Into the Moat
The Campaign

Maybe it’s the five year wait, maybe it’s the fact I’ve listened to soooo much similar styled noisy, lurching, techy mathcore in the last 4 years, maybe I’ve just turned into a miserable, jaded old fuck. I’m not sure what it is, but after being blown away by 2005s The Design, the follow up, The Campaign, the war based concept album by Into the Moat, even with its gnarly Erik Rutan and Alan Douches production/mastering effort, just isn’t having the expected effect on me.

Everything is here for fans of Calculating Infinity and the host of like minded tech metal/mathcore albums; choppy, spazzy chaotic riffs, deep abusive vocals (as opposed to grating shrieks), and a few jazzy injections, all played with incredible skill and effort and rendered far more menacing by the aforementioned production. The songs are even fully developed and fleshed out, ranging up to 8 minutes in length, but I can’t help the feeling I got with Embrace the End’s Ley Lines: Stunning debut, with a steady follow up that came out about 3 years too late.

That’s not too say the album isn’t good, in fact I’m pretty sure it’s one of the better recent offering of the genre, its just that I’m not feeling it right now, and I’ve sat on this album since its release, waiting for it to click. Also, there’s this sense of restraint on the material that’s a benefit and a boon. On one hand, rangy (for the genre) tracks like “Advocate v Activist”, “Law of Conservation” and “The Hermit”, mix some absolutely massive, controlled heaves and lurches amid the expected scattershot chaos, but they come across as tentative or tame when compared to the sheer tenacity of Architects (The Black Market Activities band not the UK metalcore act) or The Boy Will Drown. But on the other hand, the control does give you a chance to fully absorb the impressive heft, rather than it simply rattle your teeth for 20 minutes. It’s a double edged sword of sorts.

I should like The Campaign more than I do as it seems to do everything right: its tangibly heavy and more menacing than many of their peers, and isn’t driving me insane like the recent Psyopus, but I can’t shake the feeling that the album is just ‘there’ and a few years late. I dunno, maybe I need to take a Midol.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 13th, 2009


  1. Commented by: sharkethicx

    Still going to check this out. The Design is one of my favorite cds and Into the Moat is one of my favorite bands. I personally like the whirlwind of notes followed by some massive breakdowns. I guess what I liked most was the vocals because they weren’t high pitched and grating like maybe say Daughters or something of that ilk.

  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I LOVED The Design, but this just isnt having the same impact as you can tell from my review

  3. Commented by: Sandwiches

    Agree with the review completely. I wouldve been stoked two years ago. It’s not that the music isn’t great, but the timing of this release couldn’t have been worse

  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I thought Midol is for when you have your period?

  5. Commented by: dr_neo_cortex

    I haven’t heard this yet except for one or two songs but I had a feeling it would be kind of underwhelming. The scene is too saturated. Bands like Into The Moat, who had more than a helping hand in making the tech style popular need to push it even further to stay in the front of the pack, not release same-sounding albums.

  6. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    You are correct Jordan- the insinuation is that Im having my period, hence the crabby review ;)

  7. Commented by: some "hardcore" kid

    ive given this cd a good spin and one thing you did not metion is that the vocalist highes are comepletly gone. the lows were present and as burtal as ever but the highes ..nothing. its like a salad with no crutons sure its leafy and good but its boring. im just very disapointed….

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