Review: Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond

After two EPs and one demo, Transcendence, a five piece death metal band from Los Angeles, finally release their debut full length Towards Obscurities Beyond seven years into their existence. What we get here is 35 minutes over 8 songs of an old school death metal stew spiced up with plenty of ingredients from the black metal jar. There’s also lots of melodies thrown into the pot as well, and the resulting mix is tasty indeed, even though it sounds like it first got put on the stove back in the early 1990s.

The vocals, performed by Tom Patmore, stay mostly in the death metal realm, with plenty of growls and seamless transitions into shrieks and screams. The guitar work (courtesy of Miguel Perez and Michael Alvarez) is alternating a lot between slow stomping riffs, tremolo picked sequences that are sometimes more black than death metal, and plenty of melodic leads. I like that the production is quite old school and dynamic, giving enough room for the guitars, the drums (Richard Guerrero) and, lo and behold, even the bass (Chris Gonzalez) to have their place in the mix and be distinctly present and audible. While this more classic sound of the record is not overly heavy and brutal, I enjoy it for its natural authenticity.

Towards Obscurities Beyond sounds sinister, twisted and noxious, like a good death metal record should. I would not recommend it for a sunny afternoon picknick with your granny, but fans of blackened melodic death metal should find plenty to love here. I really enjoyed the extremely well done songwriting and good performances, and the old school sound fits perfectly. I will probably have to give it plenty more spins to unpack and dissect the whole variety of riffs buried in here, and I look forward to that. A damn solid debut that I give a hard recommend.

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