A voyage through the mind

François Lemieux
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Prog-metal West Island band promotes debut album

Transcend, a progressive metal band from the West Island have started promoting their two-disc debut album hard recently following its release last year. Photo courtesy.

Transcend, a progressive metal band from the West Island has launched into full-promotion mode recently to get their music known to the larger public following the release of The Mind, their first album a year ago.

The quartet which is reminiscent of Dream Theater in their style of playing, is composed of 21-year-old Costa Damoulianos from Pierrefonds on vocals and guitar, his 19-year-old brother Nico on bass, 25-year-old Alex Lagogianis from Dollard des Ormeaux on keyboards and back-up vocals live and 22-year-old Jake Shamash from Dollard des Ormeaux as well on drums.

The band has been around for six years but the focus on writing quality songs and lineup changes have kept it from releasing anything before last year when they put forward their two-disc debut album, a concept record that follows the life of a fictional character through all the development stages of life.

“The album is basically a story. The whole album ties in together like Pink Floyd's The Wall. It focuses on the life of one guy and his quest," said Shamash. “In the end of the story, everything that's happened to this person, everything that he's run into, has conquered or not conquered is all a product of his head.”

The album has 13 well-tweaked songs recorded by musicians who know their instruments well. Although The Mind does not revolutionize the genre, it puts forward certain elements of novelty that characterize progressive-metal nowadays while at times embracing old school metal.

With an average song length of seven minutes and an unconventional song structure that is characteristic of progressive music, the band members know their style isn’t going to please everyone and most probably not commercial rock radios. Those have time restrictions and are prone to favour the more traditional three-to-four minute pop or rock single over songs that expand in time and style.

But the four West Islanders show little concern for getting air time on classic rock radio since they claim most of their fans don’t listen to it. Damoulianos says that progressive-metal is growing and the fact that they’ve been played on over 20 Internet radios all over the world seems to prove it.

 “Progressive has become very big. It's very important in a lot of people's lives,” said Lagogianis.

 “Ours is not a very accessible style of music. And we're not interesting in making it more. We want people to listen; we want to get our message across to as many people as we can. And we want to make people feel it and change them. But at the same time, we want ourselves to come out in our music. And for us to go and write a Britney Spears song, we wouldn't be being ourselves,” said Shamash.

So far, about 100 hard copies and of the album have been sold as well as a dozen more digital copies over the Internet. In their six years of existence, Transcend has developed a following that has resulting in the band being able to climb the ladder in playing in bigger venues and opening for bigger bands in front of wider audiences.

On November 2, they’ll continue their long way to the top by playing at Foufounes Électriques in downtown Montreal where doors will open at 7 p.m. Two bands will precede Transcend onstage while Three will be the main act. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $13 or for $15 at the door.

To find out more about Transcend, access their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Transcendmusic.

Organizations: The Mind, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd

Geographic location: West Island, Pierrefonds, Montreal

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  • yvonne
    October 18, 2012 - 23:15

    wow wish you the best of luck!

  • Melanie Richter
    October 17, 2012 - 15:52

    Wishing you continued success!