Welcome back to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. Today we celebrate the 30th TBT with a band from our neighbors to the north.
INTO ETERNITY'S BURIED IN OBLIVION
Release Date: 2004
Record Label: Century Media
Buried in Oblivion is Into Eternity's third studio album, and it embraces some of the best qualities the band has to offer. One of the stand-out hallmarks of the band is Tim Roth's soaring and distinctive vocal tone and on Buried in Oblivion, those clean vocals find plenty of catchy hooks to live in. There are a variety of metal styles that blend together on this record in such a successful way. The opening track, "Splintered Visions", starts off with a super clean and tight progressive solo:
The song, and the whole album, is driven by straight-forward, unflinching melody. I think that's what makes Into Eternity such a remarkable band. Their creative musicianship results in making effective, interesting, melodious lines that serve as the backbone for all other elements of the band to play within.
Into Eternity was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in the early 90's. Tim Roth, founder, is still playing and singing in the band. Since the band's inception, the member line-up has seen quite a few shakeups and changes. Many often refer to the Stu Block era of Into Eternity, who provided additional vocals for the band for about 8 years after the release of Buried in Oblivion. Block has since moved on to perform lead vocals for Iced Earth, but not before recording several successful albums with Into Eternity including the notable 2006 effort The Scattering of Ashes. One of the musicians that recorded on and toured with Buried in Oblivion has since tragically passed away. Guitarist and back-up vocalist Rob Doherty died at the young age of 32. Amanda Kiernan joined up in 2012 and, alongside Roth, is their current lead singer.
Into Eternity have toured with damn near everyone including acts such as Megadeth, Hammerfall, Edguy, Startovarius, Amorphis, Hate Eternal, Dream Theater, and Opeth (to name just a few). Their popularity is undoubtedly due to their talent and work ethic. Critics of Buried in Oblivion have specifically accused of the album as being "busy and overtly jarring" and "instrumental glory-hogging", but that didn't stop Dave Mustaine from handpicking Into Eternity for the 2006 super-tour Gigantour. Further, I don't find either observation to ring particularly true for Buried in Oblivion. The guitar solos are well-balanced and add an appealing individualism to the tone to the album. Check out my favorite track from the album "Beginning of the End":
The driving melody supports and highlights the intricacies of the drumming and the growly vocals are introduced at just the right times to give the song a growing momentum. "Beginning of the End" is a phenomenal track and embodies progressive, technical elements as well as the fluidity of harmony. The result is a catchy and memorable song.
If you're not a fan of metal, you won't like this album. Some solos are unapologetically progressive, and the unusual time signatures may come off as abrupt if you're not used to listening to them. For technical fans, you'll appreciate the incorporation of odd time signatures as flares of talent, and Buried in Oblivion certainly doesn't rely on these elements to create a theme or to alone generate interest. Into Eternity toured with Dream Theater, but they're not trying to include 2,305 signature changes like them.
If you are a fan of metal, which you should be if you're reading this, this album should be a staple in your collection (especially if you're a progressive death fan). Buried in Oblivion is appealing to listen to and executes a fresh-take on the depths of melodic death metal. Here's fan-favorite off of the album, "Spiraling into Depression":
The song was featured on the soundtrack for Alone in the Dark, an incredibly poorly-rated 2005 movie starring Christian Slater that happens to have an astoundingly metal-driven soundtrack. Seriously, check the track-listing out here at Amazon.com. Rarely do you find such bands featured in major motion pictures. Unfortunately, the official Century Media Records music video for this song is atrocious. I have seen Into Eternity in concert for Buried in Oblivion and I can vouch that they did not sound like this:
Century Media – why would you keep this up? It's bad for a bootleg, never mind an official video.
Poor choice in 'official' music videos aside, if you aren't convinced that you should listen to Buried in Oblivion, or Into Eternity yet, than consider this: Tim Roth has a YouTube channel where he teaches fans how to play his music. If that doesn't warm your black heart, than I don't know what will. Here's a clip of Roth teaching a song off of The Scattering of Ashes called "Timeless Winter":
He's so nice and approachable, and it's super cool that he takes the time to be so relatable to fans.
Buried in Oblivion isn't Into Eternity's only good album, but it is one that marks their transition into their most memorable elements as a band. I think it's more rare than not to find an album that blends technicality with melodic appeal in such a successful way. If you're looking to get into them, this is a great place to start.