Into Eternity - The Scattering Of Ashes
Century Media
Progressive Technical Heavy Thrash Metal
11 songs (41:19)
Release year: 2006
Into Eternity, Century Media
Reviewed by Kayla
Album of the month

Into Eternity is one of those bands for which assignment to a particular subgenre can prove a nearly impossible task. They delight in packing as much technical musicianship into each of their songs as they possibly can, and doing it in such a way that it’s the melodies that hit you in the face, with the technical skill following up and knocking you on your ass. Like their previous two albums, The Scattering Of Ashes is thick with melodies, harmonies and counter-harmonies, and peppered with catchy choruses and hooks that will not be dislodged from your brain.

Things begin fairly softly. As an intro, Novus Inceptum is so subtle as to be nearly nonexistent. Atmospheric isn’t quite the word for almost two minutes of muted rumblings and whooshing electronic noises overlaid with a soft, distorted voice reciting what sounds like a prayer. It isn’t memorable by any means, but neither is it offensive to the ears. It’s the musical equivalent of cool water, preparing the listener for the abundance of flavors that come next. It’s also the only real break on the album; even the one song that could be called a ballad, Surrounded By Night, is complex and much more challenging than your average heavy or power metal ballad. There’s lighter-lifting acoustic strumming, to be sure, but there’s nothing saccharine or cheesy about it. The song slowly builds its layers up until there’s clear, technical guitarwork and precise, varied drumming blending into a shifting, mutable whole.

That layering and mutation is what Into Eternity does best. It seems like there’s not a song on the album that relies on anything less than a dozen different melodies that somehow blend into something cohesive, one flowing into the next, bolstered by a bassline just as intricate as the guitars and topped off with Stu Block’s incredibly varied vocals. Most of the album is cleanly sung, divided between a ball-squeezing falsetto and a style that wouldn’t sound out of place on your average metalcore album, but adroitly avoids sounding adolescent or whiny. The choruses, of course, are all in the latter style, bolstering their already catchy nature. Block also uses two different growls, one relatively high-pitched and one lower, that add some power and provides a welcome counterweight to the high notes.

Such a multiplicity of vocal styles and the speed with which they switch would normally cause an album to feel bloated and overdone, but given the speed with which the melodies change, it works well. In Out, one of the standout tracks, we’re treated to an opening consisting of a flurry of blasting and a single, rolling riff that quickly gives way into something more deliberate, and some of Block’s low growling before he launches into an intense, staccato clean passage, another growl, and a flowing, clear melody for the chorus. Each of these elements is echoed throughout the song, making what could be a noodly, overly-technical wankfest into something with a clear pattern, though one thick enough that even after multiple listenings, you’ll still find new threads running through it.

The guitars have an interesting tone to them; crystal clear, with a slightly mechanical sheen that acts as sonic lubricant, letting each note come to the fore when its time comes. This is an utterly necessary characteristic; any mud or fuzz, any obscured notes would detract greatly from the song, as thickly packed as it is.

If the bastardization of genres doesn’t bother you, and you appreciate some truly enjoyable and catchy melodies in your music, this should be at the top of your listening priority list. Even if catchy choruses send you into anaphylactic shock, give The Scattering Of Ashes a chance; your ears will thank you, even if your immune system revolts.

Killing Songs :
Severe Emotional Distress, Nothing, Out, Eternal
Kayla quoted 93 / 100
Ken quoted 95 / 100
Adam quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Into Eternity that we have reviewed:
Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 92 / 100
Into Eternity - Buried in Oblivion reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Into Eternity - Dead Or Dreaming reviewed by Crims and quoted 88 / 100
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