowing technical riffs. The atmosphere was full of eerie suspense rather than in-your-face aggression which was echoed in the bands movements on stage – Barkley appeared wholly consumed by the experience with his sharp movements and hand gestures, and at times concealing his face with his hood, heightening the dark emotional drama that was unfolding. On “Miscommunication” his vocals ranged from growling lows to high-end screams, and felt much darker live than on their latest EP ‘Pariah’. This in unison with the pounding methodical riffs and licks contrasting with the added element of occasional sombre fretwork brought a great diversity to the sound that made Nycosia certainly achieve their goal of bringing “warped music for creative minds” with this wild and hypnotic performance. Keep a watch out for their new EP ‘Mindshift’ dropping this very month that features guest vocals by Tyler Shelton of U.S deathcore band Traitors on the first single “Astral Selection”. (‘Pariah’ is available to stream via Amazon Music and Spotify. “Astral Selection” can be purchase here.)
Brighton (UK) based ANITA have spent the last year charging across both sides of the channel with multiple gigs across the UK and a European tour alongside The Five Hundred supporting the mighty Carnifex. A change to the nights line-up saw vocalist Dilan Alves standing in for Josh Hillier for tonight’s performance, giving a slightly altered mid-range of vocals compared to Hilliers mighty dynamic range – but this wasn’t an issue, Alves was a great choice with his energetic presence on stage with his hair whipping with a mind of it’s own, and his devout comradery to ANITA off-stage. The performance of symphonic/blackened deathcore brought experimentation to the stage with electrifyingly intricate tapped riffs and solos that were highly accentuated by the elaborate use of keyboard in songs such as “Pestilence”, for powerful dramatic backdrops that Fleshgod Apocalypse would be proud of. Although the keyboardist was fairly hidden from view on the overcrowded small stage, his professionalism and outstanding talent with beautiful lacing arpeggios gave a whole other level to the music and intensified the theatrics of the sound. The venue was really filled out at this point with so much headbanging on and off stage, especially for the brand new hyperdrived song “Suspended By A Thread” that was received with a ferocious torrent of energy and raucous cheers! The deliverance in music and stage presence was impeccable with the amalgamation of the brutality of death and slam, the intricacy and brain-warping solos of tech metal, complete with a blackened atmosphere that gave us a taste of the extreme avant-garde. Which, in this small venue was especially quite the experience. Presently, with just a debut album ‘Necropolis’ and EP ‘Theophagy’ behind them, this is a band that definitely has big things ahead of them! (Download ‘Necropolis’ here.)
When Exeters Drifted took to the stage the atmosphere changed from one which was already hyped and buzzing from the previous acts, to one that would become utter Armageddon – the sh*t got nasty, but in a good way! Taking to the stage with a fiery demeanour was vocalist Harry Davies who was like a bull with an insatiable bloodlust, with eyes fixated on the audience enticing them to go wild which they did ten-fold. “Healer” gave everyone a chance to acclimatise to the change of pace that could not be more different in style to the previous acts, giving the audience a chance to brace themselves for the high velocity set that would unfold. The contrasting vocals and memorable licks were all consuming, leading to the first pits of the night breaking out. The pits got violent pretty quickly to the explosive brutal lows and punishing riffs of “Misery Sets In” where chests were beaten and fists pumped. The whole room was lit with the build up of all explosive and aggressive deathcore where inflatable hammers thrown courtesy of the slam police. By the closing track “The Grey” the crowd was still full of a wild red mist but later calmed to the later down-tempo chord-work and breakdowns where the whole band got low, bouncing to the slow rhythm and headbanging in unison. This was a performance that was worthy of being a headline! However, the best part of the set was a sneak peak of their forthcoming new album that drops later this year, until then you can download their latest EP ‘No Front Teeth’ for free here which features guest vocals from Joe Edwards of Shields.
After the absolute carnage that Drifted had unfolded, Londoners Harbinger had quite the act to follow. Hailed by Metal Hammer as “leading the next generation of tech metal wizards”, the tech metal quintet made the stage their domain, and took this bro-fest to the next level with a surprise of their own in store. Opening with “Human Dust” from their EP of the same name, the crowd was thrown into a full-on aural assault of explosively technical riffs enhanced by vocalist Tom Gardners mix of mid-range and melodic screams. This was a statement opening track and an instantly catchy one at that. Guitarists Ben Sutherland and Charlie Griffiths showed a wonderful unison and partnership on stage where both showcased their diverse range of chugging riffs and intricately lacing fretwork that showed how these guys were all about the music. There was a cheery playfulness on stage between the 3 guitarists along with moments of raw passion, playing off the energy of the crowd that were screaming along to the lyrics and reaching out at every opportunity to get as close as they could to the performers. “Subsided Slaughter” from their successful debut 2016 EP ‘Paroxysm‘ really showcased the bands sheer diversity, interweaving pummeling down-tempo chugs and breakdowns full of a darkened atmosphere, with enough of a heavy groove thrown in that you could headbang along freely and not become bewildered by the intricate solo or technical flurries. The highlight and surprise from Harbinger came when they were joined on stage with mics in hand by both vocalist Kyle Lamb of Basick Record label brothers A Trust Unclean and Sebastian Dymiter, former guitarist of London-based progressive metallers Fraktions – how about that for an exclusive! It went down a treat for the fans who by this point were still going for it in the pits and gave it their all for the last few songs. Harbinger have recently released a new single “Darkest Days” and are currently at work on a new album. (Watch the video here and NYP for a digital download here. ‘Human Dust’ can be purchased here.)
A Trust Unclean have been reining high on my list of bands since the release of their 2017 EP ‘Parturition’. Literally translating to ‘the act of giving birth’, this record signified a fresh start as during the writing process the band lost two members but welcomed replacement vocalist Kyle Lamb, and for a time session drummer Noah Plant. The Oxford based death metallers have already shared the stage with Aversions Crown, Rings Of Saturn, Black Tongue and Ne Obliviscaris and have become quickly renowned in the UK death metal scene for their distinctive sound. With the room completely packed A Trust Unclean took to the stage with a strong determination despite relying a backing track for drums and borrowing Jack Higgs from ANITA on guitar. The set was however just as fierce on stage as on record with Kyle Lambs ferocious growls showcasing his huge range of brutal lows to unearthly high screams, especially in “Exonerate” which is full of aggression and pounding distorted riffs that give off a feeling of power and chaos – if the earth was tearing apart with buildings crashing down around you, this would be your soundtrack. The chorus itself is instantly memorable and climatic making this one of many stand-out tracks. The solos across the ball from Mikey G were every bit as mesmerizing as his presence on stage – his lion’s mane was consistently whipping the air, clearly thoroughly enjoying himself with smiles and grins during the performance. The whole set was full of earth-shattering songs but one of my personal favourites was “Aeon”. This was another full-on aural assault which has a playful mid-break that the crowd raised arms and sang along too, with many headbanging also. Throughout Lamb exhibited a fierce demeanor throughout – windmilling at every opportunity, as well as playing too and enticing the crowd who went insane during this set. I strongly recommend that you give ‘Parturition’ a spin, for it is one of the most devastating EPs of 2017. (Physicals here, digital here.)
I’m already biased having experienced Abhorrent Decimations performance at Mammothfest 2017 that has since seen them tear down the stage at this years Buckfest in Manchester alongside Xentrix, Hellripper and Live Burial. We were in for an absolute stormer of a performance, as they would be playing their Prosthetic debut, ‘The Pardoner’ in full! The crowd was absolutely ecstatic and it was clear that some had come especially for this exclusive of Chaucer inspired death metal. “Heretic Sacrifice” really got the pits charged along to it’s pounding high speed double-bass and blast beats, sending the crowd into a frenzy with the thumping rhythm hitting you right in the chest. Vocalist Ashley Scott was continuously enticing circle pits and walls of death which were lethal in this tiny basement venue and saw comradery from members of both ANITA and A Trust Unclean joining in the fun. Scotts low-end growls filled the room with screams calling for carnage. He was fully charged and spent times getting low and right in the crowds faces which they responded to with a passion! Crowd favourites like “Votive Offerings” and “Conspire” especially got the audience going, with chanting and so much headbanging – I could literally feel the wind on my face at times! The beautifully twisted sweeping solo in “The Scythe In The Dark” sent a few fans into a frenzy, whilst others ripped their phones out, not to miss a chance at capturing this live. Scott gracefully took a step to one side and gave guitarist Ross ‘Lenny’ McLennan the limelight. By the closing track, the album namesake “The Pardoner” the atmosphere was intense with a fierce heat coming off of the whole audience. The audience was called to split for one final and epic circle pit to which they went forth and collided. Simply put, Abhorrent Decimation nailed it. (Purchase ‘The Pardoner’ here.)
Already this year, Osiah have been direct support to the The Faceless at The Underworld in Camden, London and tonight’s gig at Birthdays was included as part of their headlining run of shows across the UK with special guests Harbinger. With a huge following in the North-East, Osiah brought with them absolute decimation and quite a following of dedicated fans for the ride! With the use of multiple coloured lights and blinding strobe, Osiahs set was already catapulted to the next level with the heightened visual effects enhancing their electrifying performance on stage. The crowd was absolutely chaotic with arms and hair being thrown about wildy thoughout the set, and pits directly behind them where grins could be seen alround! There was literally no-where safe to be other than joining in the chaos! Vocalist Ricky Lee Roper gave a dramatic performance on stage, one moment staring us down with mic dropped, and the next ripping into punishing pig-squeals and ferocious deathcore roars right in our faces. His dreds were a spectacle whipping around, with all 3 guitarists throwing themselves into the pummelling beats and aggressive chugging tone. The set composed of songs from their latest release ‘Terra Firma’ including the extremely high-intentsity “Street Justice”, full of deep aggression, slamming beatdowns and insane double bass. You’ll have to forgive me for not picking up their set-list but if you like you deathcore as brutal as earthly (or un-earthly) possible, don’t hesitate in hitting up “The Harvesting” for deeply disturbing gutterals and “Plague World” and “Subterranean Refuge” for some technical mastery and extreme dark atmosphere thrown in to the mix. Osiah are seriously one of the most extreme and exciting bands in the UK scene right now and you do not want to sleep on them! (Purchase ‘Terra Firma’ bundles here, digital here.)INGESTED
The moment finally came for Manchesters kings of slam to absolutely devastate the stage. Touring in support of their 4th record ‘The Level Above Human’ out on 27th April, the set explored songs from across their 10 year history, as well as playing 3 songs taken directly from the forthcoming and one that is set to be career defining. Opening with brand new track “Purveyors Of Truth” (that coincidently has a brand new lyric video released today, watch it here), fans went ecstatic at having this first glimpse of Ingesteds shift into a full-on assault of crippling brutality. The lights were dimmed right down making the experience one that was like a beautiful nightmare – the intensity from the chugging fretwork entwined with Jason Evans grueling gutteral squeals and ferocious low-end growls were too hot to handle! The crowd was pumped full of adrenaline with countless pits and people literally climbing all over the place, the music appearing to completely take over and overwhelm them! “Narcissistic Apathy” laid claim to more destruction with it’s absolutely unfathomable pace, straight into “Skinned and Fucked” that gave way for wild headbanging and horns being thrown in time to the pummeling rhythm. Throughout fans were still clambering about, doing their upmost to touch Evans as if he were in fact reigning above them, but this king made clear that he was unified with us – taking moments after his mind-blowing performance to meet and greet anyone that approached him. By the recently released single “Invidious” (video here) the crowd gave no sign of slowing down and let out a raucous cheer. Despite being almost 9 hours from doors opening, the audience were as energised as ever, crowd surfers were flying which Evans enjoyed smiling in between vocal duties. This may be in part to the announcement that we were about to be filmed for a new video that hyped everyone up further, or simply the fact that this song is devastatingly crushing! The near hour-long set came to a close with “Anal Evisceration” for the most soul-ripping gutterals and squeals with ferocious fretwork. This performance was overwhelmingly intense and closed the days brutality with an unforgettable performance.