Released: 2002, Century Media Records
So you thought Children of Bodom was the only band crossing the black/power metal boundaries, or at least the band that did it the best? Well Into Eternity, who sound nothing like CoB, can be seen as another of these genre-defying bands. Of course they are metal, but you can’t fit them into one niche as they contain too much for but one style of metal. Words like innovative and creative truly apply here. Are you someone who hasn’t yet heard this band? They were reviewed right in these hallowed pages some 2 years ago when they were and indie band. The band has progressed very nicely along in those two years. Seems like someone was listening to them (DVS Records) because now they have been licensed to Century Media from DVS Records. Another cool fact is that this band is from Saskatchewan Canada! Not just the province of wheat, the prairies are also home to a new crop of evil in the form of Into Eternity’s new harvest entitled DEAD OR DREAMING.
As mentioned above, this band encompasses a lot of styles. A progressive, melodic and technical metal surface encapsulates the traces of thrash, death, power, and black metal. If you’ve heard the band Damn the Machine (ex-Megadeth Chris Poland’s band from 1993) and you can imagine a much heavier version incorporating the likes of Cynic and Death for certain sections you might just BEGIN to understand what this band is about. The band is progressive, but it’s not overly complex to the point of making it boring. Many bands who do something prog end up sounding less heavy…not the case here at all. This is like “brutal prog metal” or some other such unclassifiable mixture.
As you’ll notice from the band line-up, Into Eternity have a lot going on in the way of vocals. Unsurprisingly, this provides the band with perhaps its greatest strength. Clean melodic singing mixed in with blackened screams and occasional guttural growls really mix things up. The split of vocal styles differ for each song and within songs. The split might be 70% melodic singing and 40% black/death.
The shining star of this album for me is a song I heard on their demo from 2000. That is, “Unholy (fields of the dead).” The chorus on this one will twist and burn its way into your mind and reverberate long after the song has ended. It’s that catchy! It also doesn’t hurt that the chorus also has a vocal style that reminds me of Sebastian Bach – one of the best metal (yes I said METAL) singers ever. “Elysium Dream” has some very well thought out vocal melodies. Often I wonder how did they come up with a vocal melody so catchy over such an odd? The Nightwish styled vocals ½ way through “Elysium Dream” adds a nice touch on this one. The occasional tormented blackened screams really spice this up as well. In places the vocals are doubled and harmonies emerge. There’s also no shortage of harmonies on the track “Shallow” which also has some very nice lead guitar playing, drumming and bass playing. All these guys are totally top-notch musicians. If you are looking for a more brutalizing song, look no further than “Selling God.” There are near blast beat tempos in places and very heavy vocals. This song itself is pretty much a death metal track. Every song on the CD has something in it that impressed me and you could easily write a page on each song if you wanted to over analyze things.
DEAD OR DREAMING is definitely going onto my top list of CD’s for 2002. Don’t be surprised if this band becomes a very common name in the metal world, and for a change these guys 100% deserve it. If you like melodic and technical metal yet love a dose of viciousness, you have got to check out Into Eternity IMMEDIATELY!!!