Claiming to capture the essence of nature and translate it into their musical compositions, Transcendus hail from Indonesia and have just released their debut album "Nocturnal Ambience" on THT Productions. Transcendus labels their style as dark ambient metal. Actually, they rarely every mix the ambient with the metal. Basically, all of the songs are either metal or ambient. "I Am the Reaper" does start off with a cool ambient intro before going metal though. The music here is fairly simple, sometimes overly simple as in "Imago Dei", where the song just slowly plods along at an almost hypnotic pace, which the vocalist just screams the lyrics in agony, the pace picks up near the middle, before the plodding returns. Most of the songs have a pretty dark feel. I actually enjoy the ambient songs probably better then the heavier metal songs. Songs like "Nightime Breeze", "Transcend", and "Moonlight Echoes" may be my favorites of the bunch. The hardest thing to get past for most will be the horribly annoying vocals. Imagine a cross between Danielson and some of Kekal's new vocal stylings. Mix that with music in the vein of Doctor Dark and you have the metal tunes in a nutshell. As far as the nature aspect, I'm guessing that they are comparing the calm and also violent aspects of nature to the calm ambient sounds and the harsh metallic sounds on the album. Unfortunately, there are no lyrics supplied with the album so your guess at what they are saying is as good as mine. This has become a trend lately with a lot of bands and I don't really like it. Production-wise this is pretty decent; along the lines of some of Kekal's earlier stuff. Packaging is nothing super special with just a single insert with liner notes.
Overall, not a bad debut, but a band that could use some work. You should be able to pick up this disc at www.blastbeats.com or straight from THT Productions at www.thtproductions.com. (Review by Matt)