Transcend- The Mind
Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:11:51 +0000
I shook my head at the audacity of a band debuting with a concept album, over 80 minutes in length that finished off with a 40 minute epic. Most bands wait a few until entering the concept album arena and as to the 40 minute plus epic, that is reserved for the Dream Theaters of the music world. Then I listened, and within a few notes, I knew that these gentlemen from Canada might have the total package to be able to pull off such a feat. By the middle of the album, I was convinced that they did, and by the end, I was just plain scared at their potential.
Formed in the suburbs of Montreal, Transcend consist of guitarist and vocalist Constantine Damoulianos, keyboardist Alexi Lagogianis, bassist Nico Damoulianos, and drummer Jake Shamash. They set out, in their own words, to,”abolish formulaic and simplified popular music of all genres.” Quite a statement, and one wonders as to how such a statement can be backed up. To this author, the end product is their ace in the hole, the proof that though the influence of progressive and metal bands that came before them are present throughout the album, they have released something of their own making, and their own sound.[pullquote_right]”Lost within simplicity, without any boundaries, chasing my thoughts running free…”
Moment of Infinity- Transcend[/pullquote_right]
Starting with birth and heading into self realization, The Mind is a concept album that ventures to follow the emotional and spiritual growth and changes that we experience throughout the course of our lives. In the beginning, as portrayed in Moment of Infinity, we see the tabla raza, the blank slate, waiting to be scribed upon by the various experiences life delivers. With each successive song, Transcend adds experience to the mind, giving it shape and form, for better or worse. Entity Divine adds the individual spirit, the fire, and the fear. The mind is still an individual though, still lives for itself. The bond of love is what breaks that, as seen in The Love Song. Progressing into Reign Over Me, the loss of love creates an emptiness more than that seen in the beginning, it is one of desolation. The mind is at a crossroad, it is lost and confused, and must find an avenue to peace. Here, the album heads into the epic, via a torrential instrumental that leaves the listener breathless.[pullquote]”You haven’t met yourselves yet, but the advantage of meeting others in the meantime, is that one of them may present you to yourself.”
Reign Over Me- Transcend[/pullquote]
The musical translation of this journey takes on so many forms; the gentle and tender solemnness of The Love Song, the uplifting and free tone of Moment of Infinity, and the searing aggression as Reign Over Me, Transcend does a wonderful job of connecting the music to the theme. The various musicians show off their five years that they spent creating this album well; it is intricately structured, and plays out relentlessly. There are very few moments where the music gets dull or boring, and they pass very quickly. The instrumental passages are especially noteworthy, these guys, when they get the listener down, they pay no attention to the word ‘mercy’, they just keep coming and coming, to where I found myself hitting pause just to catch a breath(not really, I am quite the masochist when it comes to relentless instrumentals). The epic itself, The Mind, is done in eight suites over a 42 minute span, and I could do a whole separate review on that alone. This is where the mind comes to terms with all of its warring sided and finds peace, a subject that warrants the song length for sure, and the use of the imagery of the mind as a character in a landscape is so effective, it paints a brilliant portrait of the struggle that ensues.[pullquote_right]”So comfortable at home, my feet back on the ground, my mind is put at ease, serenity is found.”
The Mind Part 7(Ascension)- Transcend[/pullquote_right]
Transcend deftly handles the challenge they undertook in The Mind, and then some. I struggle to figure out what to bring out of this album, the fact that they were able to pull off such an amazing feat in their debut, or the anticipation and sheer wonder at what they have in store for us next.