Transcending Bizarre? - The Misanthrope's Fable
Dissonart Productions
Symphonic Black/Death
9 songs (46:12)
Release year: 2010
Transcending Bizarre?
Reviewed by Goat

Just as this band’s second album The Serpent’s Manifolds came along at the end of 2008 to prove that even at the end of December you shouldn’t stop looking for great metal, so too does The Misanthrope’s Fable prove that two years later. Transcending Bizarre? may still have that distinctly silly name, but they’re very serious about their music, and the compelling mixture of progressive death and symphonic black metal still has magic to work for the Greek five-piece. It’s their first concept album, apparently, an altogether creepier fare than the previous release with haunting children’s choirs added to the typically eclectic mix. Simply put, this is modern Dimmu Borgir updated and enhanced, made actually interesting and slightly edgy due to large doses of Dødheimsgard-esque oddness and Solefald-esque vocal wackiness.

Yet it’s unfair to relegate Transcending Bizarre? to Dimmu-close status when really the Greek band deserve more of a Moonspell ranking; maybe not to everyone’s taste but certainly good at what they do. I admit to finding some of the vocal parts in The Beginning verging on the annoying, but it’s impossible not to admire the cleverness evident in song structure and usage of melody. Realising The Blindness’ mix of thrashy melodeath and atmospheric gothic horror is flawless, adding proggy instrumentation and making it work as part of the overall song in a way that many prog bands find hard. Throughout, the band play hard and diverse, but never make it sound out of place.

And really, that about sums the album up! Although I hesitate to give the band their usual Avant-Garde tag, there is wackiness aplenty to be found, the Arcturus-y gloom of Envisaging The Ideal Planet well backed-up with violins and mournful solos, not to mention those aforementioned child choirs. Seriously, why are children singing so creepy? It never fails to unnerve me. Fortunately the band use them very sparingly, relying on the sort of melodic morass that The Murders Of The Young Ones performs so effectively. The Empire Of Mind’s proggy variety is sure to impress, elsewhere, whilst Descarte’s Wrath is the very essence of tasteful, artsy post-black metal, complete with tinkly piano. The Return To Nothingness, meanwhile, takes symphonic grandeur to new heights and more than redeems its eight-minute length.

The Misanthrope’s Fable ultimately isn’t as straightforwardly fun as its predecessor, which had a sort of pick-up-and-go character letting you dive in anywhere and have a good time. Here, more work is required to get to know the songs before you can really enjoy them, but any fan of the lighter black metal warriors or more out-there melodeath will find much to appreciate, let alone the gothic crowd who will love the atmospheric palette of greys that Transcending Bizarre? use. I doubt that this album will propel the band to the top of many best of lists this year, which is a shame because this is exactly the sort of cross-genre metal extremity sure to find a variety of willing ears. Feel free to give it yours.

Killing Songs :
The Beginning, Realising The Blindness, The Murders Of The Young Ones, The Empire Of Mind, The Return To Nothingness
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Transcending Bizarre? that we have reviewed:
Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent’s Manifolds reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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