Surprisingly, Testimony is a rookie band, and while that may not cross your mind upon first listen, the real hint lay in the production which sounds thin, almost like a step back to the '80s when thrash was popular enough that any act could come up with a record deal. Although Testimony doesn't quite fall into the trap, they feel like a second tier band in terms of song writing and hookiness. Melody is sufficient enough that you might be able to find something to latch onto, but an inherent lack of direction is missing from the band's music that is absolutely essential to reel listeners in for repeated listens. This is largely attributed to the progressive nature, which becomes no walk in the park, and pushes writing to second base in favor of lengthiness adopted by acts that don't know when to hang their instruments up. As far as I'm concerned, progressive does not always mean extended song lengths--a portion of the EP would benefit from a good trimming.
On the upside, Testimony is extremely accomplished musically with everything from standard power chord shredding to scale-based climbs into space that recall progressive bands of yore, as well as groups like Testament. For what the band lacks in writing expertise, they make up with in pure charisma and energy, which can be tough to capture on record, yet alone a freshman release. Tempo changes glorify the inner monster called progressive metal, something the band has firmly anchored into their sound that melds unusually well with a choppy brand of thrash not afraid to allow for musical expansion.
Transcending Reality amounts to nothing more than an elementary release from a neophyte band. Song writing suffers in favor of instrumentation--a phenomenon many progsters struggle with--so I'm not as taken back as I should be by that bump in the road. Ultimately, there is potential here, but it's bottled up and utilized in the wrong way. In my eyes, song writing comes first with musicianship in a close second. How else do you get people to buy your records if you're in a metal band?
The Verdict: Boring, boring, and more boring.