Ingraved – Hatred From Outside

There’s a lot of bland, uninteresting death metal in the world, and Ingraved are proudly carrying the torch of such music into the new millennium with ‘Hatred From Outside’, an album whose listlessness is outclassed only by its adherence to genre convention.  I can think of not a single note on this CD which even remotely stands out to me and the only surprise found anywhere on this album is that it’s managed to give death metal roughly the musical weight of your average CCM hanger-on.  It doesn’t simply run the mill, the friction that Ingraved is able to produce while running it has actually SET THE MILL ON FIRE, making Kataklysm look like freewheeling visionaries by comparison.  ‘Hatred From Outside’ is the figurative ‘ugly girl’ who’s only kept around the group to make all other members seem gorgeous in comparison.  In short, it aspires to nothing, does nothing, and doesn’t even manage to leave a stain on the porch when it’s gone.

Ingraved plays a painfully generic breed of modern death metal that moves at a plodding mid to vaguely quick pace, occasionally attempting to construct a breakdown out of the scraps that other, better artists wisely threw away during the writing process.  Some mild oldschool influence seems to be present, but this is probably just a result of confusing the myriad of droning chug riffs with something approximating Celtic Frost worship.  I’m having trouble describing the music properly because every time I try to I just end up with a Wikipedia-style description of death metal as a genre.  There are growls, occasional blast beats and double bass, tremolo riffs and quickly-moving chord structure chug riffs, and it manages to do absolutely nothing with any of those elements except waffle like an incontinent John Kerry.  I cannot possibly comprehend someone fully enjoying this album unless they have the lowest of death metal standards or feel that metal as a whole needs to be ‘taken down a notch’ and resemble cool jazz a bit more.  The band plays everything totally mechanically and without even a hint of spirit, like a death row inmate on suicide watch methodically tucking in his last KFC Famous Bowl.

In a way, I have to give Ingraved some applause for this album, because it’s releases like ‘Hatred From Outside’ which really make you appreciate the good things in life.  When I finish listening to this album, the grass feels softer, the sun warmer, and all women seem more beautiful.  I almost think that this album might be a musical metaphor for a futuristic Orwellian dystopia where death metal must have all emotion and intensity extirpated under penalty of brutal rape followed by execution, but perhaps I’m being too charitable.  Thank you, Ingraved, for giving me comfort in my darkest hours, knowing that no matter how terrible, painful, and traumatizing my life becomes, I know that it will always, always be more interesting than listening to you.

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~ by noktorn on May 27, 2008.

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