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TRANSCEND

Progressive Metal • Canada


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Transcend biography
TRANSCEND is a progressive-metal band from Montreal. Formed out of the suburbs of Montreal with a raging passion to abolish formulaic and simplified popular music of all genres, TRANSCEND persevered for over five years before finally completing their first album, The Mind, in 2011. These musical goals could not have been achieved without an extremely proficient line-up of musicians: Constantine DAMOULIANOS on Guitar and Vocals, Alexi LAGOGIANIS on Keyboards, Devon BUTTERS on Bass and Jake SHAMASH on Drums.

Although they do indeed fall into the category of Metal, one will quickly learn that TRANSCEND brings a whole new musical world to the table in the epic masterpiece The Mind, ranging from the heaviest riffs and odd-time extended instrumental sections to soft male-female vocal duets and Greek BOUZOUKI parts. Although TRANSCEND echoes with originality, their influences remain clear and often intentionally obvious to any fans of Progressive Metal. Their music screams; DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, PAIN OF SALVATION, DEVIN TOWNSEND and OPETH ? but also takes us to dreamier worlds like those of PINK FLOYD, KING CRIMSON and at times even Elton JOHN and THE TEA PARTY.

Bio provided by the band, edited by Andy Webb and aapatsos

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Room 101 LP (Vinyl Album) - Doghouse 1993Room 101 LP (Vinyl Album) - Doghouse 1993
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TRANSCEND discography


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TRANSCEND top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.45 | 27 ratings
The Mind
2012

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TRANSCEND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Mind by TRANSCEND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 27 ratings

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The Mind
Transcend Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars This Greek-Canadian band comes across as a somewhat less adventurous Dream Theater, sticking mainly to neo-classical, power and neo-prog side. Unlike most of the much maligned Dream Theater clones, who borrow the guitar-keys interlay, eclectic melodicism but rarely venture outside 8 minutes, Transcend actually sticks close to the original formula. Three 10-minute, a 7- minute ballad and a 45-minute song and LOTS of noodling, not just on electric guitar, keys and some bass, but also on traditional guitar. The well-trained guitarist also sings pretty well, which is impressive, although there are probably better singers out there. As for the epic (what's up with debutante band writing 45-minutes these days? See also: Seventh dimension), well, it holds up (actually the entire 82-minute album flows as a single sequence of music) but, like the rest of this stuff, it's good, but not spectacular. These guys should applauded for their effort, but I hardly see anyone outside hardcore and not too snobbish prog metal demographic appreciating this.

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 The Mind by TRANSCEND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 27 ratings

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The Mind
Transcend Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 The Mind by TRANSCEND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 27 ratings

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The Mind
Transcend Progressive Metal

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.

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 The Mind by TRANSCEND album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.45 | 27 ratings

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The Mind
Transcend Progressive Metal

Review by dtguitarfan

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 a wealth of potential. It is a concept album, built around the concept of following the growth of the mind of a child, starting with simple and immature reality, moving through the lessons of life, and finally ending as a free and open mind. Musically, there are some obvious influences coming from Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, and Devin Townsend, but Transcend manages to put their own spin on Progressive Metal with some spacey sections (a la Pink Floyd, perhaps), the occasional addition of the Greek Bouzouki, male and female vocal duets, and of course some heavy riffs on top of odd time signatures. As one would expect from the goal described by the band above, the compositions do not follow a predictable patter with verse, chorus and the occasional bridge, but rather take the listener on a musical journey of exploration. The album ends in a massive 44 minute long multi-part epic which will surely give many listeners great amounts of satisfaction. This is a fantastic debut, and exceeds many expectations, leaving me wondering where this band will go next!

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

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