I’m not well versed in the genre of Australian progressive metal, at best I can identify only a handful of bands that fall under its banner. So in choosing to dive into the deep after only dipping my toes into the pool of Australian prog, I take on Transcension by Sydney’s Breaking Orbit, their follow up to 2012’s The Time Traveller.

Opener ‘Transcension Part 2’ is a slow breathy start that seems to be an auditory equivalent to the album’s cover art, and has me hunting for ‘Part 1’. every sound in this track feels like it has a space around it, like they’re bashing those skins in the middle of a festeel cave and hitting those bass chords four blocks down in the rooms of a barren warehouse. It’s a mean and enjoyable sonic feat and it has got me relishing the complexity of following track ‘When Isis Starts To Cry’ with its tinkering electronics and rolling drums.

The album weaves back and forth from soft instrumental breaks to powerful and intense moments, carried along always by singer Matt Quayle’s insane vocal range, many times howling out long notes as the guitars and percussion thrash about beneath. Final track ‘Transcension Part 3’ is a warm, reserved number compared to the songs that come before it, almost like a sombre goodbye to the listener after nearly an hour shared together.

Breaking Orbit’s Transcension is an epic careen through the progressive cosmos, laden with bone crunching guitars and soaring vocals. It breaks and dips with a complexity only matched by problem solving difficult mathematical calculations. I’m left admiring the talents of the band to generate such labyrinthine tracks, and admittedly I’m admiring myself for being able to find my way through and keep up.

Dee Dee Magee

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