Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Review: Into Eternity, "Buried in Oblivion"

Into Eternity first wowed me with their 2002 release "Dead or Dreaming." Its high-powered blend of progressive and extreme metal was surprising and refreshing.

The Canadian quintet returns with a much more ambitious offering for their official Century Media debut. "Dead or Dreaming" was all about the hooks, focusing on the progressive side and melodies that stick with the listener. There's nothing on this album that I'll hum for weeks like "Absolution of the Soul" from the last record, but the songs here are much more complex and engaging.

The focus on "Buried In Oblivion" is fully on the heavier side of the band, even veering a bit into the black metal realm on songs like the outstanding "Dimensional Aperture" and "Beginning of the End."

The band also embraces its Canadian roots. "Point of Uncertainty" sounds so much like Canadian thrash legends Annihilator that I had to check the liner notes to make sure Jeff Waters hadn't joined.

For those who prefer the progressive side of the band, there's a treat in the companion pieces "Buried in Oblivion" and "Black Sea of Agony." The first is a soft song with some nice orchestrations which leads perfectly into the second song, which would have been right at home on "Dead or Dreaming." There's some very nice vocal play on this album between Chris Krall and Tim Roth with interesting swaps and harmonies. The clean vocals sound at times like Geddy Lee and at others like a young Geoff Tate and the death vocals run the gamut from shrieks to rumbling growls.

With this album, Into Eternity shows that it has more to offer than a few catchy hooks. They're definitely a band to watch.

Get "Buried in Oblivion."

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