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Instrumentally, this album sounds like a much more refined and polished version of Into Eternity’s debut album. The vast majority of the songs featured are cleaner-sounding with less distortion, but still pack that raw, somewhat demo-like quality. The complexity has not changed much, especially with the drumming. It is quite repetitive and sounds nearly identical in each song, but it will only bother you if you pay way too much attention to it since it holds everything together very nicely. I'm not trying to say the drumming is bad in any way, the man is clearly very talented and keeps each song as tight as need be. It would be nice to see him shine through in a few more songs though. The bass sounds great which I really enjoyed. The electronic elements they add in build an insane amount of character for the song and are so hard to get out of your head, they are that good. The small upward synth scale they use in Sorrow is a prime example. The acoustic bits throughout the album have a lot of echo, yet ring through your head like you were destined to hear them. Most of the acoustics are played with the bass quite loud behind it which prepares you for the upcoming heavy riff or the next big transition. I find this album to be the halfway mark (although it technically is) between their first release and Buried in Oblivion. There are a lot more complete-sounding melodies here than the first, yet not so over the top and perfected as BiO.
There is very little harsh vocals, but when they seldom come into play, they kick ass. They have an extremely guttural, demonic sound. It sounds like a beast clinging to the cliffs in hell, screaming for its life before its inevitable slide down into the fire below. I don’t think of harsh vocals to be a mandatory thing on IE’s first two releases, and since they sound so different (obviously besides the fact they have different singers for BiO and onward) you really can’t compare them to any of their other releases. With that being said, the clean vocals by Tim Roth here sound similar to their first album, but with more passion and emotion. He is very unique in the way he sings but I feel concerned hearing him scream because it sounds like he is so determined to get the right pitch that he will ruin his vocal chords too fast. I have to give him credit though, he is the mastermind and a fucking genius that is and has one hell of a clean voice. The lyrics are going to impact you if you are either going through a tough time in your life or a man with a vast, expansive mind, these tracks are packed with such good quotable and memorable one liners such as "one more pill is one too many". They are always singing about different things which is a great way to keep listeners entertained and interested.
The thing with Into Eternity for me is that although a lot of their choruses seem very unfitting or forced in, it gives them a very distinct sound that separates them from nearly all other melodic death bands. Each chorus itself is also very, very memorable and different from the last. I cannot think of a single Into Eternity song where I hear the track name and I can’t play the chorus over in my head, they stick to you that much. The riffs and intros and also extremely memorable, as if you find them engraving themselves into your head upon the first play. These guys have a monstrous place in my heart.
Sometimes called the 'Dream Theater of Canada' by fans, Into Eternity are a clearly skilled metal group originating from the middle of the prairies. While not a typical place for a metal band to start up, they have since gained a fanbase that has flowed a bit into the mainstream of metal listeners. Despite certainly being a talented bunch however, Into Eternity seems to have a bit of a problem with making a good album from start to finish. While each song they write has some sort of interesting moment of technicality or dynamic to it, the music starts to lose it's effect when the same tricks are pulled out for every song, every time. Such is the case with the band's second album 'Dead Or Dreaming.' While being an exciting and energetic listen at first, it doesn't take long to realize that each song follows very similar patterns, melodies and riffs. Especially for a progressive act, that should send up red flags almost immediately.
Each track generally opens up with a heavy, downtuned riff before erupting into a chorus or some sort of songwriting archetype. While having song structure to progressive metal can often be a refreshing change from often overzealous epics and pretentiousness, things get pretty boring. After the fifth track 'Elysium Dream,' (the first half of the album has some pretty great moments) there is almost nothing new offered, except the same sort of song that's already been heard, with different sets of forgettable, cookie cutter 'despair' lyrics.
To the band's credit, they are very tight in terms of their performance, and had these songs been performed by a less capable ensemble, there would be nothing to look into 'Dead Or Dreaming' for. However, while it's evident that these metallers can play alot of other musicians into oblivion, the songwriting and overall feel of the album leaves far too much to be desired. While the first two listens or so can be very enjoyable, once the familiarity sinks in, there is very little to enjoy here.
Okay, before I go into detail in this review I would like to say that this album is a decent metalcore album, maybe even a decent album for fans of recent melodic death albums by bands such as In flames and Mendeed. What the album is not, in my opinion anyway, is progressive.
The harsh vocals on this album sound like almost every metalcore harsh vocalist that I can think of and the clean vocals are even worse, coming across as mixture of the guy from Nickelback and someone half decent.
Now, on to the music. Some of the riffs are actually quite heavy, and some parts of the album are good, the blastbeats in one of the songs for instance, but the problem is that these don't go on for very long and then everything falls apart. the bass is mostly inaudible on this album but every now and then you hear it doing nothing special. The drummer is clearly very good at what he does, his blastbeats are especially noteworthy, but his talent is wasted with this band.
Strangely enough the closest reference point that I can think of for this album is the band Echoes of eternity whose music is similar to Into eternity even if the vocals are not. Similarly Echoes of eternity attempt to say that they are progressive metal, when they are in fact a second rate gothic metal band just as Into eternity are in fact a metalcore/ melodic death band without even a hint of progressive metal to their sound.
So, in conclusion if you are a fan of modern commercial melodic death like (recent) In flames then you will probably love this album, if you like metalcore then it might be worth giving this album a chance too, but if you are looking for some real progressive death metal then you should look somewhere else as there is none to be found with Into eternity.
I never heard of these guys until i found a couple mp3's off this album on mp3.com a couple weeks before they came and played live here in my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was surprised that such a band of this quality came from Saskatchewan (the farming Province). Into Eternity is best described as technical metal with clean and death vocals. They are very unique in their delivery and at times comes off as sounding abit like Opeth and Iron Maiden. Isn't that an insane mix, well it's not always like that, they have enough diversity not to always sound like either of those bands. My only complaint about this album is the death vocals can tend to get abit on the annoying side (see Distant Pale Future). Other than that, Dead or Dreaming is expertally crafted with amazing musicianship from every member of the band. Seeing these guys live got me much more into their hybid style. Tim Roth, the lead guitarist is fucking amazing, this guy is doing death vocals while shedding a uber fast guitar solo thats near Jeff Loomis quality but not quite near Loomis's sheer talent. But you can see what i mean, these guys really know what they are doing. Take Elysium Dream for example, the intro is nice and peaceful yet melodic, and then they take you on a perilous journey through their inferno of catchy riffs and vocals. Cheesy or what? Did i mention this drummer is very fucking competent, as he does fit plenty of time changes into their songs. Plenty of diversity and thats what i like about a band. When they can switch it up, because consistentcy sucks, i don't want to hear the same song over and over. All these tracks deserve a mention and if they are coming in your area to play live, i highly suggest checking them out, they are one of the most enjoyable live bands out there. Cheers
p.s check out the panned drums, and the chick singer.
Best Tracks: Absolution of the Soul, Distant Pale Future, Shallow, Elysium Dream, Selling God, Dead or Dreaming, Cyber Messiah
Into Eternity hail from the mighty metal plains of Canada. Yea between BC and Ontario, there is so much metal it hurts. Ok sarcasm mode is off now. Seriously though, these guys are quite a surprise and I'm glad they ended up on a big label. They are influenced by many a bands and it shows, mostly Dream Theater and Death (it would seem).
The songs are a mix between progressive and death, with a bit from other genres thrown in the mix. The songs change often, either with singing and/or musically. The singing is mostly clean and is well done and then there is some growls/death/screams. A comparison to Opeth wouldn't be too far off, but the vocals aren't near as noteworthy as Mikeal's from opeth. Each member in this band is talented and they all get their chance to show off, though its the guitars that take the spotlight. The solos are bloody awesome, like in Distant Pale Future. Back to the vocals department, what makes this band interesting, is the use of 3 vocalists. There is the main clean vocals, with the backing vocals doing the death and screaming parts.
The songs are pretty unique and there are some similarities between all the songs, but not much. There is some songs that are more melody based, where as others are just fast and angry as hell, like Selling God. Overall, its a good listen from start to finish, as it changes pace often and keeps you interested. My only complaints would be that at times the screaming vocals are similar to mallcore bands, though this is only slightly and it doesn't happen often. The other downside is the production, which is slightly miffed in some parts. The most obvious part of this is the drumming, which at times can be heard easily, though at other times you can barely hear the double bass.
Aside from these small downsides, which are things that annoy ME, so they may not even be noticed by other people. This is a good cd and IE looks like they have a bright future. Standout tracks: Pale Distant Future, Unholy(fields of the dead, Cyber Messiah.