Now, this is a band-name well chosen, for ‘Transmaniacon’ is a track from Blue Oyster Cult. Blue Oyster Cult are a criminally overlooked act in the inspiration stakes, with most people just knowing them for the track ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper.’ This is in part due to it being featured in films like Halloween (the original Halloween, not the atrocious Rob Zombie remake) and TV series like The Stand and Supernatural). Yet B.O.C have a legacy of superb, heavy, innovative song-orientated albums (even the great Cliff Burton wore a B.O.C t-shirt!). Transmaniacon the band take a massive dose of inspiration from B.O.C, and other 70s luminaries, yet they’ve given it a terrific 21st century twist and produced a fine heavy concept album.
The opening track of The Darkening Plain is 24 minutes long and split into six movements. This is a pleasant change from someone imitating the Cookie Monster over stolen At The Gates riffs (At The Gates are back, so there can be only one – imitators please go away). The band are great musicians, the song-writing strong (if you have no songs, you have nothing), and vocalist Simon Holliday sings in his own accent, which gives the band further identity. Well done.
Mention must also be given to the superb album artwork from Ian Miller (check out Mr. Miller’s incredible work on his collaboration with late, great horror writer James Herbert on the graphic novel ‘The City’). Miller’s work adds yet another layer to a superb package.
Excellent, timeless music!