Into Eternity - _The Scattering of Ashes_
(Century Media, 2006)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (8.5 out of 10)
The Canadian quartet that is Into Eternity had already warranted my attention with their second release _Dead or Dreaming_ and impressed me with the brilliant follow up _Buried in Oblivion_. With a revamped line-up and a new singer, they manage to progress and expand on their technical abilities and produce an album of whirlwind fast melodic metal that spans several genres.

Into Eternity play a mixture of extremely technical metal with a concoction of death, thrash and progressive elements that defy categorization. Think Dream Theater on a death twist. On opener "Severe Emotional Distress", which is probably the most memorable and catchy song of the album, the band offers the full range of their repertoire, with a constant barrage of guitar rhythms and a solo that sticks to the mind. _The Scattering of Ashes_ is a surprisingly hard hitting and intense album, with constant solos and a variety of vocals ranging from harsh death to clean and even Halford-like wails at points. The rhythm section of bass and drums follows the lead guitars, filling in and supporting the onslaught.

With a crystal clear production, the music is a bit tighter this time around compared to the previous release. The songs flow into one another and all follow similar structures and patterns. Perhaps the only issue I can see with this is that there are no clear highlights in the songs, except for the individual solos that paint each one, giving an individual hue and an identity to the songs. Thankfully the album is on the short side, clocking in around the 41 minute mark, so by no means does it get repetitive or boring. There is a change of tempo towards the middle of the second half, mellowing down in "Surrounded by Night", which provides the listener with a welcome break to the intensity.

I wouldn't want to compare Into Eternity with any other bands, as they are individual enough to stand on their own ground. Some might get a tad annoyed by the more wail-like vocals, but personally I think they fit the music nicely and have their part in each song they feature in. With supreme technical ability and plenty of songwriting skill, my only wish for their next album is a bit more variety in their songs and tempo. Otherwise, I am sure _The Scattering of Ashes_ will please even the most demanding listener.


(article published 14/10/2006)

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