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Transport Aerian - Darkblue CD (album) cover


Transport Aerian


Crossover Prog

3.72 | 39 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars

I'm so proud of Hamlet. I really am. I originally discovered his unique music with 2013′s 'Bleeding' and again with his spectacular live album 'Love.Blood.Live.'. Hamlet is one of those musicians that manages to keep my interest by being completely out of his mind, but totally focused and brilliant at the same time. His project, Transport Aerian, is finally making some real headway of late, and their new album 'Darkblue' might be Hamlet's best work to date.

This time around, Hamlet handles everything from vocals and guitar to bass and programming; however, Stefan Boeykens also steps in on guitars, and, in what I found to be a surprising move, he also added the beautiful voice of Rachel Bauer, too. These three have created something truly special that is dark (obviously), murky, effervescent, and stark. There is a poetic motion that occupies this album in full, with rhythm and flow, ugliness and sadness, abrasion and melancholy. Yet, the album features bright keys, incredibly groovy moments, and, dare I say, very catchy sequences that seem pop-ish in some ways. Now, I know Hamlet will hate me for saying that, but the album is the better for it.

This isn't happy music. If you think you will be uplifted and edified, you'll be sadly mistaken. Hamlet's music absorbs his own natural cynicism and sarcastic nature: a kind of frustration with society and people in general. Not only do his lyrics reflect this, but the music itself is rarely structured normally, and that's a good thing. As for Hamlet himself, he does a great job on vocals, as I feel that he's really gotten past some of the snarkier moments that were a bit difficult in past albums. Rachel, too, is a wonderful counterpart for him, adding warmth and psychedelia to an already crazy album.

Without a question, my favorite track on 'Darkblue' is 'Black'. Honestly, this might be one of my top tracks of the year, too. It transitions from subdued and poetic to climactic and breathtaking in the blink of an eye. It gets me every time. Other favorites are the sensual 'Full Body Access', the warmly abrasive and bleak 'Sand Horizon', the instrumental 'Sniper', and, my second favorite, 'Epitaph', where Hamlet gives us probably his best vocals on the album.

Buy this album. You will not find anything else like Transport Aerian's 'Darkblue' this year, or any year, really. Hamlet has managed to best even his incredible live album by creating real texture, very human relatability, and haunting musical atmospheres. Give into the darkness.

Originally written for

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |


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