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Into Eternity: The Scattering of Ashes

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.

Track Listing
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

Added: October 7th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Into Eternity Website
Hits: 5883
Language: english

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Into Eternity: The Scattering of Ashes
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-10-07 20:44:28
My Score:

Into Eternity's new album is finally here and I am amazed that they were able to find time to record it for the band has been on tour almost non-stop, with the exception of an early 2006 pause to hammer this release out. Many supporters of the Metal effort realize this because the band had opened for a literal who's who in Metal since late 2004. Buried By Oblivion was the focus at most of these appearances and now with The Scattering Of Ashes we find them taking the next step in their musical journey. The group had a couple of lineup shifts and this recording finds original drummer Jim Austin returning to the fold and providing insane levels of percussive expression to the album. All guitar shredding is handled by Tim Roth who is showing more and more that he is probably the new shooting star on the horizon. His technical displays on the axe are dizzying to listen to, and just try to figure what he is doing in concert. Bassist Troy Bleich firmly holds this all together while also offering some of the needed Black Metal growls as well as harmonies for you see Into Eternity is not a band that sticks to one form. Instead they choose to mix it up quite a bit and this album shows that their recording return has a purpose and a renewed focus on pushing the expected limits. Traditional views on how one can deliver Progressive Black Metal go right out a the window here and songs like "A Past Beyond Memory" blister by you yet slow down enough to have an almost Classical music feel to it. "Surrounded By Night" begins with something more akin to Kansas than a Metal group before it takes off to the skies. Kudos have to go to lead singer Stu Block who while a member of the band in the touring sense for some time, has never recorded with them until this album. Block is not your typical singer for he touches upon the Black, the Melodic and the Thrash screaming giving the band a literal all-in-one member who seems capable of breaking glass with his high pitched shrieks. It's easy to imagine all of these feels being confusing to the listener and on that I can only say that you could not be more wrong. Founder Roth always speaks of his love of Black Metal as well as Progressive Metal and this indulgence flows through his veins and into his guitar and song-writing. Every song bleeds with precision and as a result this comes across as one of the best Heavy Metal records you will hear for a long time. It was difficult for me to find favorites on the recording since I liked it so much but I lean to "Severe Emotional Distress", "Out" and "Timeless Winter" if I had to lock down a couple of immediate preferences. The other interesting appeal to Into Eternity music is the harmony vocal parts; until I heard them there was never the thought in my mind that I would be singing along in musical fashion to songs like this. It's a band that fans of guitar-oriented groups will especially enjoy based on the way Roth relentlessly plays. The production of the album was done by Andy Sneap (Killswitch Engage & Nevermore) and as a result there is no lack of heaviness displayed across the recording.

Ladies and Gentleman of the Metal Legions I present to you the new Juggernauts. Still don't believe me? Go to your area concert calendar for I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Into Eternity going forward. Good job guys, you've got a winner here.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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