4 stars Hamlet Tinae. I had no idea who he was but somehow we connected on Facebook. It turns out, a couple of musicians I know collaborated with him on this album and I guess that’s how he found me. Since I was seeing all these cool photos of this guy who, in one photo at least, looked like he was from a vampire movie and also appeared with an intriguing band called Fabulae Dramatis, I thought I should check out his music. I ordered this album blindly. Or rather deafly because I had at least seen how Hamlet looks but never heard anything other than a short clip from Fabulae Dramatis.

Sometimes it’s really great to get an album that totally surprises you in a good way. I mean, it might not be what you’re into at the moment but it lands in your aural lap and throws cold water in your audio processors and makes you go, “Woah!” and then fall off your spinny chair. If you have one.

How to concisely describe the music on this release of Transport Aerian (I haven’t heard others but I am certainly interested now!) was eluding me, Sunshine, so I went to the profile page on Melodic Revolution Records (home to so many unique music projects!) and found this description:

“Transport Aerian is essentially a one-man prog noir project led by a producer and multi-instrumentalist Hamlet. It sets no strict genre borders, knows no musical or spiritual limits. At the different times, the project had been working with different musicians, always changing and shifting its live and studio experiences depending on what the current creative state demands, performing drastically different kinds of music, yet always staying in the shape of poetic, sharp-edged artistic kind.

“The project’s philosophy is closest to those, calling themselves expressionists in poetry and fine arts, therefore, the inner side of the emotional expression is what Hamlet intends to bring through project’s music to whoever who is willing to hear the word said.”

That is a pretty good explanation. This album is dark, brooding, deep, and murky. It’s heavy at times but in a forboding kind of way. It’s industrial at times with that air of dark poetry that often comes with industrial music. It’s mysterious. It’s haunting. It’s beautiful. It’s profound! “I’ve got a problem with survivour’s guilt. I’ve got a problem dealing with it. I’ve got a problem with a herroine whore, staring at me from the record in a vinyl store.” (from the first track “Smirking Sirens”)

Hamlet has created an album of two approaches. First is the traditional approach of writing songs and composing music. Well, okay, the sometimes clashing notes and dischordency or the unusual blend of instruments is not exactly traditional. But these are lyrics and music created by one man. Then there’s the Abstract Symphony. For these five tracks, Hamlet sent the concept of each track to several outside musicians and asked them to play and record whatever they imagined from the title alone. The five titles are “Information Field”, “Saturate”, “Lovemeat”, “Poor Things Need”, and “Immortals”. From their contributions, which were made without the musicians having any idea of how the final piece would sound, Hamlet created these five diverse tracks. I’ll say that the experiment worked successfully!

One point I really like is the spoken words by Rachel Bauer. With her accent, the quality of her voice, and the enigmatic words she speaks, and the music accompanying her, there is a special delight for me to hear her.

Transport Aerian’s “Therianthrope” is not going to be an album for people who are more into crossover prog or popular song-writing styles. It may be too weird for some and there’s quite a range of instrumental sounds that are outside the traditional rock band format. However, this is an album that some people need to know about. You! You should know who you are. This album has a message for you types. Hamlet Tinae is communicating with people like you through his music. Won’t you listen?

FragileKings | 4/5 |