Buried in Oblivion (Century Media)
by Eric Chon
Everybody’s a tough guy nowadays… Each new batch of metal bands seems to proclaim their tough-guy eligibility with angry, screaming vocals and constant mosh-pit breakdowns. And I dig it. A lot. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air to the (now dying) reign of nü metal, a “take it back” kind of attitude that was sorely needed.
But the bands are blending together. Chimaira, Shadows Fall, Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage… who’s who? Among all these heavy-hitters, who can break through the machismo and testosterone and deliver amazing metal without the steroids?
Enter Into Eternity. Their latest, Buried in Oblivion, shines like a beacon amongst all this darkness, championing lightning fast guitar work, blazing blast beats, and superior melodic harmonies intertwined with demonic growls. Into Eternity draws from a fathoms-deep well of inspiration and influences, and it clearly shows in their songwriting. Each song, while not Opeth-length, has diverse parts that remind us of classical music in structure, displaying amazing depth and versatility. Follow this up with some of the fastest dueling guitar and drumming I’ve heard in recent memory and your ears will smolder from the onslaught.
However, the sound can become overly complex in portions. At times, the layer upon layer of guitars and vocals cause the song to lose focus. Like they’re trying too hard to impress us. And as diverse as each song is, it seems as if those same disparate parts were written separately, and then combined later on.
But these are minor quibbles, especially with inclusion of a song like “Three Dimensional Aperture.” Here, the blazing guitars are slowed slightly, but the trade-off is well worth it. It’s positively old-school death metal with an amazing groove and some of the most impressive mixtures of death/clean vocals this side of the Pacific. It just might be my favorite on the album (and one of the best songs I’ve heard this year).
Into Eternity is an amazing band and Buried in Oblivion should solidify them at the forefront of technical metal. Among all the “stomp-stomp-scream” we’ve been getting, it’s nice to get some honest-to-goodness melodic death metal.