Somojo Magazine

Ed Hale and the Transcendence - All Your Heroes Become Villains

Ed Hale and the Transcendence - All Your Heroes Become Villains
Released November 15th on Dying Van Gogh Records

Writer, musician, activist, populist blogger, controversial YouTube star, and general raconteur Ed Hale is a hard man to keep up with. His latest solo album Ballad On Third Avenue is still in the charts with its newest hit single "New Orleans Dreams" which is currently #43 on Adult Contemporary radio in the U5 and in rotation in twenty-one other countries, including the UK. Perhaps even more exciting for some was the announcement this month that the singer/songwriter once again teamed up with the critically acclaimed Brit-pop/indie-rock collective Transcendence to record and release their long awaited new album, All Your Heroes Become Villains, their first album of new material in almost five years.

Ed Hale and Transcendence first caught national attention by combining World Music themes with an eccentric modern rock that they called "planet music," Hale's consciousness raising lyrics and the fact that he sang in some five different languages on the band's debut album Rise and Shine - sometimes within the same song - also added to the group's unique appeal. During the nine years since this genre-defying breakout debut, Ed Hale and The Transcendence have released four albums and toured the United States, Europe and South America, being called ”musical shape - shifters” for their willingness to assume whatever form and go in whatever direction their music demands of them.

This newest release was the result of a long, grueiling recording process, appropriate for an album as equally accessible as it is complex and eclectic. Haunting melodies, thundering rhythmic adventurousness, other-worldly guitar riffs, bold sonic experimentation, inspired song writing and richly layered impassioned vocals all come together to create a highly memorable and moving listening experience. The mammoth ”Villains aIbum," which is being touted as ”the band’s most cohesive album to date," could easily be called a concept album. The songs both musically and lyrically tie into one another seamlessly in one cohesively bold brash gigantic and powerful listen.

All Your Heroes Become Villains is certainly titled appropriately for the times that we live in. And from the moment ”the needle hits the record" it sounds like a forgotten classic, something beautiful lost and now remembered. Hale and the band worked tirelessly for over a year trying to bring the mammoth project under their control, bringing in other musicians when needed as varied as a gospel singer, a second drummer, a Los Angeles DJ, and various horn players. The result is a mash of styles and genres and yet still recognizable as having ”that Transcendence sound." lt is a stylistically and lyrically unified and thematic work of musical art; and by far their most ambitious release yet. Like a shadow of the chaotic world we live in today, "The Villains album" is dark and heavy, yes, and yet every now and then it glimmers with the catchy ear candy melodies that fa ns of the band have come to love and expect. Hale sings in his tortured baritone of hope, victory, loss, suffering and a blind idealism that borders on madness. Of course the album also finds Hale at times singing at his most precious and tender. The band weaves together their trademark post- modern rock meets Brit pop creating an aural soundscape that is truly unforgettable. With each and every new Transcendence album, one is never quite sure what to expect. On All Your Heroes Become Villains they harness the best of their previous efforts and multiply it tenfold.

Features the singles “Blind Eye,” ”Solaris," “Waiting for Godot” and “Here it Comes."


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