"Transcendental Union" (Self-produced; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The band name "Navigator" had me thinking that I was going to be lead on some type of journey and, indeed, that was the case.

This project is largely the work of one man: Alan Webb played almost all of the instruments on this album, wrote all of the music and lyrics plus he co-produced the album. The majority of the material is inspired by 70s prog rock with a more modern upgrade. We are treated to various instruments and textures all with a high level of polish. However, there are moments where some death metal vocals and rough thrash parts are brought into play.

The vocals are actually done by two separate singers, one handling the clean parts and the other taking on the death metal parts. I am not sure the transitions between the styles are always as smooth as they could have been.

There are five songs with a total running time of under twenty minutes. The ability here is undeniable and the ideas are interesting. The songs would have benefited from being tighter in places. Alan Webb has a fine grasp on tones and knows to pull the best bits from different styles, but there do seem to be a few gaps here and there. Still, as a debut and an EP "Transcendental Union" presents enough to make me want to hear more. Here is hoping that Mr. Webb keeps working on his band's approach and that, some time in the not too distant future, we are treated to a full length album.

Navigator: Alan Webb - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Mandolin, Synth Programming, Drum Programming; Jay Bannmuller - Violins; Alex Butler - Vocals; Andy Stevenson - Vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:31 -0500.