You have to give Transcending Bizarre? credit-not only do they have a very odd name and look rather 'bizarre', but their take on avant-garde black metal is actually quite refreshing. It's a shame that this one only just made it to the SoT offices in recent weeks, as it's a late 2010 release that surely would have awarded some mention in our Best of 2010 discussions.
This Greek band, who recently lost their drummer S.A. Akis who passed away at the way too young age of 30, on the surface seem rooted in the symphonic black metal camp, complete with wild vocal shrieks & growls, manic guitar riffs, pounding drum blasts, and sweeping synths. However, dig deeper in The Misanthrope's Fable, and you'll discover a band that has a deep love for power metal, theatrical prog-rock, and all things avant-garde. "Realizing the Blindness" sounds like a trip to the Circus with King Diamond and Cradle of Filth in tow, and moments of "The Beginning" display a flair for both power & progressive metal. In a way, Transcending Bizarre? attack the black metal genre somewhat like Arcturus, never allowing themselves to stay within the framework of traditional black metal and injecting plenty of other influences in along the way.
The vocals of Kotzak are all over the map, as he delivers a non-stop barrage of growls, screams, shrieks, and creepy spoken word passages. Picture if you will a young King Diamond but with a larger repertoire, or a slightly less maniacal Dani Filth. Overall the musicianship is very good, as the songs feature plenty of solid guitar work and keyboard textures, like on the symphonic "Broad Daylight Misanthropy" and the epic blast of "The Return to Nothingness".
Still only their third release, The Misanthrope's Fable is an adventurous concept album from this young band, and I'm sure it won't be long before the name Transcending Bizarre? is being spoken of quite a bit in avant-garde black metal circles.
1. The Misanthrope's Fable
2. The Beginning
3. Realizing the Blindness
4. Envisaging the Ideal Planet
5. The Murders of the Young Ones
6. The Empire of Mind
7. Descarte's Wrath
8. Broad Daylight Misanthropy
9. The Return to Nothingness