Ignition Code - _Upgraded_
by: St. John Satansson (3.5 out of 5)
Ignition Code are self described as a melodic math death metal band. I find melomathdeath (or is that melomeath?) a quizzical proposition and few clues are given away by the demo _Upgraded_. Cold and featureless, the presentation of this demo is impersonal and factory-esque, a simple logo adorning a rudimentary texture. A scan of the text displays some odd looking song titles. This looks like it will sound either experimental, industrial or modern, but it doesn't look too interesting. Time to find out what's under the hood. Music insertion completed. Play function engaged.

The beginning is somewhat bizarre, a brief passage of binky-bonky electronic music throwing us a curve ball before some mechanized, metallic beats set in. The drums sound almost programmed in with triggered, tightly regulated sounds on the bass and snare. Guitars are bolstered by the percussion and they do their job well enough, even if they could have been more prominent and a bit slicker. The vocals dominate the mix and the performance is decent enough, although cracks appear in the intonation of the melodic delivery.

After the juxtaposition of the intro the first song settles down into some beefy, layered death screams. Then things get a bit bouncy. There's a strong whiff of the trendy Djent movement about the riffage and tones here, but the chorus of "Human B.P.M." sounds contemporary NWOAHM sounding in style, with echoes of Killswitch Engage or even Spineshank. "Game Gear" boasts a laid back melo-death midsection that is coloured by some almost Fear Factory-esque vocals.

Although much of this is heavy and untraditional, perhaps this is not as crazy as it thinks it is. The quirky titles and disjointed beatdowns are offset by some rather accessible passages. Progressive riff patterns abound in the verses, but the choruses are melodic and appropriately more straightforward. This makes it less experimental, but it also makes it more immediate and enjoyable. Here is a hybrid mix of of beatdowns to throw your limbs to and choruses to throw back your beers to. It isn't quite as exciting or as engaging as it could be, but it is still a worthy effort.

Their web presence reports that Ignition Code are currently recording their first album. If this demo is an accurate sign of things to come, then a little more polish and some studio magic might see this band release an album that makes a few mainstream ripples.

Contact: ignitioncode@yahoo.it

(article published 15/5/2011)


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