A Place To Bury Strangers - Transfixiation
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #762 / 892
User Score
Based on 41 ratings
2015 Ratings: #546
Liked by 1 person
February 17, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
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Slant Magazine

A Place to Bury Strangers is known to be a behemoth on stage, and Transfixiation is as loud as the group's reputation merits. Yet there's also quite a bit of dynamic nuance to these songs.

Drowned in Sound

Transfixiation ... is perhaps the closest recorded representation of the band's explosive live sound to date.


If their last album, Worship, was a sleek race car, then Transfixiation is where they crash it just to watch it burn.

The Line of Best Fit

This is a varied record, but there’s measure to the level of experimentation; the idea of maintaining a sense of cohesion is paid far more regard than on Worship.

A.V. Club

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.


Compared to the coolly detached electro-infused pulse of 2012's somewhat disappointing Worship, there's a decidedly rawer energy to the recordings on Transfixiation.

As long as Ackermann's curb-stomping his pedals these guys will keep you awake, and the repetitions underneath keep him rock'n'roll.

Transfixiation is intense, even in comparison to A Place To Bury Strangers’ previous albums. But without spikes and valleys, even noise rock can become white noise.

The 405

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.


The New York trio's live shows are consistently overwhelming, and Ackermann ... conceived 'Transfixiation' to be as instinctive. So it's odd that parts of it sound too careful.

The Skinny

Distinctly lacking though is a sense of urgency or purpose; Transfixiation keeps the 30 year-old racket going but without really adding much to the blueprint.


Transfixiation sounds, in places, like a band that are occasionally struggling with their own identity.

Under The Radar

Transfixiation generally features fairly quick songs that don't wallow too much in self-indulgent noisemaking. They make you pant just long enough, then give you a breather until the next reverberating hurricane of sound.


For a band whose songs so frequently draw on the depths of despair, incapacitating depression, and occasional kink for inspiration, the grousing of Transfixiation feels perfunctory.


It’s hard not to regard Transfixation as anything but a failed experiment, an attempt by the band to strip themselves down to their barest essence only to find that they don’t have much to work with.

Tiny Mix Tapes
All these songs share a similar bewilderment, chock full of world-beating platitudes and searing guitars that try to evoke nothing less than the brutal totality of existence.
Pretty Much Amazing
Although the album’s capable enough to retain their old apostles ... if you actually want to like A Place To Bury Strangers instead of just remaining devoted to them, better check out their first album.
Consequence of Sound
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.
Despite A Place To Bury Strangers using experimentation to a point on their fourth full-length, ‘Transfixiation’ all too often sinks into a noise rock blur, with not a hook in sight to emerge from above these reverb-saturated cuts.
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Year End Lists

#43/Piccadilly Records

Track List

  1. Supermaster
  2. Straight
  3. Love High
  4. What We Don't See
  5. Deeper
  6. Lower Zone
  7. We've Come So Far
  8. Now It's Over
  9. I'm So Clean
  10. Fill the Void
  11. I Will Die
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Added on: November 19, 2014