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TesseracT - Concealing Fate CD (album) cover

CONCEALING FATE

TesseracT

 

Progressive Metal

4.16 | 29 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'Concealing Fate' - TesseracT (9/10)

To be quite honest, there are few bands that leave an impression on me, without me first having listened to a full-length bout from them. Having been introduced in earnest to UK metal act TesseracT's music when they opened for Devin Townsend in concert, I was blown away by their immensely tight and chaotic live performance. Naturally, I would pursue the band's work further into their studio material. Perhaps the reason I am loving this new EP 'Concealing Fate' so much is that I associate it with the incredible concert experience I got that night, but regardless, TesseracT's first official effort has blown me away, resulting in one of the strongest extended plays I have ever heard.

Being part of the recent 'djent' metal movement (essentially bands that try to sound like math metal pioneers Meshuggah), TesseracT takes the travelled approach of chaotic, polyrhythmic progressive metal and adds in something that seems to have been long lost on many other releases in the style; a sense of real melody. With this first professional EP, the band packs in hefty doses of atmosphere, technicality (both in performance and composition), heaviness, and beauty, all in appropriate balance and measure. The entire work flows together seamlessly; 'Concealing Fate' is essentially a twenty seven minute long epic, separated into six pieces for the sake of disc navigation. While it might not have the defined sections as a classic epic suite like Genesis' 'Supper's Ready' or 'A Change Of Seasons' from Dream Theater, the piece works wonderfully well as a composition, and the reoccurance of musical motifs and themes gives the journey a binding cohesion.

'Concealing Fate' opens with some beautifully atmospheric and haunting guitar strings that ring throughout the mix. The concept is repeated and developed upon until the crushing metal element is introduced overtop, in a different time signature altogether. This mixture of different times and sounds give a very chaotic, yet brilliant aspect to the music. Overtop the mathematically sound madness are the soaring vocals of singer Dan Tompkins, which while incorperating screams into the mix from time to time, are for the most part, very melodic and powerful. This contrast between the heaviness and beauty of the vocal work is incredibly difficult to do well, but very effective when accomplished, and TesseracT seems to have no problem finding a proper balance.

While there isn't a highlight necessarily in terms of tracks, the first two tracks do seem to work as individual compositions as well as part of the greater whole, while the latter portion of the EP is suited towards only being considered part of the epic. One thing that TesseracT does really well here is create a dense wall of sound behind the main instruments, something that makes me see why they were chosen to play with Devin Townsend. While the music shines throughout, there are indeed parts that might have benefitted had they had a little more variety of sounds to them, instead of a mere guitar barrage. As the powerful introduction suggests, TesseracT works best when they counterpoint heaviness and lightness as one.

While I would rarely say this for an EP, this has indeed been one of the best things to be released this year. It has everything that I would want in a metal release; complexity, intelligence, tight execution, beauty, and an adequate sense of heaviness. While the music here isn't that diverse, TesseracT give a consistently engaging experience. I cannot wait for their first full-length.

Conor Fynes | 5/5 |

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