Transcending Mortality - The Last Horizon
Self Release
Progressive Power Metal
7 songs (52:56)
Release year: 2006
Transcending Mortality
Reviewed by Cody
Album of the month

Upon first getting their promo for their debut album The Last Horizon, I could immediately tell that Australian progressive outfit Transcending Mortality were relatively new to the game. This band is an act I had never heard of before, and the promo package was probably put together by the band itself, containing a brief description of their history and album on folded up printed pieces of paper. For some reason, when I first experience a brand new act, I immediately have low expectations after listening to countless half assed clones that simply don't measure up, so when I put The Last Horizon into my CD player, I was preparing for some power prog metal release with little impact to the scene or my sensibilities as a metalhead. What came form my headphones though, was something quite impactful...something very much worth listening to.

Combining influences from powerhouse bands like Threshold, Nevermore, and Rage, I was immediately taken aback by the quality of the vocals performed by Mr. Mike Zoias, who hits his listener with an incredible aural output reminiscent (but better) of Peavy Wagner and Andrew McDermott. Yes, there are many a good vocalist in metal, but its still refreshing when a band comes across a true talent and utilizes that talent to its fullest extent. Zoias' range I feel is really good, as he has no problem slowing things down to do a little sing along with the acoustic moments, and is also not afraid to mix it up with the truly aggressive moments. Mr. Zoias is a true talent and one of the biggest advantages to this band and this album.

Perhaps the greatest part of Transcending Mortality is the fact that they do not have to rely upon vocals to make an impact (ala bands like Falconer), with an ensemble cast that truly bring a fantastic moodiness to their music, ranging from beautiful acoustic bits, to catchy hooks and superior melodic bass lines (which I find to be quite rare in its effectiveness with metal bands). In this reviewer's mind, catchiness is next to godliness. Anyone can train themselves day in and day out to become the most technically proficient musician possible, but musicianship is art before skill, so when an album full of recognizable songs is released, that is the most important factor when appreciating good music. With that said, it is definitely safe to say that I expect this album to lead this band out of their native land and onto the international stage. With a debut combining sick technical chops, and memorable songwriting, you are being presented with a success story in the making.

While this is a progressive album with power metal influence, The Last Horizon is truly an album for the metal masses. It is true enough for the most hardcore of elitists, but is catchy enough for the most flowery power metaller. The Last Horizon is a celebration of bombastic flare done right, but most of all shows that the underground will remain an unwavoring pool of untapped talent. Transcending Mortality has convinced me that anonymous CD shaped packages are not to be sighed over, but embraced, for the next big thing could be waiting to be unleashed.

Killing Songs :
Beyond Remembrance, Last Horizon
Cody quoted 90 / 100
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