INTO THE MOAT – The Design

INTO THE MOAT - The Design


Metal Blade
Release date: March 8, 2005

User Review
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Many a band have been said to play “technical” Metal. Even more bands have made music that’s “brutal” in some way or another. Dream Theater, Watchtower, Psycotic Waltz, Mayhem, Emperor, and Cannibal Corpse are randomly selected examples of one or both of the aforementioned terms.

Mix those bands together, add some Jazz and 70s Progressive Rock, turn the speed up even further, and you sort of have the music of the American college band Into The Moat. Yep, the guys met at high school, and judging from the band photos, they are barely in their twenties. Still, they play the most insanely technical, sickly brutal, and inhumanly intricate music you may have ever heard.

The entire band – consisting of Matthew Gossman on drums, Kit Wray and Rob Shaffer on guitars, Earl Ruwell IV (what a name!) on some very cool hardcore/growling vocals, and Joshua Tiel on bass – lay down some pretty awesome performances, and their technical level is nothing but impressive.

It is very difficult to pick out tracks that are better than others here, as the album probably should be taken in as a whole. Most riffs (and it’s often two or three riffs going on at the same time) last no more than 5 seconds, and it’s a mystery how the band can remember these songs from day to day, and even more of a mystery how they manage to play them live.

“Dead Before I Stray” stands out as a highlight with it’s chunky guitars, as well as “None Shall Pass,” with its clever use of two-hand tapping and a very Death Metal sound, and “Fortitudine,” which actually features some rather melodic, minor scale riffing.

The production, courtesy of a Mr. Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel), suits the music perfectly, as it is clinical enough to let all the elements come through while still retaining enough brutality and dirtiness.

There’s really nothing more to say. This album is definitely something radically different from what most Metalheads out there consume on a daily basis, and it is highly recommended … everyone should treat themselves to such a sickening experience from time to time.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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