Regina metal band Into Eternity to debut new lead singer at Manitoba Metalfest

The first picture of Into Eternity featuring new lead singer Amanda Kiernan of Edmonton. Left to right, the band is Tim Roth, Justin Bender, Kiernan, Bryan Newbury and Troy Bleich. Supplied

Acclaimed progressive thrash metal band Into Eternity will play its first show with new lead singer Amanda Kiernan at the Manitoba Metalfest this weekend.

The Regina-based five-piece will perform at the Zoo on Friday, Feb. 24. Kiernan joined the band after its lead singer, Stu Block, was recruited to handle vocal duties in Iced Earth.

Block is still a part of Into Eternity, but Kiernan will handle lead vocals at live shows while Block is on tour with Iced Earth.

“Things are going really smooth (with Amanda),” Into Eternity co-founder and guitarist Tim Roth says by phone before a band practice. “She (has) overtones to her voice and a bit of a rasp, but she can hit all of the high notes.”

“She’s a great girl,” Roth adds. “A lot of fun.”

Rounded out by guitarist Justin Bender, bassist Troy Bleich and drummer Bryan Newbury, Into Eternity released a new single, Fukushima, on Feb. 15. Block sings on the track, which was recorded before Kiernan joined the band.

Roth says he’s still not sure when the band’s next full-length will come out. Into Eternity’s last album, The Incurable Tragedy, was released in 2008 by Century Media.

“We’ve actually already recorded five new songs - Stu recorded all those demos as well with all the harmonies and vocals, and we have everything all worked out, but now he’s on tour with Iced Earth. So, it will have to be on hold until he gets back in April and then can lay down his parts, if he’s still willing to do it. I guess that’s more of a (question for) Stu Block, but we want him to finish (recording with us).”

Fukushima is a six-minute tour de force that recounts the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that followed the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011.

According to Roth, it’s a hopeful song about overcoming tragedy.

“I think it’s best just to stay away from our usual (themes of) death and despair,” says Roth, who often has the TV on when he writes music and was inundated with Fukushima footage on CNN after the disaster. “This is something that really happened, and I saw it (on TV) every day, so I just wrote about what I saw.”

Even though Block appears on the new song, Roth thinks it would be great to have Kiernan contribute background vocals or the occasional verse to future Into Eternity recordings.

But only time will tell how the band’s next record takes shape. In the meantime, local record label War on Music will be releasing three of Into Eternity’s albums on vinyl. The band is also excited to perform at the Manitoba Metalfest.

“We can’t wait to get back to Winnipeg,” Roth says. “I love playing Manitoba. It’s going to be great.”

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Published in Volume 66, Number 20 of The Uniter (February 22, 2012)

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