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Into the Moat - The Design CD (album) cover


Into the Moat

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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4 stars In short, it's a super-intense album, complex and chaotic to keep me happy while still being quite listenable.


Into the Moat create a very interesting experience with The Design. It's a very heavy, intense, slightly chaotic album, but far from mainstream and boring. Usually on a progressive / tech- death album, short song lengths are a warning of mediocrity or brutal-death-metal-isms, but in this case, the intensity that Into the Moat packs into each track would be hard to maintain for much longer without losing it's complexity. When I listen to this album, the aggressive attitude and vocals of the music makes it seem far more mainstream than it actually is, but the instrumentals tell a very different story. The guitar playing isn't quite as blistering as the Faceless or Hiroshima will Burn (yes, namedropping an obscure, Faceless-esque, extremely talented and VERY young band... sorry), but it's certainly quite fast and very well-executed. The three bands (The Faceless, Hiroshima Will Burn, and Into the Moat) go well in a playlist together. Hieronymus Bosch is also a good addition to this "playlist," in case you're like me and enjoy shuffling a few sort of similar artists into a playlist... Hieronymus Bosch adds a nice, mellower touch to the mix...

ANYWAYS, Some of the passages remind me of a much angrier Between the Buried and Me, spazzing between time signatures and crushingly heavy / progressive / jazzy passages. The first little progressive jog at the beginning of "Guardian" made me think of Cynic. Most of it is kind of chaotic, but sometimes I like that kind of thing. There are a few semi-cliche sounding breakdowns, like in "Dead Before I Stray," but they quickly move on into something more interesting.

Though nothing really stands out as incredible and unique, it's overall a very solid album. Very metal, very aggressive and slightly angsty, but quite technical, complex, and progressive. Some of the transitions are a little abrupt and remind you that this is a debut full-length from the band (i.e. the intro to "Prologue" or the ending of "None Shall Pass"), but for the most part, it's well crafted and well executed.

I really wish I could give it about 3.5 stars, but 3 seems like way too low a score given how much I enjoy this album, so 4 stars it is.

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Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Review Permalink

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