TESSERACT — Altered State

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TESSERACT - Altered State cover
4.08 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2013


1. Of Matter (14:16)

I. Proxy
II. Retrospect
III. Resist

2. Of Mind (14:40)

I. Nocturne
II. Exile

3. Of Reality (9:49)

I. Eclipse
II. Palingenesis
III. Calabi-Yau

4. Of Energy (13:56)

I. Singularity
II. Embers

Total Time 52:41


- Ashe O'Hara / Vocals
- Acle Kahney / Guitar
- James Monteith / Guitar
- Jay Postones / Drums
- Amos Williams / Bass

- Chris Barretto / Saxophone (track 3/III, 4/II)

About this release

Released by Century Media.

Thanks to Lynx33 for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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.

Kev Rowland
When Tesseract signed to Century Media they lost their singer Abisola Obasanya and replaced him with Daniel Tompkins with whom they recorded their debut album. The album gained them a great deal of kudos and they toured hard, but soon they again needed a new singer so brought in Eliot Coleman with whom they recorded an EP, but it wasn’t long before they yet again needed a new vocalist, but let’s just hope that they chain Ashe O’Hara to the bus and just feed him and throw him the occasional bottle of beer as he is a real keeper. Much has been made of Tesseract’s musical style, and they are often referred to as Djent, but to my ears they are a prog metal band that are using loads of influences from lots of different musical areas and who cares what they are labelled as anyway?

This is an album that is all about strange time signatures and percussive guitars, combined with loads of reverb and atmosphere. Ashe’s vocals are incredible as he morphs between different styles and types, but always at the front, and always very much in control. Although there are hints of Animals as Leaders and Protest The Hero, I found that the two bands I kept being reminded of for some reasons were Evanescence and New Order. There is no doubt at all in my mind that Amos Williams has been hugely influenced by the bass playing of Peter Hook, and this combined with staccato riffing makes for some very powerful music indeed. Williams says that “mood, atmosphere, melody, and experiment are the main focus” of the album and I have to agree with him wholeheartedly.

This is an album that is not always easy to listen to, with many angular edges and plenty of riffing combined with the atmosphere and emotion, but it is always interesting and pushing forward. They have been together in one form or another for ten years, and now is their time as this is a heck of an album on so many levels. www.centurymedia.net

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