As soon as PhaseOne’s debut album TRANSCENDENCY was announced in earlier this month, it was already one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Dropping the news on April Fool’s had fans wary that it was a joke, but sitting here now, 13 tracks and 43 minutes later after listening to this album, it’s safe to say this album is no joke at all.
Plenty of artists have melded metal and bass already, the most salient among them being names like Sullivan King (who screams his own vocals and plays his own guitar, adding to the authenticity of his music) or Kayzo. But where PhaseOne differs from either of them is who he campaigned to appear on his album: Modestep, Thy Art Is Murder, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Northland, Periphery, Subtronics, and Koven.
It’s not a far cry to call this the best bass album of the year so far. The competition in that category is slim, with only a few artists like Delta Heavy, Liquid Stranger, or LSDREAM releasing full-on bass albums in 2019. (Feed Me’s album High Street Creeps falls in a gray area.) Between the hair-raising riddim anthems and the absolutely wild metal fusions on “Crash & Burn” or “Digital,” TRANSCENDENCY is wildly entertaining and endlessly impressive. Plenty of the songs have applications for live special guests, while others, like “Demon Hunter” or “Break Em” are made to just melt faces.
And by the time you get to “Lost” with Koven, when you think PhaseOne has covered all his bases, he introduces a bit of crazy drum n bass into the mix to truly round things out.
I’ve actually had the album for a couple weeks, since we premiered “Crash & Burn” with Northlane earlier this month, and every person I’ve shown the album to in that time has had the same reaction: “Oh my god, what the f*ck is this.” The wide versatility and appeal of TRANSCENDENCY, despite its intensity and rather specific demographic, is what makes the album so good. For most of the bass community that either grew up on metal or emo, this album hits all the boxes and marks all the themes of what a truly transcendent bass album should be.
TRANSCENDENCY is out now via Disciple — listen to it below.