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Tracklist: 1. Torn 5:33 2. Sorrow 3:50 3. Left Behind 3:16 4. The Modern Day 4:54 5. A Frozen Escape 3:51 6. Behind the Disguise 4:16 7. Holding Into Emptiness 4:53 8. Into Eternity 4:07 9. Speak Of the Dead 3:58 10. Silence Through Virtue 4:50 Line-up: Tim Roth - lead vocals, guitar Daniel Nargang - guitar Chris Mc-Douglas - keyboards Jim Austin - drums, vocals Scott Krall - bass, vocals All songs written, arranged & performed by Into Eternity. All lyrics written by Tim Roth. Produced by Into Eternity and Grant Hall. Recorded and mixed by Grant Hall May to October '98 at "Touchwood" studios, Regina, SK, Canada. Mastered by Grant Hall and Into Eternity in 1999.
Prologue. Judging from the fact that all the three first albums, released by the Dutch "DVS" recording company, contain musical material that sounds heavy and interesting, I can guess that the label's strategy is mainly based on the work with performers of the Progressive Metal camp. Of course, it's too early to look into the label's future, though the first steps (stages, I hope so) that DVS took, look promising. Just lately, I was complaining to myself that, having a lot of stuff of the Classic (Art-Rock) Progressive genre, I miss on good Jazz-Fusion and Prog-Metal. Thank God! A few days ago I received three CDs from the US' "Buckyball Records" (which, being formed by one of the Brand X members, became a home-label for all the four members of the latest / current line-up of this British Jazz-Fusion Legend, apart from others), and yesterday I found the same number of "heavy" CDs in a package from "DVS". Accidentally, I started reviewing the DVS ProGductions with the debut album of Canadian band Into Eternity, though this is the label's second release. If it's always too early to look into even the nearest future, it can't be too late to return to any material thing from the past if that thing is near you and you're alive at the moment (of the return to it).
The Album. After a few listens to the album I've read a musical horoscope of it, though, sometimes it reminds me of horror-scope. All the ten songs that feature Into Eternity's self-titled debut album were, on the whole, composed and performed within the frame of united stylistic sphere. This is the first favourable aspect, though an injurious effect, which an old star system Thrash influences on a new entity, decreases, to a certain extent, the positive qualities of said aspect. The influence of the Eighth House (of Death), being directed straight to a new entity, can just kill it like a Scorpio (who lives in that House), but fortunately, the beam of Death's rays can't breach the metallic armour of Thrash, so just a few separate rays of Death penetrated deep into the entity, whose actual intention is to penetrate Into Eternity. The latter is the hardest way of all conceivably hard ways, though, but using an opposition of two old systems with skill, it's possible to penetrate into Earthly Prog-Metal-heads, and there are thousands of them all over the world. So, playing quite an intriguing amalgam of moderately complex traditional Progressive Metal, fast Techno-Thrash and some tricks typical for Death-Metal, already on the debut album, these brave Canadian music warriors can at least believe in the band's radiant future, especially since most of the premises for it are created on their debut album. More or less regular changes of high-speed thrashing themes with slow and brooding ones and others, a lot of the mid-long fast guitar solos and just a couple yet incredibly long and tasteful keyboard and guitar solos, as if running against each other (on Speak Of the Dead) make 'Into Eternity' one of the most noticeable Prog-Metal albums of the year. At the first listen, it seems that although Tim Roth uses his vocal parts to good effect, he does it in as if a laid-back sort of way to all the instrumental battles (while death-ish roars of one of the two additional vocalists always spoils Tim's meditative singing in time). Actually, this obvious contrast between aggressive instrumental structures and kind of melancholic vocals is one of the album's trumps. However, all unexpected invasions of such soft and touching things as beautiful passages of the acoustic guitar (as intros to Sorrow and Into Eternity itself and diverse, brilliant interplays between two acoustic guitars in the middle of the same title-track), as well as short yet bright plays of keyboards here and there on each of the songs, I find the most impressive episodes on "Into Eternity". There are also two counterpoints on the album - the iron-heavy, totally hard-edged and fast Torn and a nice Prog-ballad A Frozen Escape, full not only of calm vocals, but also of wonderful roulades of the acoustic guitar, especially in the middle, instrumental part of the song.
Summary. More interesting than any of your typical Neo Prog-Metal albums, slightly less complex than most of your typical Classic Prog-Metal albums, "Into Eternity" is a strong and very promising debut. I think the band can reach the cult status, most likely, already in the near future.
VM. August 29, 2001
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