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Transcend The Mind album cover
3.46 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moment of Infinity (8:39)
2. Entity Divine (12:37)
3. The Love Song (7:38)
4. Reign Over Me (9:35)
5. The Mind Part 1: The Mind Awaits (9:07)
6. The Mind Part 2: To Walk Away (5:04)
7. The Mind Part 3: New Horizons (1:40)
8. The Mind Part 4: Carved in Stone (6:50)
9. The Mind Part 5: In the Shadow of My Mind (6:01)
10. The Mind Part 6: Downfall (5:14)
11. The Mind Part 7: Ascension (4:32)
12. The Mind Part 8: A New Mind for a New World (5:59)

Total Time 82:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Costa Damoulianos / guitar & vocals
- Alexi Lagogianis / keyboards
- Jake Shamash / drums
- Nico Damoulianos / bass

Releases information

Digital album (November 11, 2011)

Thanks to Andy Webb for the addition
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TRANSCEND The Mind ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

TRANSCEND The Mind reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Canadian foursome TRANSCEND was formed in the summer of 2006, and it took them five years to create, develop and record what was to become their debut album "The Mind", initially self released as a digital download in 2011, and in 2012 given a hardcopy release courtesy of US label Melodic Revolution Records.

In terms of style there's basically two bands worth mentioning as comparisons for this act. The first and least important is Rush. Traces possibly inspired by these fellow Canadians pop up on a few occasions throughout, mostly in the less intense passages, but all in all is a minor direct influence as far as I can tell. But a band you can't avoid mentioning when dealing with Transcend is Dream Theater, and in particular the sound that band explored around the time when they release Awake. As far as major influences go this one merits a description as certain rather than possible, although there is the odd chance that it's a case of indirect rather than direct inspiration.

This Canadian foursome is an ambitious crew it seems, as their first foray into the world of recording artists is a double album, and a conceptual creation to boot. In a day and age where just about anyone easily can release whatever they want of music it isn't that unheard of to have such a creation as the opening move in a future career, but it is still unusual enough to merit mentioning. This is a Canadian quartet that comes across as high in confidence and self belief, and with dedication to see it through as well. Which is a nice detail to observe in a young, up and coming band.

The music itself isn't quite as ambitious. The majority sticks to a slow to midpaced tempo, with occasional runs of a more spirited nature. There's plenty of variation however, with alterations in pace, intensity and mood throughout, but generally lacking the more demanding and intricate, quirky dimensions of aforementioned Dream Theater. But there's good flow and momentum throughout, and they know how to work a tune to take it from bombastic themes to gentler grounds with a natural grace and smoothness many might envy them. The use of guitars and keyboards as counterpoints and contrasting features is a skill they master, as is using both sets of instruments as harmonizing entities creating majestic, richly textured arrangements. A detail more peculiar to this band is that they frequently opt for guitar and piano combinations, a variation that most often result in themes that are joyfully and subtly different from what many other progressive metal bands create.

Mix and production does leave a bit to be desired however, and while bass and drums are employed quite nicely and to good effect these instruments doesn't manage to elevate the compositions either. But the studio efforts and the contributions from the rhythm department is passable, by all means, but to my set of ears these details of the complete whole is of the bread and butter variety as far as quality goes rather than something better.

The weak link in this band however, at least for this set of ears, is the vocals of Costa Damouliano. His voice and delivery works at times very well in the gentler parts of this album, but whenever he needs to add emotional impact or deliver the vocals more forcefully the end result becomes too strained. Perhaps a tad out of tune on occasion, but a more frequent listener experience is that he fights a losing battle to control his delivery whenever vocals with a higher degree of impact is needed. Especially when he has to use the higher parts of his register. I know I'm incredibly sensitive to vocals and that many won't ever notice this, but for me this is the main reason for this album to come across as a pleasant experience rather than something a bit more interesting.

Transcend have made themselves a fine debut with "The Mind", a double CD whose major strengths are varied compositions and cleverly constructed themes based around guitar and keyboard interactions as the dominant features. If you tend to enjoy progressive metal from the Dream Theater school this is a production you can safely add to your list of music worth checking out at some point in time, as long as you're not the kind of person who has a very sensitive ear aas far as lead vocals go.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'The Mind' - Transcend (6/10)

Montreal-based progressive metal quartet Transcend are a recent addition to a hideously lengthy list of prog bands looking to build upon the innovations of their influences. Unless you're a newcomer to the prog metal realm, chances are you'll agree that the term has become something of a misnomer, with many of the associated artists looking to the past for their sound, rather than truly innovating something new. Alas, this goes well to define the musical approach on Transcend's debut, a full-blown, double disc concept album that wears each of the band's influences on a silken sleeve. With this perceived lack of originality in mind however, Transcend's take on this well-weathered style remains impressive for other reasons and should be enough to get existing fans of the style excited about them.

As in the case with a vast quantity of contemporary prog metal, Transcend are rooted in the sound of Dream Theater, and- to a lesser extent- Rush. As is the case with much of Melodic Revolution Records' generally neo-prog oriented roster, Transcend's angle on this style is light, polished and focused heavily on the vocals, provided here by the talented Costa Damoulianos. Instrumentally, "The Mind" is an album driven by every prog-power convention imaginable. Guitar and synthesizer harmonies are to be expected in droves, and though there are tech riffs aplenty, listeners shouldn't be surprised when they hear just as much of the album's hour and a half devoted to anthemic choruses and softer passages. The spirit and style of Dream Theater is alive particularly when Transcend emphasize their metal aspect. Transcend's music is almost always based around a lead of some sort. Whether it's Damoulianos' vocals, a synthesizer solo or virtuosic guitar lick, Transcend likes to have a spotlight shining down on someone on virtually any given time. Sounding familiar at all, prog metal fans?

Although I am sceptical of Transcend's painfully derivative choice of style and love of cliché, there's no denying that they execute it well. "Entity Divine" features some pretty mind- boggling instrumental interplay, and the disc-length epic and title track enjoys some fairly cinematic passages. Without a doubt, the most impressive part of the package is the musicianship itself. Although it may be a cliché saying this in itself, Transcend are able to wow and impress from their playing chops alone. The production fits their melodic style as well, although it would have been nice to hear the guitars roar a little more.

I think that years from now, when all of humanity transcends and I am a disembodied brain floating in space somewhere, I will remember Transcend's debut with some warmth. After all, in spite of being part of a genre saturated by likesounding copycats, Transcend have some serious playing ability, and "The Mind" is an apt reflection of their talent and chemistry as a performing act. Sadly, they also have a tendency to embrace just about every cliché and tired convention the progressive metal genre has spawned within the past twenty years. Ambiguously philosophical lyrics, needlessly extended compositions and cheese enough to make a gourmand sick will potentially squander the experience for some, but for other prog metal lovers such as myself, the album makes for a welcome return to the style's roots.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After hearing all my life about Dream Theater clones, and finding basically souped-up power metal, its nice to actually come across a band that sounds (or tries to sound, if they are on a tight budget, like these young Greek-Canadians) a lot like their idols, but still maintains an identity. Transc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1178122) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, May 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Transcend are a Progressive Metal band formed in the suburbs of Montreal, who describe themselves on their website as having "a raging passion to abolish formulaic and simplified popular music of all genres". The Mind is their debut album, released after 5 years of the band's existence, and shows ... (read more)

Report this review (#847379) | Posted by dtguitarfan | Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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