Thorne's saxophone is a prominent sound here, along with the ensemble's cello, clarinet, violin, trumpet, oboe and light percussion. Vessel, however, mostly contributes brittle textures and disquieting atmospheres. Electronic screeches, sustained waveforms and distortion color the climax of "What Hath God Wrought?" and flank the edges of "Battle Cry," and are used even less in "De Revolutionibus" and "Scope."
The orchestration at the music's core is captivating and curious. Thorne hints at Johnny Greenwood's kind of unresolved dissonance, letting it stab, recoil and drone through otherwise consonant compositions. Interesting as the ensemble sounds, it's hard not to wonder what more a sonic savant like Vessel could have brought to the table beyond piercing frequencies and rumbling static. Transition isn't innovative, but it's a step in the right direction.