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Dead On Mars – Transcendence

Dead On Mars
by Cherie Wong at 04 June 2020, 12:42 AM

On May 1, 2020, DEAD ON MARS released its second full-length album “Transcendence.” DEAD ON MARS is a German one-man band formed in 2017 by the multi-instrumentalist T. Winter. “Transcendence” follows the 2018 debut full-length album “Arrival.”

There is a lot of thought and emotional weight to this band, from the music to the band name. The music on “Transcendence” is an interesting instrumental blend of progressive death and symphonic black metal. Elements of doom, death, and black metal come together to create music that is melodic and atmospheric. The overall effect is quite grand and epic, without being pretentious or exaggerated. While listening to the album, I found that I barely missed the vocals because it is such a strong instrumental release. Even without the vocals, there is still song structure. Each track is an emotional journey, and because there are no vocals, you can write your own adventure.

The opener “Final Sunset” begins the album with a slow build. A doomy atmosphere created by the slow and deliberate pace gives way intermittently to fast paced blackened riffs. Next, on “Terra Incognita,” the symphonic black metal elements are in full force. Bombastic orchestral sounds back most of the track. There is also an uplifting tone throughout due to the recurring keyboard melody.

While the middle track, “Orpheus In The Underworld,” still has symphonic elements, it sounds more progressive than the other tracks, though it still has heavy blackened sections. There is also something enchanting about the orchestration and melody. A lot is going on in the titular track “Transcendence,” from the combination of blackened death metal sections to the layered musical passages that transition right into the other. “The Lonely Hours” is a contemplative track, juxtaposing a lovely acoustic melody with blackened riffs and drumming.

Overall, I recommend this to fans of instrumental metal and fans of symphonic black and progressive death metal. Whether played in the background or as the main focus, this album is worth the time! This is a release that truly delivers a blend of various styles of extreme metal in a unique, instrumental package.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Final Sunset
2. Terra Incognita
3. First Man On Mars
4. Orpheus In The Underworld
5. Transcendence
6. The Lonely Hours
7. Fight For Freedom
T. Winter – Everything


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