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  • Review by Faye Coulman

REVIEWED: Ingested + Fallujah + Mélancolia @ Camden Underworld, London

As mortal beings living out our decidedly perishable respective existences here atop this chaotic, ceaselessly spinning rock we call planet Earth, it’s a continual source of amazement just how immeasurably things can change in the space of a mere couple of years, months or – in the case of COVID-19 – a terrifying, literal matter of days. Indeed, the immense, career-defining ground Mancunian death metallers Ingested have covered since last obliterating UK audiences to virtual smithereens just a year prior to this present moment in time is nothing short of astounding. Not least if we stop to consider just how relentlessly these industrious players have pushed to raise their now-stellar profile as one of the most skilled and sonically devastating fixtures of the global extreme scene. And, more recently, the unleashing of monumentally brutalising new album ‘The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams’.

So, factoring in that it’s also Friday night and thus traditionally the day for us Brits to let loose the various, hitherto tightly-wound frustrations of the working week, you’d be correct in assuming we’re in for a pretty wild ride as far as all things heavy and brutally noisome are concerned. And despite the unexpected cancellation of the less-than-charmingly-titled Vulvodynia, both Aussie aggressors Mélancolia and gracefully orchestrated Americans Fallujah do a more than successful job of delivering a blistering precursor to tonight’s highly anticipated headliners.

Above a thoroughly hostile combo of frantically accelerating propulsive blasts and airily lacerating spirals of scalpel-keen riffery, melody-infused aggressors FALLUJAH waste little time in amassing an epic, viciously absorbing presence. With its intricately twisting strains of sumptuous fretwork abounding with expansive Gothenburg-esque grandeur beneath a brutally incensed hail of brimstone-scorched screams, theirs is an artfully orchestrated blend of searing viscerality and multi-faceted complexity. And across an intricate sonic tapestry of sinew-laden hooks, tautly muscled clusters of hyperblasting staccato and sleekly elongated lines of impeccably sculpted fretwork, these many and varied sonic energies coalesce to create a collectively immense feast of extremity and nuanced atmosphere.

“Is that all you’ve got, London? This is Friday night in the capital fucking city!” exclaims INGESTED main man Jason Evans mere moments after the pulverising, staccato-laden battery of newly-unleashed banger ‘Paragon of Purity’ sees the Underworld engulfed in a teeming mass of frantically energised motion. Above a seething expanse of heavily perspiring bodies and haphazardly flailing, assorted limbs, Evans lets loose an utterly corrosive slew of caustic screams, lunging low into a blackly reverberating guttural snarl that leaves the venue quaking to its very foundations.

From firmly established favourites to freshly debuted offerings extracted from this year’s ferociously absorbing new masterwork ‘The Tide of Death and Fractured Dreams’, Ingested’s inimitable blend of propulsive brute force, finely sculpted riffery and deliciously sinister atmospherics makes for a furiously entertaining live spectacle. And judging by the densely rammed multitudes here seen violently crashing and careening into one another as an unending procession of fans fling themselves off the main stage and into the Romero-esque hordes of punters waiting in readiness below, we’re clearly not alone in our appreciation of this endlessly brutalising onslaught.

Sourced from delectably dark, pandemic-era opus ‘Ashes Lie Still’, the bristling, tombstone-heavy throes of ‘Shadows In Time’ ignite still greater extremes of ultra-violent chaos and motion among tonight’s already rabidly ecstatic assembled masses. With the staggering, collective heft of the bass seeing the venue speakers visibly straining to contain its mammoth, weightily imploding throes, sleekly elongated crescendos of riffery display strikingly crisp and sculpted definition within this utterly ruinous mix.

Opening up on a ripping profusion of intricately snaking fretwork whose angular, endlessly twisting contortions abound with deathly majesty, ‘Better Off Dead’ audibly bristles with hostility, the unfathomable weight of the bass pushing and propelling us into a veritable implosion of undiluted rage. Together with the morbidly compelling atmospherics that abide both here and in additional tracks sourced from ‘Ashes…’, the eerily contorting throes of ‘Impending Dominance’ are equally imbued with more than their share of black-hearted, audibly calculating malevolence. In amongst its innumerable episodes of machine gun-paced hyperblasts and lung-puncturing screams, this brutalising epic sees a bone-splintering mass of weightily unspooling bass take ample time to revel in these densely churning, putrescent energies.

Spanning everything from the nimbly manipulated strains of scalpel-edged fretwork that richly adorn newly-unleashed banger ‘Endless Machine’ through to the primitively battering, breakneck throes of savage closer ‘Skinned and Fucked’, Ingested have tonight manifested a lethal, truly towering presence. Both in the synapse-scorching extremes of aggression and the rich, ink-black assortment of lacerating fine details that abide here in riotously entertaining abundance.

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