Sound — 7
Well... if you've been a long term Into Eternity fan, you see that a lot has changed about their music since the replacement of Chris Krall with Stu Block. As a matter of fact, with only one original (and the founding member, surprise, surprise) it's shocking to one that the band itself, muchless it's vision, didn't crumble into nothing-ness and fade out like most bands do. Now, I'm not going to lie; when I had a first listen to Scattering of the Ashes, it was like tasting a familiar candy only to recieve the foul taste of what the f--k. Honestly, I hated Stu Block. His voice wasn't inviting, nor did it appear to sound as inviting as Krall had done. In fact, I'd accepted him as a wanna-be, a simple ghost of the real monster. But keeping an open mind, and forcing myself to remember that they aren't the same and are bound to be different (not to mention that they could careless what I have to say), I sucked it up and listened. I liked it, but I didn't absolutely love it. Great, I thought, they're watered down. Another good and for me to have years of old songs and only a handful to show today. This was my exact thought, until I heard The Incurable Tragedy.
Lyrics — 7
Who isn't reluctant when they first hear a new CD? Me. I believe a true fan will definitely give new material from a beloved band a listen, and listen to it a couple of times more if it doesn't pick up as soon as it's played. And in being true to my hateful self, this was going to be one of those CDs until I listened to "Indignation" There was something in the lyrics, like they relly had a specific story to tell, (Fade away into the dark of the night/Soon will never feel the sun upon my face/ Lift away this burden that plagues me/ Indignation) and it was depressing, deep and dark, but unlike that "thirty year old man writing 16-year old-girl feelings into lyrics and then slapping them to nice background music" sort of way. I actually felt heavy. And was happy I started from the middle, because I found "Prelude to Woe" annoying, and when I first heard it, I was almost turned off from listening to the album period. After listening to all three of the title track's songs (yes three, can you believe it? My ignorant side quickly blurted out "who the f--k needs to get the main idea of something three times over? What are you, seven? The nerve!"), it didn't take long for me to realize they were writing about a disease that killed people they knew and/or loved, and that the dates next to the aforementioned songs were dates of deaths for three people.The Incurable Tragedy of September 21, 2006, was vague, but heart-wrenching. It scared me a bit. You can sense the fear of someone coming to terms with their eventual and soon death. Admit it: no one wants to die in a hospital, especially if they've been trapped in there repeatedly for long periods of time. You feel like your missing out on what used to be a burden of normal life. These feeling are also carried out in "Spent Years of Regret", in which the lyrics may message that one doesn't realize the time they're wasting trying to fix things they've done wrong until they realize that time is limited. Meanwhile, "Time Immemorial" both in sound and lyrics, took me back to "Buried in Oblivion/Black Sea of Agony".
Overall Impression — 9
Now, unlike their other albums, there is an actual plot in place of anecdotes of personal struggles. They're faster than before, that's for damn certain. And, for an album that is mainly focused on the hardships of cancer and infinite death, it was the first time I didn't roll my eyes and say "here we go again, sad, drippy, what the hell." The music actually made it's point without losing the audience in a blur of boredom or confusion. By the way, what first sounds annoying will become a part of the story and grow on you after a while. It's been a long time since I've listened to a band's new CD, and thought "Wow, gotta play that like ten more times" and not get sick of it tomorrow, next week, or in months time. The Incurable Tragedy has what previous CDs from Into Eternity and most band lack when making a record--longevity.(I only interrupt to say the CD I am mentioning is Buried in Oblivion. I dropped that album on it's ass and didn't listen to it again until what, last year? And even still I only listen to five songs.) Why write anything if people aren't going to be playing it repeatedly? talking about it? Being able to say to their friends "Sit down, man, you have to listen to this.". I haven't felt like this since the first time I picked up a Bjork track, or watched the video for "Where the Slime Live" They have also broken the code for writing a concept-based album without being drab or making jokes out of a serious situation. Again Something that many bands can't avoid doing. In fact giving you a recommendation of songs would kind of rob them of suspense. However, no excitement would be lost if you happened to give "Time Immemorial", "Spent Years of Regret","Tides of Blood" and "The Incurable Tragedy" trifecta a listen. Like I said before, you should probably skip "Prelude to Woe" or succumb to annoying guitar screeching for no reason. Or at least skip it until you get used to liking the rest of it. Maybe you'll love it. Seriously, I would never lend it to anyone. It's one of those CDs that you push on people to spend they're money on, whereas they could just easily download it for free (which I usually encourage--I mean, why should you spend almost twenty dollars of your money to be disappointed? Have you seen the economy today? No.) The artwork is distracting, and doesn't seem like it has much to do with anything the music is elating, and I hate any shade of reds and greens together, but do not let that deter you. It's sad, really that it took them so long to come out with something this good, but the timing is perfect, and you'd probably deem the end result worth all the losses.