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Transiency : Abominations Of Civilization (EP)


Transiency's sophomore EP holds its own with a rough-edged charm.



From the same stable as Hell Muñeco, amongst others, Transiency is one of the bands recently falling under bassist/vocalist Frank Wells' compilation of his musical associations into the Gentle Exhuming Records banner. The band is now on indefinite hold, this 2013 sophomore EP release representing their last recorded work.

Debut EP 'Manqualm', from back in 2007, set a blueprint for early-Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride style Gothic Death/Doom, with the guitar of Giorgio Todesco heavily front and centre of the sound. 'Abominations Of Civilization', recorded with an almost completely different line-up, adapted the approach somewhat, with the drummer from Cimitero (rejoicing in the moniker 'Hammer Horror') coming in and original piano player Moonbeam stepping forward to take on guitar, piano and violin duties.

Continuing Transiency's core themes of historical atrocity and human mortality ('Manqualm' having been about the Black Death), 'Abominations...' deals with Western conquest and settlement of the New World. It does so with a more thrashy, metallic feel than its predecessor, interspersed with a few remaining Gothic MDB-style touches from the violin. Given the grandiose sweep of the concept, there's even an appropriately epic touch to the more histrionic of the riffs, though the deep, growling vocals are a clear affirmation of the project's largely pure Death/Doom foundations.

Somewhat atypically for a Frank Wells project, the lyrical content is almost prosaic, more of a clinically-observed history lesson than the explicitly misanthropic vehemence found on other releases. No bad thing, it should be said: the lack of blatant detail adds a certain subtlety to the presentation, without in any way diluting the grimness of the material.

Other than that, there isn't much which is exceptional to pick out from this release. It has all the hallmarks common to the author's different projects, maintaining a tight and integrated musical focus, while still tending towards a raw, unadorned, and slightly murky underground production and feel: you wouldn't mistake this for a contemporary major-label offering, shall we say. Nonetheless, it does have quite a lot going for it within those rough-edged boundaries: Mr. Horror does a commendably good job of laying down the backbone battery, and the mostly-chugging guitar/bass riff combination has a degree of vitality. When the violin features heavily, as on the last full track 'The Final Crusade', and the sublimely gentle titular closing instrumental, it's a definite highlight.

Ultimately, I'm left with much the same impression of its charms as with recently-reviewed stablemate Hell Muñeco's 'Doom Core' EP: it's solid enough to consider a good release, honest enough to convey the band's making music they want to make and obscure enough that most people will never seek it out. That said, if you're of an old-school bent and like some less-well-known variety in your music, you could do worse than spend a few hours browsing the Gentle Exhuming webstore where this, and all of Wells' other projects - from Death Metal to Gothic/Darkwave - can be streamed or downloaded for free.


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Reviewer's rating: 7/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. The Columbian Exchange
2. Order Of The Crown
3. New World Slavery
4. The Final Crusade
5. Abominations Of Civilization

Duration : Approx. 24 minutes

Visit the Transiency bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-02-01 by Mike Liassides
ForeverAutumnHowls
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