Into Eternity – The Incurable Tragedy (Century Media Records)

Friday, 15th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

The now very-ubiquitous Into Eternity continue to steadily climb the ladder, going against the grain with a brand of cerebral and uncanny metal that is this close to catching on. 2006’s The Scattering of Ashes got plenty of airtime all over the place, as did the band’s ugly mugs while on tour with everyone from Megadeth to The Haunted, so the ramp-up to The Incurable Tragedy is immense, suffice it to say.

A concept album detailing the tragic death of guitarist/mainman Tim Roth’s father and two best friends, The Incurable Tragedy is perhaps the most palpable and aggressive IE album to date. Not sure if the band’s most stable lineup in years had anything to do with this, but it appears Roth and co. have finally exploited the genius extreme prog metal template they’ve been tinkering with for years.

That exploitation is on full display during the frenzied opener “Tides of Blood” where singer Stu Block screams to the heavens and then some. Just nipping at the heels of bad taste with his falsetto, Block’s range is mammoth, but even better are his vocal melodies which are just fantastic on “Diagnosis Terminal” and “A Black Light Ending.”

New levels of aggression are found on the throttling “Spent Years of Regret” and urgent instrumental “Symptoms,” while a trio of piano-laden instrumentals all under “The Incurable Tragedy” banner break up the album and gives the storyline an added feel of depth and humanity. Especially poignant is “The Incurable Tragedy III (December 15, 2007)” which is simply a piano-drenched outro balanced out with some truly depressing guitar harmonies.

With concept albums no longer being a unique commodity, it takes a forward-thinking act like Into Eternity to conjure up something instantly striking, with a melodic intensity that cannot be denied. Now veritable masters of extreme metal with clean vocals, it is now the duty of the metal public to finally latch onto these Canucks full-bore, or face the reality of missing the boat on what is quickly becoming an extreme prog metal institution.

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