Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent’s Manifolds
Dissonart Productions
Orchestral Black/Death Metal
10 songs (46:56)
Release year: 2008
Transcending Bizarre?
Reviewed by Goat

Just as you thought you were safe, that after excellent albums from Septicflesh, Moonspell and even Cradle Of Filth, you could relax and be happy that the ‘Dark Metal’ genre had given its all in 2008. Well, think again! Greek warlords Transcending Bizarre? released their second album The Serpent’s Manifolds back in March, but it’s only recently been bought to my attention, and I’m glad it was, for this is, if not as good as the aforementioned three, definitely deserving to be mentioned in the same breath. The one poor thing about this album is undoubtedly the band’s name – come on, what kind of posers stick a question mark in these days? It’s clearly a misguided attempt to seem all wacky and Avant-Garde and Post-Black, and approaching The Serpent’s Manifolds with these expectations in mind is a mistake.

Although there are plenty of diverse elements in each track, they don’t have that sense of constant chaos that decent Avant-Garde Metal needs; instead, all work together perfectly. Take Cosmic Zero Equation, starting with odd electronics and bursting into a typically catchy Melodeath song, blastbeats increasing the intensity until suddenly a jaunty tune is played on the keyboards, adding a Power Metal vibe. After, the track moves into an Ulver-y Classical motif with electronic beats, a Meshuggah-gone-mellow bass riff, and breakdowns leading to epic keyboards and Thrash riffs, before returning to the Melodeath of the start. Listening to it, you probably wouldn’t have dissected it like this, because it’s great as it is; the sections flow in and out of each other flawlessly, it’s catchy and headbangable... members are active in other Greek Metal bands and are clearly experienced, as this is expert-level material.

As mentioned, there’s hardly anything to criticise. The title track takes more of a Prog-Thrash feel, with Dream Theater-y keyboard flourishes and Blackened snarls, a lengthy instrumental section showing the band’s instrumental skills off well (guitarists Haris and Dim especially are excellent). Dimension Hell takes more steps into the orchestral realm, epic as any Nightwish track, whilst Cell’s flutes and Writhing Coils Of Construction’s violins and ethnic percussion are flashes of genius. It’s hard not to be impressed when listening to the likes of The Music Of The Spheres, or the Power Metal-meets-Moonspell vibe of The Navelless One, or nine-minute finale Infinite. Throughout, the playing is superb, the orchestral sections epic and intense, and the songs catchy without being simplistic.

The Serpent’s Manifolds is a downright excellent Metal album, but I’ll leave it up to you, the gentle reader/listener, as to whether it’s better than the unholy triumvirate mentioned at the start of the review. What it is, is more than worthy enough to be gaining interest, despite being made by a small band from Greece that no-one’s heard of, with a silly name to boot. If you’d felt the time was right to close the book on 2008, then Transcending Bizarre? will be a happy admission of error.

Killing Songs :
Irreversible, Cosmic Zero Equation, The Serpent’s Manifolds, Dimension Hell, Cell, The Music Of The Spheres, Infinite
Goat quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Transcending Bizarre? that we have reviewed:
Transcending Bizarre? - The Misanthrope's Fable reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:45 pm
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