With nearly five years of labor, additions, postponements, and massive life changes, this sophomore release from Massachusetts-based metaltronica project Planepacked, marks several milestones for the artist. It’s the first Planepacked release featuring Jessica Kagan’s singing, which she learned to do over the pandemic, and also the first album to be released since Jessica’s transition to a woman. The differences can be heard with the opening track “Azure (Her Clarion Call),” for once one gets past the extreme metal harsh growling from guest vocalist Moss Girl, Kagan’s operatic supplemental vocals appear for the first time, belting out lines such as “Infatuation, inamorata, in devotion I make my stand with you!” It is important to note that during the production of Transactinides, the songs did not originally include any vocals; from a production standpoint, this fact is, unfortunately, fairly obvious. While not necessarily performed poorly, they do feel out of place and are in front of the mix, adding too much additional noise to what is already a very busy soundscape. This is the most evident in the nearly ten-minute “Heliotaxis,” where the pacing of the lyrics simply do not match the composition of the song at times, as if the instrumental and the vocal tracks are on completely different pages. Instrumentals such as “Behind the Bitmask” and the titular track do a much better job showing off the creative and complex chaos of sounds that have been associated with the project. One can’t dispute an artist’s decision to edit and revise their work, adding vocals to a previously established sound to ensure it feels more like their own. It is evident that the person behind Planepacked was not the same person that began these tracks, and thus Transactinides is the byproduct of a project in flux, much like how Jessica Kagan has gone through quite the flux herself over the past half-decade. One can assume with reasonable certainty that this is the beginning of the truest form of Planepacked and the best is yet to come, with Transactinides laying the groundwork.