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TesseracT - Altered State CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.90 | 233 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Tesseract are a band I've had a slight interest in over the past few years. And when I say that, I mean I have heard bits and pieces of them and have enjoyed them. For my sins, I do have their first album "One", but I haven't gotten around to listening to it. So while trying to get some newer albums a good listening too, my brother suggested that this album was very different to what they've been doing before. Intrigue is struck now, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy this album.

And my brother was right. This album is very different to what I've heard from this band before. Now, these guys have been getting a lot of attention recently, and in all fairness they do deserve it. But, there is something that will always be a stigma that I hold against the band.

The problem I have with these guys usually falls within their songwriting style. Being a musician myself, when I listen to this band I always think "wow I could never be in a band like this." This isn't be being bad musician (I'm alright at it, I guess), it's just that with these guys, and especially this album, the focus is usually on the technicality of the rhythms, beats and riffs rather than the real highlight for the band, and that is the vocals.

One of the biggest changes the band have decided to make is the dismissal of harsh vocals. A rather bold statement the band has decided to make, but they haven't made it impact their sound too much. Although, this album is a lot softer than their previous material, and Ashe's softer vocals do add to the atmosphere very well.

For this album, the band have recruited new vocalist Ashe O'Hara, after 2 vocalists walked out on the band in such a short amount of time. Now, his vocals are a lot softer than the previous vocals, but because of the bands change in style, they work very well with the music. As a vocalist, he really does have a brilliant range, with some very beautiful falsettos, that are almost feminine at times.

My favourite moment on the album has to be the opening suite "Of Matter." "Proxy" starts the song off in a very beautiful fashion and as it progresses throughout, it recapitulates some of themes in brilliant and exciting ways. Ashe's vocals really do work incredibly well and really add character to the complexity of the compositions.

One of my least favourite suites on the album would be "Of Mind." A slight return to form, reminiscing their more heavier material. It still has some brilliant moments, but the 8 minute epic "Exiled" does drag on slightly.

"Of Reality" is one of the better suites on the album as well, especially with the instrumental "Calabi-Yau" with some beautiful saxophone work. "Palingenesis" also has some very interesting jazzy beats throughout, that really add tone to the suite.

The final suite "Of Energy" has brilliant build up throughout. It does drag on a bit slightly with opener "Singularity", but the ending track "Embers", with its closing saxophone lines is absolutely beautiful and ends the album in a really beautiful manner.

In conclusion, this new direction for the band on this album is pretty mind blowing at times. I do prefer a lot of tracks to others, and it's the tracks that are more different are actually my favourites. Which makes me believe that whatever this band decided to do next will be the real triumph. I predict that this is only the beginning of something which could be something huge for the metal community in years to come.


arcane-beautiful | 4/5 |


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