Transcend with Time,
A Haunting Presence
(independent, 2009)

Transcend with Time is the one-man creation of Mark Mendieta from Brownsville, Texas. This project started in 2006, and A Haunting Presence is the fourth CD released under this band name. Mark describes the music of Transcend with Time as "Progressive New Age/Ambient." In the promotional material, he states, "This disc is about life's journey encountering negative emotions."

The title track uses stringed instruments to set the mood. The piano plays in the background and is mostly very repetitive with its simple series of notes. There is a short part where the piece almost turns into what sounds like the introduction for a World War II military scene. While not the longest track on the CD, this one clocks in at more than seven minutes. I feel it could have been cut down a little bit due to the fact that in the last couple of minutes, the tune slows down to a crawl and basically becomes noise.

There is one track on this CD I truly cannot stand. To begin with, when you are listening to what you think is an instrumental CD, the last thing you want to hear is somebody singing. Unless the voice is used as another instrument, turning your focus to the lyrics disrupts the mood. Guest vocalist Brandon Strader sings on "In Loving Memory." The song moves along at a snail's pace that is only exacerbated by the fact that it is just under 11 minutes long. During that time, Brandon often strains his warbling vocals, which fall flat on many occasions. I find this almost like listening to karaoke, sometimes painful, sometimes not overly bad. Either way, I just want to leave the room. To Brandon's credit, I bet there are songs where his voice would make a pleasant match. This, however, is not one of those songs.

Fortunately, the worst track is followed by one of the better tracks on the CD, "When the Evening Bleeds." As with many of the other selections, this piece could be on a soundtrack. I like the repetitive guitar, which helps keep the beat. I actually think of an amusement park fun house around the midpoint, a little over two minutes in. I never get a sense of evening, so I'm not sure where the title ties in to it.

As a general rule, A Haunting Presence is not a bad transcendental CD. I have a few misgivings on a couple of tracks that other listeners might overlook. There was only one track I truly disliked. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to hit the forward button. Otherwise, this CD makes a good background CD when you don't want the music to take your entire focus. For the most part, it sets the mood of tranquility quite simply.

[ visit the artist online ]

review by
Wil Owen

23 January 2010

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new