Into Eternity - _Buried in Oblivion_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (
It's been well over a decade, but death metal is growing up, and regardless of whether or not you think that's a bad thing, the sizeable influx of quality records from the genre -- particularly toward the close of last year -- prove that the days of the "shin" bands are quickly giving way to a newer, more lethal beast. Only one obstacle could potentially upset this rapid rise to prominence, as more and more bands rely on speed and the blast beat as the driving force to everything they do, which begs the question: how long before it all turns as stale as yesterday's underwear? It's heartening therefore to see bands like Canada's Into Eternity display the talent and gumption to fuse diverse elements into their barbaric incantations, and while their combination of Floridian death and progressive power metal may not seem instantly appealing on paper, in practice it is superb. Hinting at Iron Maiden and Dream Theatre at times, Deicide and Morbid Angel at others, Into Eternity incorporate their influences into a seamless alchemy that owes as much to speed as it does to dynamic, ultra-technical leads and mid-tempo neck-snapping riffs. "Beginning of the End" and "Black Sea of Agony" stand out as immediate favourites on an overall superb package, which is only slightly let down at times by a production job that is a tad thin on the guitars and allows the snare drum to sound tinny. Elsewhere, "Three Dimensional Aperture" shows off one of the most infectious vocal hooks you're likely to come across this year -- all of which helps make _Buried in Oblivion_ an inspiring and refreshing alternative to the pedal-to-the-floor standard.
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