The fourth album from Canada's Into Eternity, The Scattering of Ashes, is a tremendous follow-up to 2004's smashing Buried in Oblivion. Fusing progressive metal with thrash, death, black, and melodic metal, Into Eternity have struck on a formula that is exciting and fresh, and in the case of this latest release on Century Media, the album of their career so far.
Although he's actually now been in the band since shortly after the release of Buried in Oblivion, this is the first appearance on a studio album for singer Stu Block. The vocalist had plenty of time to get used to his surroundings during a hectic touring schedule in 2005 that saw the band open up for such heavyweights as Amorphis, Opeth, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Edguy, Hate Eternal, Krisiun, and Nevermore. His array of vocal styles, teamed with guitarist Tim Roth's effective death growls, keeps things fresh and ever changing on The Scattering of Ashes. The mix of melodic clean vocals and high pitched metal wailings works great on "Out", while on the two stunners "Severe Emotional Distress" and "Nothing", both clean and growling vocals hit the listener like a sledgehammer, accompanied by a blistering assault of technical guitar passages and mind-blowing drum patterns. "A Past Beyond Memory" also sees plenty of intricate riffs, dazzling bass, and insane drums, plus one hell of a guitar solo from Roth that will have fans of Dream Theater's John Petrucci shaking their heads in amazement. The moody "Surrounded By Night" is a wild mix of acoustic prog and technical metal, complete with some amazing interplay by the whole band, but with Roth and drummer Jim Austin really impressing with some incredible chops. Block leads the charge with some commanding vocals on "Eternal", a real thrasher with some speedy riffs and blazing drum work, and fans of ultra-technical progressive metal with love the insane freakouts on "Suspension of Disbelief", a real stunner with kick- ass clean and death metal vocals.
With this excellent new release, and a support slot on the high-profile Gigantour bill that hits concert venues shortly, Into Eternity seemed destined for big things. This is a highly recommended release that sits squarely alongside other hot 2006 entries from Mercenary, Scar Symmetry, and Communic.
1. Novus Inceptum 01:40
2. Severe Emotional Distress 03:55
3. Nothing 3:56
4. Timeless Winter 3:25
5. Out 4:55
6. A Past Beyond Memory 3:38
7. Surrounded By Night 5:08
8. Eternal 3:13
9. Pain Through Breathing 3:52
10. Suspension Of Disbelief 4:28
11. Paralyzed 3:11
Total playing time 41:21