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Transcendence - 2002 The Meridian Project


TRANSCENDENCE - THE MERIDIAN PROJECT (2002, LION MUSIC)
Greg Drew - vocals
Jeff Ford - guitars
John Howser - keyboards
Kirk Wood - bass
John Von Rosenburg - drums


Background
These boys are on the case. Purveyors of melodic progressive metal coming at you from cowpoke country.. Texas. Yesiree. If you thought the Lone Star state was only good for Buddy Holly, ZZ Top, Point Blank and Stevie Ray Vaughan, then think again. Actually, they follow in the footsteps of another worthy band of the same ilk, that being Watchtower, who released a decent album a decade or so ago. Anyway, Transcendence have a core group of players, but have also seen a few lineup changes as well. Now lets be perfect clear. 'The Meridian Project' though released by Lion Music this year (2002), actually dates back to 1999. Most of their earlier material can be heard on MP3.COM. The lineup you see above played on this album, though since that time, new drummer Paul Fanguy has come onboard. Admirable that they've been picked up by Lasse Mattson and his team at Lion Music, because I believe these guys can go places, and we're talking way beyond Texas believe me. Fusing a sound that's somewhere between Symphony X, Savatage and Iron Maiden, as well as the inclusion of the technical detail of Rush. Singer Greg Drew is a bit of a talent. If you can imagine a cross between Tracy White (Shotgun Symphony) and Mark Boals, then this is him. A very powerful vocal presence indeed.

The Songs
On the one hand, you get out and out bludgeon, like the opener 'Endless Reign', 'Filtered Lenses' or 'Set Fire To The Sky', then you get something subtle like the moving 'Israel'. Chuck in an 'off the wall' track like 'Random Light', and you know you're dealing with a band with a penchant for the 'different'. Check out the wall to wall guitar on 'Echoes', though it does have a magic keyboard solo by Howser a la Kevin Moore (Dream Theater, Chroma Key) through the middle of it. It's followed by the tempered melodies of 'No Trace'. My favourite piece is the epic 'The Wake', complete with obtuse time changes and some neat keyboard parts.

In Summary
They have a brand new album on the way called 'Nothings Etched In Stone', so that will be one to look out for. Have a listen to the samples over at www.nehrecords.com or www.melodicrock.com and see why these guys could be a 'star on the horizon' in the world of progressive metal.

URL: www.lionmusic.com

Track Listing:
01 Endless Reign
02 Echoes
03 No Trace
04 The Wake
05 The Fall Of Meridian
06 Filtered Lenses
07 Set Fire To The Sky
08 Israel
09 Random Light
10 Alpha
11 Omega

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