Transport Aerian is a solo project of the Belgian artist Hamlet, who already recorded two albums namely Blessed (2009) and Charcoal (2010). The music of Transport Aerian is quite experimental and blends styles like indie, jazz, electronic music, prog rock, psychedelic rock and doom. Another remarkable aspect on Hamlet's third album Bleeding is his dark voice. Don't expect any high-pitched screams, but don't expect any sweet, tender or mellow singing either.
The album opens with Mortals containing heavy guitar riffs and desperate, almost spoken lyrics. It's followed by Inspire, which has an easier structure and a piano intro. Halfway the piano just ticks like a clock only supported by the expressive voice of Hamlet. The last part reminds me of the kind of doom music produced by The Cure and The Sound, two British new wave bands from the eighties. Score isn't a happy tune either; it's quite depressive dealing with the homeless searching for drugs. Fog Vision ends with a dark guitar solo. In my opinion Night Sky is one of the best songs; here it seems as if Hamlet has been influenced by the music of Anathema and Riverside.
If you like this kind of progressive rock then Edges is another great track. You'll just hear a piano, a slow guitar sound and strong lyrics about passionate love. At the end of this eight-minute piece a vigorous guitar solo washes the hope for a simple and easy relationship away. Winter is dominated by the acoustic guitar and with his fascinating, poetical lyrics Hamlet creates indeed a winter of his own. This inspiring piece ends with a surprising guitar solo in the vein of The Edge (U2). The two final songs Triangle and A Lamb To The Knife are also worthwhile listening to.
The material on Bleeding is neither tranquil nor serene, but it's more a kind of ecstasy of obscure and melancholic moods. It's a typical record for the dark, long and cold days of winter.
*** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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