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Into Eternity: The Incurable Tragedy

Sometimes, as strange as it may sound, tragedy inspires creativity. Such seems to be the case with the latest release from Canada's Into Eternity, one of the brightest stars on the progressive extreme metal landscape. In the last two years, bandleader, songwriter, and guitarist Tim Roth lost his mother, and then later on, two of his best friends, both brothers, died from cancer within two months of each other. Many would have crumbled under the weight of such loss, but Roth was able to move on, digging down deep and using his grief and anger to come up with the concept for The Incurable Tragedy, an epic technical metal extravaganza that runs the gamut of all the human emotions that one goes through in a situation like Roth dealt with over the last two years.

Though shorter than some of the past Into Eternity albums, it's no less spectacular and perhaps this concept album is better suited for a less lengthy, more direct approach. Instrumentally, the guys are blazing as always, Roth and Justin Bender ripping some insane guitar harmonies on the complex mind-bender "Diagnosis Terminal", while drummer Steve Bolognese and bassist Troy Bleich provide the intricate rhythms. Despite all the wild instrumental interplay that has seen the band's musical talents continually grow (all the touring with bands like Symphony X, Dream Theater, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Opeth, Megdeth, and Dark Tranquility has obviously paid off), the thing that grabs you the most here, are the multi-faceted vocal dynamics. Stu Block has developed into one of the most impressive singer in extreme metal, and his wide assortment of raging, Halford-ish wails, black metal screams, death metal growls, and melodic clean passages, is wonderfully on display throughout this CD. Just listen to his gorgeous melodic voice on "The Incurable Tragedy I (September 21, 2006)", or his assortment of extreme metal styles on "Tides of Blood", showing his great versatility. Of course, having the superb backing vocals from Roth and Bleich also helps, as both of these guys also are able to mix in solid extreme styles as well as clean vocals depending on what the songs need. All three turn in fine performances on the excellent "Indignation", one of the CD's strongest cuts, and a perfect example of how Into Eternity combines complex, technical progressive metal, death metal, varied vocal styles, lots of melody, and a compelling story.

In the end, The Incurable Tragedy is gripping stuff, especially from a concept/storyline perspective, but also the album grabs you by the throat musically as well, delivering a statement that Into Eternity are now ready to play with the big boys, even though for many of us they have already been there for a few years now.

Easily one of the best releases of 2008 folks-a concept album of epic proportions that carries a message that is totally relevent in this day and age.

Track Listing
1. Prelude To Woe
2. Tides of Blood
3. Spent Years of Regret
4. Symptoms
5. Diagnosis Terminal
6. The Incurable Tragedy I (September 21, 2006)
7. Indignation
8. Time Immemorial
9. The Incurable Tragedy II (November 10, 2006)
10. A Black Light Ending
11. One Funeral Hymn For Three
12. The Incurable Tragedy III (December 15, 2006)

Added: September 4th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4474
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Into Eternity: The Incurable Tragedy
Posted by Scott Jessup, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-09-04 06:32:45
My Score:

The first time I heard Into Eternity, that must have been at least six years ago, I was hooked with their style of progressive metal. So of course a new album from them was a must have and after many listens I have to say this is easily one of the most impressive releases this year. Tim Roth has suffered through great tragedy in recent years and has taken his experiences to come up with the concept album The Incurable Tragedy.

What starts out as a calm instrumental "Prelude To Woe" erupts into a full on, all instruments on fire metal storm with new drummer Steve Bolognese providing a furious punch with his kick pedals. That familiar guitar sound comes through followed by a screaming Stu Block and it's on, so hold on for the ride. There are some calmer moments on The Incurable Tragedy as the album unfolds and the story is told, just before letting loose again. For a drummer, playing this sort of music isn't easy, not only is it quite technical but due to the tempo very physical, but Steve Bolognese doesn't have a problem. I read an article not long ago comparing the fitness of drummers to that of athletes and it's no wonder, given what level some have to push their limbs to. Steve, along with the very capable bass player Troy Bleich, gives the pulse to this beast. Tim Roth does a fine job on backing vocals and along with Justin Bender they dish out some memorable guitar work. Stu Block sings impressively like someone with multiple vocalists trapped in one body changing styles back and fourth as required.

Into Eternity deserve people's attention- this is a band with immense talent and to ignore them means missing out on some great metal. The Incurable Tragedy is one album sure to feature in many best of lists for 2008.

» Reader Comments:

Into Eternity: The Incurable Tragedy
Posted by Justin Time on 2008-09-08 13:16:23
My Score:

The band takes a step back with this cd. The arrangements just don't come into realization and the guitar solo's by Roth are the same scale running that have not sounded impressive since the shred genre began. They (solo's) also suffer from bad timing and a punch in kind of ethic, creating the overall effect of being nothing more than an obligatory overdub, more than a musical enhancement or statement. He is not a schooled guitarist and that is a MAJOR problem when you are trying to be identified as "Death/Prog." There has to be someone in the band who really knows their stuff and can relate it to those whom have not the benefit of a musical education. New guitarist Justin Bender provides some better leads and helps out a little with the Pro Tools editing and it is my hope that he can provide much needed assistance in the song development dept. That is, if he has those tools at his disposal because Roth is over his head and out of ideas. You can't keep knicking those late period Death/Control Denied riffs forever, can you?

The singing could be construed as "over the top" by some because of the extreme range of Stu Block, but being born and bred on 80's extremes made this a non-concen for this writer. Check out the band Outworld for something that may cross the line in that dept.

Drumming is a simple issue. I prefer Austin.

The production of the disc was handled by Grant Hall (mastered, as well) and John Gasparic. The sound is very organic and has more dynamic range than almost any other metal recording I have heard this year, I think. However, this kind of production will reveal flaws much easier and that works against this band, in particular. Alittle more bass response may have helped smooth some of the edges. For those more together, the production would be very nice!

This band needs: to take a break, build a solid relationship with each other, write one song at a time and have it critiqued by a musicologist.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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