Jason Evans: Vocals
Sean Hynes: Guitar / Backing Vocals
Lyn Jeffs: Drums
UK death metal titans Ingested have been churning out bilious anti-anthems for more than a decade and a half, dropping a string of releases that have helped shape the genre. In 2022, they return with Ashes Lie Still, their most dynamic, inventive and daring release to date, holding nothing back, the band describing it as "A modern essential. If you like heavy music, it will be nigh on impossible for you to not find something you like about this record. It still has the core Ingested elements of groovy slamming riffs, quick drumming, and guttural vocals but there's also atmosphere, ethereal moments and some raw old school aggression." Over the course of ten tracks they hack, slash and steamroll through everything in their path, and it easily stands as the highpoint of an already impressive career.
Slimmed down to a three piece - comprising of drummer Lyn Jeffs, guitarist/backing vocalist Sean Hynes and vocalist Jason Evans - the band feel they are in the best place that they have ever been, enabling them to work at the top of their game. "All negativity has now been erased, we are all on the same page musically and we three share the same vision for Ingested. We know who and what we are and where we want to go. Sean always wrote 90% of our music so becoming a three-piece didn't actually affect the way we approach writing albums. We've just streamlined our process and are now more productive. We are now able to add new elements, ideas and sounds in ways that would have faced internal resistance before." With Hynes always having a backlog of songs, he essentially started working on Ashes Lie Still as soon as 2020's Where Only Gods May Tread was finished in demo form. Due to the pandemic and all touring activities being suspended, he had more writing time than usual, meaning the band had more than the ten songs they needed for the album, allowing them to choose the ones that best fit what they were trying to achieve. Always feeling that they have something to prove and wanting to demonstrate they deserve to be where they are - they pulled out all the stops. "Being signed to Metal Blade Records is an important moment for the band so we've made sure that this is the most complete album we've ever produced. We've grown exponentially as songwriters and people, this album has a darker, more mature feel to it that we think any fan of death metal or metal in general will love. It's got an energy to it that's hard to describe, you can just feel it when you hear it."
The album title comes from its lead off track, the lyrics penned by Hynes, and is primarily about his father dying suddenly at the start of the pandemic and him not being able to say goodbye in a proper way. "Losing a parent is obviously a big moment in anyone's life, and there were collective and individual battles we were all dealing with over this period and for many years to be honest. We all thought that Sean's lyrics for "Ashes Lie Still" encapsulated everything perfectly, so we decided the album title based on that. It's turned the entire process into quite a cathartic experience for us all, we've never really had that feeling with an album before." Lyrically, across the record they draw from personal experiences, feelings, thoughts and perspectives, taking in the ups and downs of life, making for songs that are very relatable. "Echoes Of Hate" is about the experience of being physically attacked by someone who was supposed to be a family member, and the subsequent fallout of the situation, while "All I've Lost" is about addiction, and the cost and effect it has on loved ones. Then there is "Shadows In Time", which is about casting off shackles, and leaving negative people behind, both in everyday life and in their career.
The album was co-produced by the band and previous collaborator Nico Beninato, Jeffs living close to Beninato's studio in Mallorca and recording his drums there, while Hynes recorded his guitars at home in the UK with the producer assisting remotely. Vocal tracking was interrupted by Evans falling seriously ill when finally making it to Mallorca and was ultimately tracked back in Manchester. Bass was again supplied by Dominic Grimard (Ion Dissonance/The Last Felony), and the band also brought in three guests to add new dimensions to the record. First, there is Julia Frau who appears on the title track. "We felt that we had a really good chorus, but we wanted to use Julia's voice as a vocal-style synth to back up that section instead of using a plugin, but while she was tracking we kept on trying ideas and eventually the full lyrical chorus was born. It's incredible how ideas develop in the moment when you're working with people who have different talents to yourself." Then there's Aborted's Sven De Caluwé on "From Hollow Words", who does exactly what he's known for with style, and finally Trivium's Matt Heafy on "All I've Lost". "An absolute legend, we got chatting to him online a few years ago after he posted about how much he liked a song we'd released at the time. We ended up getting him in a lockdown music video we made during the pandemic and he said if we ever wanted to get him on a song he'd be well up for it so we knew we had to invite him to be part of this album. His vocal performance on the song is mesmerising, from the huge chorus hook to his aggressive verses, he truly captured the desperation of the track."
The band are planning on making videos for all ten tracks on the album, working in collaboration with Loki Films. "He's known us for a long time and we've worked on many videos together in the past. We have an eerily similar vision when it comes to the aesthetic of Ingested videos, and very similar tastes when it comes to things like horror movies and SFX ideas." Working on these alongside touring is going to see the band very busy, but they have always been workhorses willing to put in the necessary effort, and they see themselves as having an important role to play. "Nowadays everything sounds the same, genres are oversaturated with identical sounding bands, and someone needs to break the mould. We've always been the underdogs, always fighting for scraps, well it's time to get out of the fucking way, because now it's our turn to eat at the table."