Vera : This album spans ten years history in the career of Canadian Into Eternity, once starting in 1997 and earlier they released five studio albums. When we welcomed Stu Block in 2011 as new vocalist of Iced Earth, we knew he had released the albums ‘The Scattering Of Ashes’ and ‘The Incurable Tragedy’ with Into Eternity before. Naturally he got so busy with that band the next years, that full engagement for Into Eternity became impossible. They had to look for replacement behind the microphone. Strangely enough it turned into a female vocalist. Amanda Keirnan (she also said farewell to her former band The Order Of Chaos) was initially recruited as ‘tour vocalist only’, but now she seems to be permanently hired. In the meantime the band also had to deal with a change behind the drums and the unexpected death of Rob Doherty and even though the band played live from time to time, ten years passed by before ‘The Sirens’ could be independently released. We really admire moving spirit of the band Tim Roth for his perseverance!
You will have to get used to the vocals, especially because Amanda often goes into harsh screams. That might work in a live situation, on a studio album we fortunately also have the male clean vocals of Tim Roth and in some of the songs we luckily hear that Amanda has a good voice when singing clean too. Music-wise this album is tight and virtuoso stuff again. Progressive patterns are launched at you at maximum velocity, the rhythm section gets no rest at all and they are playing at top notch level. The songs are long and due to many tempo changes, ‘The Sirens’ demands several spins to get into it. The album kicks off with two energetic pieces of music of seven and eight minutes length (that is the average length of the songs on this album). ‘The Sirens’, title track, has a calm beginning with piano and strings, but it continues in a tempestuous manner with restless progressive tour de forces on guitars, inventive bass runs and Amanda who screams her lungs out. In ‘The Fringes Of Psychosis’ one can hear more clean vocals of our lady, once again chock-full hectic music with eminent guitar skills (guest appearance Glen Drover). Years ago Into Eternity released two singles as new work. Both are on the album - ‘Sandstorm’ (2012) and ‘Fukushima’( 2011) – and include guest vocals of Stu Block as well as Rob Doherty (also heavy growls). As usual the foundation of the music is traditional heavy metal, but injected with more extreme elements from thrash, death and progressive metal. A dizzy-making song like ‘This Frozen Hell’ leaves you breathless, but right after that comes the semi ballad ‘Nowhere Near’. It only covers us with fast arpeggios towards the end. The song with most grunts and harsh vocals happens to be ‘Devoured By Sarcopenia’, but rounding off they do with the beautiful, calm ‘Scattering Of The Ashes Pt. 2’ with acoustic guitars, strings and sensitive vocals. We are glad that Into Eternity is back! Let us hope it remains that way, since guitarist Justin Bender left the band right after finishing this record with mix and mastering. But they already have replacement. Release date 03/08.