Into Eternity

The Incurable Tragedy

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The vast majority of bands playing a melodic version of extreme metal (be it melodic death metal or symphonic black metal) have come from Europe -- the Scandinavian countries especially, although Germany, Poland, Holland, and the U.K. have all had their share of melodic/extreme bands. But Into Eternity are a Canadian melodic/extreme outfit with very European instincts, and those instincts continue to yield engaging results on 2008's The Incurable Tragedy. According to a bio that was sent out to the media with this 38-minute CD, the creation of The Incurable Tragedy was surrounded by a lot of sadness that occurred in a relatively short period of time; in addition to his mother's death, guitarist/singer Tim Roth lost two close friends and his father to cancer. So not surprisingly, this is a very dark album both musically and lyrically. It is also an impressively well-crafted album that successfully balances the melodic and the extreme; elements of death metal, progressive metal, power metal, thrash metal, and black metal come together with exciting results on a disc that is quite technical but not to the point of becoming math metal. The extreme vocals range from death metal's Cookie Monster growl to black metal's sinister rasp, and the clean vocals usually favor a high-pitched, glass-shattering wail along the lines of Rob Halford and King Diamond. Along the way, Into Eternity have -- like so many other extreme metal bands -- experienced numerous personnel changes; on The Incurable Tragedy, the Canadians' 2008 lineup consists of Roth, singer Stu Block, bassist/singer Troy Bleich, guitarist Justin Bender, and drummer Steve Bolognese. The revolving-door syndrome can easily cause a band to lose focus and deliver erratic, inconsistent, uneven albums, but despite all their lineup changes, Into Eternity manage to keep it together creatively on The Incurable Tragedy -- which is an excellent addition to their catalog.

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