Into Eternity
The Incurable Tragedy


2.5
average

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
December 15th, 2008 | 4 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While not an awful release, The Incurable Tragedy still proves the technical proficiency of Into Eternity, and leaves fans with hope that their next release will be a little less tragic and a little more innovative.

While Into Eternity’s fifth studio album may not be among giants in the concept album arena such as Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime or Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, it delivers exactly what it promises: an emotionally charged album revolving as tightly as possible around the theme of “the incurable tragedy,” which, if you haven’t figured out by Stu Block’s cry of “Terminal ca-an-cer!” in “The Incurable Tragedy I (September 21, 2006), is, in fact, cancer.

Now, it would be appropriate to give a little background at this point, since the date at the end of the first of three non-consecutive “The Incurable Tragedy” songs would seem more than a bit arbitrary, otherwise. The band’s motivation in making a cancer themed album were the cancer-related deaths of two brothers who had associated themselves closely with the band. Dave and Danny Stephenson both worked as merchandise dealers who dealt greatly with Into Eternity’s products and, in some ways, helped popularize them. The final date belongs to the death of Into Eternity guitarist Tim Roth’s own father, who had also been (surprise!) diagnosed with cancer.

So while the album may not stand out as an amazing concept album, that really should not hold it back from being a great album in the metal/metalcore/death metal/genericmyspacetitle genre. Because, when you think about it, it would be very, very complex to create a twelve track album which told the full story of the woe and suffering of not one, not two, but three individuals. And, in all honesty, the track and album length required to do that sort of thing would be far more befitting of a band such as Ayreon than of Into Eternity.

Mellow tones and piano work help to create a more mournful tone at points which really helps the album suck you into the depressing spiral that cancer is. It should be advised that this album is a downer, but really, if you were expecting a chaotic cover to cover headbanger when you heard that it was about cancer, you have quite a few issues.

Anyhow, we are given Into Eternity in their classic form with Tim Roth’s catchy guitar riffs and Stu Block’s utterly ridiculous voice. Of course, we don’t see the majestic bass work that graced “Dead or Dreaming” and the drum work here is about what’s expected – fast and furious. But for a band such as Into Eternity, this is nothing new.

Admittedly, some sections fall short, mostly choruses, such as the one for “Tides of Blood,” where Stu seems to whine a little too much in his singing, and in doing so, especially fails to point out the fear associated with their being “blood before the end.” However, he does unleash an equal amount of utterly amazing screams (one of which can be seen immediately after said chorus) and has a dazzling range which reaches from low growls (which, while not guttural get the point across) to high points which might make Rob Halford grin. After all, this is a band which covered “Painkiller” until only a year or so ago.

Roth’s guitar can get a little repetitive, too, which is a good thing in some ways and a bad thing in others. It’s good in that this is a concept album and it can often help relate tracks to each other (many tracks on “The Incurable Tragedy” begin with a similar riff). It’s bad in that, well, it’s repetitive, and no one likes that. But that’s why Into Eternity work well with a short song, short album equation. You don’t get to hear the same chorus and riff thirty times before the next song comes on. You’ll hear it a few times, and move on.

So while Into Eternity may not have created a modern masterpiece, they have managed to create an album which adequately conveys the horror of cancer in general while maintaining the established Into Eternity style. This album doesn’t really break any new ground for the group, but if you have enjoyed their previous albums, you almost certainly will like this one. And if you’re new to the band, it may not be their best album, but I’ve yet to dislike any one of their releases.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
OllieS
December 15th 2008


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Could have done with more detail on the music/songs and less background info (which did feel like ramble), but not bad for a first/second. Generally well written (Y)This Message Edited On 12.15.08

fireaboveicebelow
December 15th 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

what he said



by the way for future reference try not to post more than one review at a time so everyone before you gets fair coverageThis Message Edited On 12.15.08

AtomicWaste
Moderator
December 16th 2008


2865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

My apologies on the quickie double - this review was actually written back in September but the account I registered back then never seemed to get confirmed, so I just had it around and posted it today when I got off my ass and registered using another e-mail.



I wrote the other review in the hour after I had posted this and put it up as soon as I was done.



In any case, thanks for the tips. I'll try to push less background in future reviews, and while I did feel some was necessary, I agree that I went a bit overboard with it.

fireaboveicebelow
December 16th 2008


6832 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

no problems, welcome btw



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