Review Summary: An avant-garde black metal album that may just freak you out enough to win you over.
Transcending Bizarre? represent their name quite well. They are one hell of a bizarre band. Their avant-garde take on the black metal genre is pretty astounding. One second you'll have a full on black metal assault and the next second you might be hearing some of the creepiest sounding circus-esque music you've ever heard in your life. It's really all up in the air when you're listening to them. That's the best thing about this band, you never know exactly what you're going to get. With their third full-length album, The Misanthrope's Fable
, they expand on the style that you heard on their previous album The Serpent's Manifold
. With this album you get more guitar solos, more haunting vocals, and just an overall better performance. Not to take anything away from the previous album because it was also extremely good, but this album is just better in pretty much all phases.
Like I touched on earlier, this album is just an overall creepy and weird experience. The symphonics on this album sound extremely similar to something you would hear at a haunted house on Halloween or some kind of a dark version of a circus. These symphonics may truely freak you out at times. They're meant to be fun, which they are, and scare you at the same time, which they also succeed at doing. The best part about this album is while all of this bizarre stuff is going on, the guitars still more than do their part throughout the album. There are plenty of very well executed guitar solos spread across the album and the riffs are surprisingly technical while still being quite catchy. The drumming, which is performed by a drum machine, is pretty much all over the place too, which might sound bad, but it's not at all. Sometimes you'll get the double bass and blast beats that you normally find on a black metal album and at other times, mostly during all the symphonic stuff going on you'll just get some slower stuff just to keep the rhythm, and then you also will get some more of the technical drum fills here and there. Transcending Bizarre? pretty much just keep you on your heels throughout the entire duration of this album. You don't know what you're going to get and it's quite unpredictable.
With all the craziness of the symphonics and the instruments going on one might forget about the vocals. Well you can't do that, because even with all the other stuff that's happening around them, they're also an extremely important aspect in making this album as good as it is. The only words that can be used to describe the vocals are haunting and maniacle. I mean just like the instruments keep you guessing, the vocals will keep you guessing as well. One minute you may have the signature black metal screams and shrieks and the next minute you will get some of the most chilling clean singing you will ever hear on a black metal album. This guy's clean vocals are just frightening. They're extremely operatic, and you might think that operatic vocals are meant to be scary and you would normally be right, but you wouldn't be when talking about these vocals. Clean vocals with the circus like music playing in the background, it's enough to drive anybody insane. And believe me, that's a good thing because they're very well executed and well presented.
The Misanthrope's Fable
is one of the best metal albums of 2010 and that's the bottom line. The only other band from this year that could compare to Transcending Bizarre?'s level of weirdness and just overall madness in the field of avant-garde black metal is Solefald. Other than that, you won't find an album that's going to creep you out any more that the stuff you will hear on this album right here. Even if you aren't a fan of the more avant-garde stuff, you still should check this out if you like any metal at all. Just because the album is weird doesn't mean that there's no metal to be found here. Black metal fans should jump all over this album and if you don't, then you're definitely missing out on one of the gems of the metal genre for 2010.