Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. 90
    Transfixiation shows a dangerous band finally sounding as dangerous as their live show indicates.
  2. Feb 20, 2015
    80
    By the time Transfixiation culminates in the fireball that is "I Will Die," it feels like A Place to Bury Strangers have escaped from the wreckage to deliver some of their darkest and most diverse music yet.
  3. Feb 10, 2015
    80
    While Transfixiation doesn't answer that question ["What have I become?"] specifically, it represents another giant step forwards in A Place To Bury Strangers' continual evolution.
  4. Jan 29, 2015
    80
    For a band so obsessed with death, and its erotic possibilities, they sound utterly alive on Transfixiation.
  5. May 7, 2015
    78
    The NYCers fourth LP pulls from the trio's usual obsessions--shoegaze, noise rock, 120 Minutes circa 1988--with zero interest in making things easy.
  6. Feb 17, 2015
    75
    The band’s small but noticeable stabs at restraint make Transfixiation another step forward in A Place To Bury Strangers’ evolution from brutal experimentalists to more pop-conscious noise rockers.
  7. 75
    With Transfixiation, they’ve provided a compelling rebuke to their detractors; once again, there’s no shortage of consideration behind the chaos.
  8. Magnet
    Feb 19, 2015
    70
    If there is no respite from volume, there are variations in pacing. [No. 117, p.59]
  9. Feb 18, 2015
    70
    A Place to Bury Strangers is one of those bands like Clinic; they've never made a bad album even if normal listeners have decided they only need one or two of them. Transfixiation might not be one of those two, but the abnormals have more fun.
  10. Feb 13, 2015
    70
    The best moments are when all of these elements are working together to make songs both catchy and corrosive, like the propulsive "We've Come So Far" (one of the two tunes recorded in Norway with Serena-Maneesh bandleader Emil Nikolaisen) and the unhinged bass feature, "Straight."
  11. Feb 17, 2015
    68
    Transfixiation is at its best, however, when a little restraint casts its own spooky shadows.
  12. Feb 24, 2015
    65
    There may be variances in sound on a track-by-track basis, but individual songs lack any real dynamic shifts and as a result this makes Transfixiation a fairly gruelling listen.
  13. Feb 26, 2015
    60
    It's not really until tremolo laden third track, 'Love High' that the band starts to feel familiar. But once we've gotten into familiar territory, it's clear that what's at fault is not the songs, but the recording and mixing.
  14. Feb 10, 2015
    60
    With Transfixiation now becoming the band’s fourth album, the formula of overwhelming noise was becoming perhaps a little too familiar. There are still elements of their early guise present, but the need for change is clearly reducing the decibel levels.
  15. It's odd that parts of it sound too careful.
  16. Alternative Press
    Feb 2, 2015
    60
    If the album has a flaw, it's a lack of structure and differentiation; as the music progresses, songs become less distinct and less compelling. [Mar 2015, p.90]
  17. Q Magazine
    Jan 29, 2015
    60
    It might be largely business as usual, then, but for all that A Place To Bury Strangers remain strangely comforting presence in an otherwise turbulent world. [Mar 2015, p.103]
  18. Uncut
    Jan 29, 2015
    60
    Not one original note, but big fun for feedback fetishists. [Mar 2015, p.69]
  19. Under The Radar
    Jan 29, 2015
    60
    Transfixiation generally features fairly quick songs that don't wallow too much in self-indulgent noisemaking. [Nov-Dec 2014, p.62]
  20. Feb 13, 2015
    55
    Those who are coming into Transfixiation blind might just hear a notable band boasting a currently rare commitment to an '80s kind of noise-rock rather than the '90s iterations of shoegaze, goth, or industrial that’s more prominent in 2015. Then again, APTBS’ progress as a band only serves to expose the underlying one-dimensionality of their actual songwriting.
  21. 50
    If you never liked APTBS, odds are you’re not about to start here.
  22. Mar 5, 2015
    50
    Transfixiation’s weakest points are its fixations, when it lingers too long on a verse clearly aching for the payoff of a chorus or when it tries for serious by way of obscene.
  23. Feb 18, 2015
    50
    Volume is fine, fuzz is good, but it shouldn’t obliterate the songs.
  24. Feb 17, 2015
    50
    The volume and aggression are still there, but without any textures or atmospherics to give that aggression character, it all makes for an often-dull experience.
  25. 42
    It’s not a bad or poorly constructed release by any means, but it is emotionally monotonous, the sound of three incredibly angry dudes spewing their grievances about the world while impassably dense guitar distortion splashes around them.
  26. Feb 13, 2015
    40
    Transfixiation, named appropriately, demands a trance-like attention across its duration, but very little sticks once the ride is over.
  27. Feb 12, 2015
    40
    [The] fourth LP is lazy through and through despite throwing up waves of explosive sex-and-death rock and roll.

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