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Album Reviews : Trancestate – Planetary Awakening

By on April 10, 2019

There are certainly some great bands out there, doing some good stuff with death metal, and especially with progressive and techy death metal. As a whole however, the genre is a little stale, and is in need of a kick up the arse to bring it back to life. It needs a new and different element to be injected into it to make it fresh and new again.

And that’s exactly what this Wodonga-based duo do. On Planetary Awakening, Trancestate pour a strong dose of darkwave and electronic histrionics into an already progressive sound, and this very much has the effect of throwing a curveball into proceedings and really shaking them up. The overriding vibe is that of bonecrushingly heavy, heavily syncopated progressive death metal with roaring, howling, highly effective vocals (and occasional cleans to provide even more dynamics), but with walls and washes of electronics that only add power, darkness and difference, and a weird symphonic presence, to the sound.

They throw other elements into the mix as well at times, some acoustic tones here, a subtle sprinkling of Middle Eastern influences there. They even go all Radiohead on us for a moment during Nothing Will Pacify, which is enjoyably surprising.

And the best thing about it all is that all the elements bend seamlessly together. It shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does, and putting such seemingly disparate elements together and making it completely cohesive only displays songwriters, musicians and producers of rare technical skill. Imagination and vision.

Planetary Awakening is definitely one for the very open-minded metalhead. Leave any misconceptions of what metal has to be, and any small minded old school conservatism that exists in your thought patterns, at the door when you experience this release, and just let its wonders wash over you. You will not regret it.

Band: Trancestate
Album: Planetary Awakening
Year: 2019
Genre: Progressive/Electronic Death Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.