Tech Death Thursday: Transcend the Realm
I hope you’re all ready for some weird shit. Transcend the Realm are back to explore new ground with Perennial Discoveries.
- Origin has a playthrough up for “Accident and Error,” and it’s nuts. Unparalleled Universe is out tomorrow.
- There’s a new Enfold Darkness song up, showing off more of their blackened side than the previous single. Check out “The Adversary, Omnipotent” and look for the eponymous album on July 14th. Here’s our premiere from last week if you missed it.
- Open the Nile posted a new song from their upcoming album, Levity. Listen to “Viral Colors” and look for the full release on August 4th.
- Rings of Saturn seem intent on turning their reputation around and have posted a playthrough video for their recently released “Inadequate.” Ulta Ulla is out July 28th.
The Tech Death Thursday inbox is a haven for all kinds of cool music (well, okay, just one kind); I’m always happy to see something new in there, and I can be reasonably sure that what I’m getting is at least going to have good musicians behind it. Transcend the Realm sent “Conscious Void” my way, and it seemed to be up to standard. It’s a good tech death tune, carried by eastern European-style melodies supported with some deathcore-tinged mid tempo chugs (just a touch, don’t let that scare you off) and a bit of spacey synth. I was expecting a solid album with a slightly unique flavor to it and looked forward to the rest with mild anticipation.
Well, that didn’t even come close to preparing me for the full album experience. Perennial Discoveries is a well and truly progressive metal album, taking inspiration from a variety of sources and mixing them together in a way I haven’t heard before. The opening track, “Endogenous Schizotoxin,” is the most straightforward of the bunch, kicking things off with a lithe series of diminished arpeggios and some beefy Faceless-style riffing. It mixes things up a bit with some dissonant chords and some oddball slide riffs, and it briefly features some cold, alien synth for a subtle sense of unease. There are some strange elements, but not too unfamiliar.
“Ars Moriendi,” a Mr. Bungle cover, is where it really starts to get weird (big surprise). Gypsy jazz becomes the centerpiece of the music, bringing about a gradual upward swing in both tempo and tone. I wouldn’t say it’s outright “happy,” but it’s certainly more upbeat than your standard tech death tune. Despite this being a cover song, it fits the themes of the album well, and the band does a good job of staying true to the original while making it their own.
As the album moves forward, it continues to reference and expand on these two sounds. The aforementioned “Conscious Void” takes after the opener and adds in that slight Balkan twist, whereas “Pajdushka” is a metal rendition of a style of Bulgarian folk tune (and has a couple doom riffs tossed in for good measure). “Garnet” is a prog metal monster that banks hard on the “jazz” part of “Gypsy jazz,” using all kinds of big, nonstandard chords and time changes. Finally, the album closes on a nearly 11-minute atmospheric track, making full use of the synths hinted at on prior tracks to delightfully creepy effect. It paints an image of wandering an unearthly jungle at night, fitting the album’s cover art quite well.
I apologize for the word salad here, but it was difficult for me to really get a solid grasp of this album. I count that as a positive, though; Perennial Discoveries is far from the norm, and I thoroughly enjoyed all its nuances and explorations. As you listen, I recommend clicking on the links to the individual songs, as the band has some short explanations of each of them alongside the lyrics. Set some time aside and go through it in one sitting; it doesn’t take long, there’s nothing else quite like it out there. If you like what you heard today, you can pick up the album on Bandcamp and follow Transcend the Realm on Facebook. Until next week,
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