Dmitriy Egorov’s Art Is Perfect for the New Ingurgitating Oblivion Album
Vision Wallows in Symphonies of Light is a bold, dynamic, and even graceful work of death metal craftsmanship. As savage as it is poignant, Vision Wallows is a challenging record that attempts to deftly balance the brutality of Ingurgitating Oblivion‘s past with atypical poise and composure. To that end, It is an austere work both cold and elegant, and I can think of no cover more suiting that Dmitriy Egorov‘s digital sculpture entitled simply “Statue.”
Egorov’s piece, seen below, is a digital rendering of a Classical-style sculpture, depicting a maiden with a flowing fount of water. Although the lighting and hue used in the composition readily identify the piece as a digital work rather than a photograph or painting, it’s still impressive; Egorov has used photo-manipulation to dynamically capture the form of the maiden’s figure, lending the work a sort of faux-grisaille technique widely employed by painters to create a three-dimensional effect in two-dimensional paintings. The vertical lines in the background draw the eye’s focus upward to the stoic expression on the maiden’s face. Is she a dryad, a nymph, or a deity? Is the water that flows from her vase a bringer of life or of destruction?
Perhaps most importantly, however, is the anatomy and human detail evident in Egorov’s muse. The fingers, hair, and neck display a strong reverence and an attention to detail. The exposed chest gives a hint of sensuality and perhaps even mischief, but again the vertical lines draw the expression to the composed, even severe expression. Viewers are left to wonder if this maiden is a vengeful god or a playful lover.
Historically, sculptures have commonly been used in religious practice to capture a mythic, idealized, even worshipful depiction of deities or heroic figures. Sculptures were commonly tremendous in both scale and detail, meant to dwarf the penitent and convey a genuine sense of scale and power. This same context of glory and regard is evoked by Egorov’s piece, from the figure’s expression to the gentle light dappling her knees. Intriguingly, it is this same juxtaposition between religious fervor and cold judgment that Ingurgitating Oblivion capture with Vision Wallows in Symphonies of Light. Both Egorov’s digital sculpture and Ingurgitating Oblivion’s album deal in both mercy and severity.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ingurgitating Oblivion, I’d highly suggest that you go back to sophomore release Continuum of Absence before pressing play on Vision Wallows. It’s a challenging monolith of brutal, dissonant death metal, one rife with slamming drums and off-kilter, battering riffs. Although the band’s performance on that record is supremely technical, the overarching tone is one of unhinged savagery. The severity portion of the equation was mastered, but the band had not yet captured the mercy they would soon unveil.
Between the releases of Continuum of Absence and Vision Wallows, Ingurgitating Oblivion recruited Lille Gruber of Defeated Sanity for drums, and Gruber, skinsman extraordinaire, enabled the band to finally give flesh to the melodic and progressive tendencies only seen in glimpses on their previous albums. While the opening track, “Amid the offal, abide with me,” certainly slams and batters in an unhinged, jarring way you’d come to expect from the drummer, Ingurgitating Oblivion soon allow themselves to explore Gruber’s more nuanced, jazz-influenced side.
The second track on Vision Wallows, “A Mote Constitutes What to Me Is Not All, and Eternally All, Is Nothing,” is a sprawling, twenty-two-minute epic that opens with eerie vibraphones and spoken word contemplations on the nature of the universe. What follows is a paradoxically brooding and majestic track that flows naturally from brutal riff barrage to ambient progressive noodling. It lifts you up only to send you caroming wildly back to the cruel surface with all the strength and power of a fickle deity. “A Mote” is both the perfect encapsulation of modern Ingurgitating Oblivion and a wholly effective complement to Egorov’s cover art, here cast in a distilled black and white to further exaggerate the harsh dichotomies.
When Ingurgitating Oblivion give freedom to their exploratory side, dabbling in piano, vibraphone, and jazz guitar accoutrements, they come across like cloying lovers or motherly deities breathing life and joy into man’s mundane existence. There is mercy in the lulls that allows rest and safe passage between the firestorms of death metal that erupt periodically like Vesuvius to belch forth blast beats and charring riffs. Those lulls never last too long to facilitate boredom or distraction, however; when the band embraces the dissonant chords of their past and the slamming acumen of Gruber, they remind us how destructive a furious deity can be. Cruelty. Frivolity. Bounty. All are conveyed in the music and in the cover art.
Bravo to Ingurgitating Oblivion for giving listeners the complete package.