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To-Mera - Transcendental CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.82 | 63 ratings

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4 stars It seems churlish to criticise Transcendental, it isn't a bad album - in fact it is a very good album, and To-Mera are an impressively talented group, their playing is faultless. Sheppard's keyboards are some of the best you'll hear in progressive metal, especially when he is going all classical and jazzy on the piano (acoustic and electric).

Barrett's bass does everything required to hold everything together while Pirisi on drums provides the rhythms and tribal-influenced percussion with a lot more self-control than some Prog-Metal drummers I could mention, never reduced to just hitting everything in his kit, he switches styles and rhythms to dramatic affect (notably on the track Parfum). MacLean's guitar work is expressive, with crisp riffs that never completely drown a song and enhance the Barrett/Pirisi rhythm section perfectly, while his solos are tight and musical without being flashy. This is not a band playing apart, competing against each other, they work as a unit and when it works, it works great. This just leaves Kiss on vocals. She can sing that is without question, and in the main her vocals fit well with the music, but her pitch is a little high for my personal tastes on some tracks here (the chorus of Obscure Oblivion for one) so she often gets lost in the stratosphere while the rest of the band are cruising around in the lower atmosphere.

Yet after owning this for several months now it still doesn't sit very well on my CD player - whenever it finishes it always leaves me feeling as if I've missed something. Unfulfilled even. The problem for me is that there is far too much going on, there are just too many chops and changes, too many influences and styles all vying for attention that it becomes hard work. Admittedly, this is improving with time as I become accustom to it, but I feel it will take a few more months yet to become fully comfortable. This album is an excellent addition to a Prog Metal collection because it is in the top 20% all PM out there, but it so easily could have been in the top 10% which would have made it an essential addition, so in truth 3.5-stars from me, which I have rounded up to 4.

Dean | 4/5 |


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