The bleak, blown-out free-noise world that is upstate New York, especially the damaged genius that revolves around Rochester’s Carbon Records, does NOT get enough attention! Transcendental Manship Highway is an upstate NY super-group of sorts, comprising Eric and Ray of Century Plants, Cory from Stone Baby and Carbon head honcho Joe Tunis. Their debut CD-R “Lord of the Trees” is a mammoth half-hour blast of cranium-devouring guitar and drum punishment that is sure to call attention to this underrated scene.
Skullflower is the first thing that comes to mind when attempting to conjure up comparisons, as these four dudes lather their sonic terrorism with the blackened char of an apocalyptic premonition. Navigating the seemingly impromptu appearance of labyrinthine thrash soloing, melting sheets of feedback, and almost motorik rhythms that descend from what must be a starless night sky (a sky blackened perhaps by the many failed factories of decades past) is a daunting yet worthwhile endeavour. The recording quality is surprisingly top-notch, as the disc documents what must have been a deafening live show.
When the Angel of Death approaches at the end of days, he will be striding along the Transcendental Manship Highway. Will you be prepared? 9/10 -- Bryon Hayes (10 December, 2008)