Transcended (2016)

Johannes Maria Knoll

Hard Rock, Christian


His porfolio of artists he worked with in the studio and on stage is read like the who is who of the (german-speaking) (Hip Hop-) music scene. Grandmaster Samy Deluxe, Gentleman or as international example Mydal Rose of Black Uhuru are just a few names. “Transcended” is his very own appeal to a rocking soundtrack of the bible.

The Setup

His combatants aren’t deedless either: Christian Eigner (Depeche Mode, Georg Danzer) and Gerald Schaffhauser (House of Riddim, Lukascher). With this background and support on his side, it isn’t surprising anymore that the 17-song-strong record of Johannes Maria Knoll is a heavy rocking piece of modern sound and energy.

As the bible itself, the album starts with “Creation”. This song with its huge riff is already enough to convince that here we have a blast of musical creation. To the riff you get a high class solo. The intro of the second song “The Fall Of Man” could as well start an Overseer-Electro-Track, but here it is a running and grooving song with distorted voices that are hard to understand, and it seems clear: Paradise is lost.

It goes on with stories of the old testament. “The Giving of the Law” on the mount Sinai is one peak that comes with a riff close to Metal. The same applies to “Lucifer’s Fall”, especially the beginning. After all those hard times, the record finally gets another dynamic twist with “His First Coming”, a quiet tune with nice percussions. Even another dimension opens “Joy”, that makes think of Hawaii and times outside with the birds singing in the background.

The More in it

Temptation” then comes with a cool groove and could be a Hip Hop beat, thinking back to Ja Rule’s “The Last Temptation”. Again another influence and style comes with “The Sermon On The Mount”, with a mouth harp and organ it goes country and southern rock directions and therefore fits to its story. Another comparison comes to ones mind at “Trials” with its tambourine: Rock icon Lenny Kravitz.

Going on to “Thirty Pieces of Silver”, with the sound of coins in the beginning you don’t even need to know the title to know the story, a stomping tune with Indie touch. To summarize, Johannes Maria Knoll accomplishes a very interesting task with this record. He took the Holy Scripture that is located in ancient times and put the stories into modern sounds (for “The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem” he even used the sound of a helicopter). He covers many “essential” chapters as of course he had to skip a lot. Still the record reaches a length of over 70 minutes, and seems coherent in structure.