TESSERACT

Progressive Metal • United Kingdom
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TesseracT are a Progressive Metal Band from England that began in 2003 initially intended as a solo project by guitarist Acle Kahney. The band now consists of Dan Tompkins - Vocals, Acle Kahney - Guitars, James Monteith - Guitars, Jay Postones - Drums and Amos Williams - Bass & Vocals.

Following the release of their 2007 Demo they received glowing praise from the media. Soon after, the track Lament was featured on Metal Hammer's November 2009 issue cover CD. They soon set about writing and recording their debut One, initially to be released in 2010 it has now been delayed until 2011 after the band signed to the label Century Media.

In the meantime they have scheduled the release of an EP Concealing Fate a 27 minute epic on October 12th 2010.

They have also been invited by Devin Townsend to join him on his headline tour of the US and Canada in
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SonderSonder
KSCOPE 2018
$10.18
$10.98 (used)
Altered StateAltered State
Century Media 2013
$8.93
$12.52 (used)
OneOne
Century Media 2018
$7.97
$10.12 (used)
Polaris / Errai ( 2 Cd Set )Polaris / Errai ( 2 Cd Set )
KSCOPE 2017
$9.93
$8.98 (used)
PolarisPolaris
KSCOPE 2017
$11.11
$4.14 (used)
One (Digi CD/DVD)One (Digi CD/DVD)
Century Media 2012
$12.98 (used)
One (LP Reissue)One (LP Reissue)
Century Media 2015
$19.49
$25.08 (used)
OneOne
Century Media Records 2015
$18.30
$21.94 (used)
The Odyssey / Scala (CD/DVD)The Odyssey / Scala (CD/DVD)
Century Media 2015
$12.00
$10.79 (used)
Errai ( 12Errai ( 12" Vinyl )
KSCOPE 2017
$15.75
$113.00 (used)
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TESSERACT CD - POLARIS (2015) - NEW UNOPENED - ROCK - KSCOPE TESSERACT CD - POLARIS (2015) - NEW UNOPENED - ROCK - KSCOPE USD $14.99 Buy It Now 6h
Razor (Metal Hammer #198) (2009) feat. Slayer, Kiss, Every Time I Die, Tesseract Razor (Metal Hammer #198) (2009) feat. Slayer, Kiss, Every Time I Die, Tesseract USD $2.63 (0 bids)
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LOUDNESS (DANCE) Let Me Hear You 12 LOUDNESS (DANCE) Let Me Hear You 12" VINYL Netherlands Tesseract 1993 3 Track USD $2.75 Buy It Now 7 days
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TesseracT - Altered State (NEW CD) TesseracT - Altered State (NEW CD) USD $15.44 Buy It Now 16 days
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TESSERACT Discography

TESSERACT albums / top albums

TESSERACT One album cover 4.13 | 10 ratings
One
Progressive Metal 2011
TESSERACT Altered State album cover 4.09 | 16 ratings
Altered State
Progressive Metal 2013
TESSERACT Polaris album cover 4.28 | 5 ratings
Polaris
Progressive Metal 2015
TESSERACT Sonder album cover 4.54 | 6 ratings
Sonder
Progressive Metal 2018

TESSERACT EPs & splits

TESSERACT Concealing Fate album cover 3.95 | 9 ratings
Concealing Fate
Progressive Metal 2010
TESSERACT Perspective album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Perspective
Progressive Metal 2012

TESSERACT live albums

TESSERACT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

TESSERACT Demo 2007 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Demo 2007
Progressive Metal 2007

TESSERACT re-issues & compilations

TESSERACT singles (0)

TESSERACT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

TESSERACT Reviews

TESSERACT Sonder

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
DippoMagoo
Out of all types of metal, one genre I’ve long struggled with and only managed to enjoy in quick bursts over the years is djent, a particularly rhythmic, repetitive and at times overly harsh sounding offshoot of progressive metal, which of course is one of my favorite genres. The band many consider to be the pioneers of the genre, Messhugah, have certainly never impressed me, while other famous bands like Periphery and Textures have managed to hook me in on occasion, but never entirely. So far, the one band in this style that has managed to keep me interested over the course of multiple albums is British band TesseracT, who I first discovered with their excellent second full-length release, Altered State, in 2013. Their next release, Polaris mostly eluded me, though I did eventually give it a listen and quite enjoyed it as well, so while their upcoming fourth full-length album, Sonder, wasn’t one of my most anticipated releases the year or anything, I was interested to see how it would turn out. In the end, if their previous albums hadn’t already won me over and convinced me that djent can work on a consistent basis when done correctly, then Sonder surely would have been the one to do it, as it manages to be equal parts accessible, hard-hitting and atmospheric, and it’s easily the most engaging and consistently impressive release I’ve heard from TesseracT to date.

One aspect of djent I tend to not be too fond of is the constant use of repetitive chugging guitars, which can grate on my ears badly if done the wrong way, with even a band such as Periphery sometimes falling into that trap. Thankfully, TesseracT have always been good at knowing just how far to take their heaviness, without pushing it to the point where it gets irritating, and they also do a great job of letting the guitars and drums settle into a nice groove, that allows the atmosphere and vocals to take and over and really push the songs to the next level. Which brings me to one aspect of the genre I do enjoy, and another thing TesseracT does amazingly, and that is the contrasts between the rough, aggressive sections, and the dark but rather calm and atmospheric, sometimes even ambient, sections. On Sonder, TesseracT have really perfected that side of their music, with almost every track seamlessly switching from loud and violent to calm and more introspective seemingly out of nowhere, and they handle these transitions perfectly. There are many extended softer portions on this album, where the electronic elements are used nicely along with more melodic guitars to add atmosphere to the music, and this goes along nicely with the lyrics, which deal with themes of insignificance, and it is definitely a very emotional album, with very strong performances all around. At the same time, fans looking for the more aggressive side of the band’s music still have a lot to look forward to, especially on tracks like “King”, “Juno” and “Smile”.

Another aspect I often struggle with is the vocals, as djent is a genre often known to use a ton of screaming, metalcore style vocals, and those are the kind of thing that can often grate on my nerves if done poorly, which I sadly find to be the case a lot of the time. Thankfully, that is yet another trap TesseracT manages to avoid, as vocalist Daniel Tompkins only uses screams in quick bursts, often during some particularly intense and powerful sequences where that kind of approach is necessary. When he does use them, he sounds fittingly intense, but certainly never grating or irritating. For the most part, he uses clean vocals and he is certainly one excellent singer, seamlessly going from high notes to low notes within the same sentence, with his lower range especially sounding very smooth and really fits the atmosphere of the music, though his high notes are also very nice, of course. He sings very calmly during the soft parts but can get his voice to sound rough and intense without screaming during some of the heavier parts, and this is used to great effect throughout the album. Overall, he simply does an excellent job and puts a ton of emotion into his performance, which helps to enhance an already great album even further.

One last area where djent can often be hit or miss is in the songwriting, as I find there isn’t really that many bands can do while sticking to their overall sound, so often times the songs will blend together, with few standouts. This is again an area in which TesseracT delivers, as while there is a consistent feel to the whole album and everything flows together perfectly, each track can definitely stand on its own, and it certainly never gets boring. Opening track “Luminary” does an excellent job of setting the tone, opening with some brief atmospheric electronic effects, before the dissonant guitars kick in, and then the music calms down again and Daniel enters in on vocals. It’s a great track which does a great job of briefly showcasing the heavier side of the band, while overall being a very melodic and surprisingly accessible track, with a very strong chorus, and a great use of atmospheric sounds throughout.

The first big standout is “King”, the longest track on the album at just under 7 minutes, and it’s a mammoth track, entering in with some very overpowering riffs that set a dark and ominous tone right out of the gate, and this is one of the tracks where Daniel showcases his screams, seamlessly mixing them in with his various types of clean vocals, with everything sounding perfect, of course. The track is definitely one of the heaviest on the album, getting especially intense during a screaming section in the second half, though it still manages to throw in a ton of calmer and more atmospheric moments both in the middle and ending of the track, and it has another strong chorus. After that is the interlude track “Orbital”, a brief but very nice ambient track, which uses some nice electronic sounds in the background, while Daniel sings very softly. It manages to be an emotional track, while also being very quiet, and despite being only 2 minutes, it is quite memorable. The next full song is “Juno”, which starts out heavy before settling into a nice groove, with some pretty nice guitar work as well as some cool electronic beats, that add a nice rhythm to the track throughout. This is one of the grooviest tracks on the album, for sure, and it moves along at a nice pace and manages to represent somewhat of a middle ground between the heavier tracks and the calmer tracks, and it does so quite wonderfully.

The second half begins with “Beneath the Skin”, a very dark and mostly soft track, which has an extended atmospheric section early on that uses minimal sounds very effectively, creating a thick atmosphere with very few sounds used, and it is quite the interesting track overall. It does get heavier as it goes on, with the typical djent chugs and grooves kicking in later on, though it’s still one of the slower and more melodic tracks on the album, with some wonderfully smooth clean vocals from Daniel, as well as an excellent chorus, once it shows up in the second half. Another soft track is next in “Mirror Image”, which is the closest this album comes to having a full ballad. It’s another track which uses some nice electronic effects and vocals to create a dark atmosphere, and it’s certainly one of the most vocal driven and melodic tracks on the album, with another very emotional and powerful performance from Daniel. It gets slightly heavier in the second half, and the guitar work towards the end is amazing, but it’s definitely a surprisingly calm and beautiful track overall. The last real heavy track on the album is “Smile”, which again starts with some dark and heavy riffs before settling into a nice groove, with a nice use of electronic effects to set the tone for the music. It’s somewhat similar to “Juno”, except a bit darker and more intense, with a very sinister feel to it, and the guitars have a very aggressive, alternative metal feel to them throughout the track, which is somewhat on the rest of the album, but it’s especially noticeable here. The screamed section towards the end is extremely intense and epic, and overall it’s definitely one of the highlights of the album. After such an intense track, closing number “The Arrow” is a suitably mellow and atmospheric track, with haunting vocals and very dark lyrics, as well as some beautiful but twisted sounding melodies. It has a slight heaviness to it but is another surprisingly soft and calm track for this style of metal. While it’s one of the shortest tracks on the album, it’s also one of my favorites, due to the vocals and lyrics working together so effectively with the music.

Overall, Sonder may be the best djent album I’ve heard to date, and while that’s not saying a whole lot, it definitely is an excellent album in its own right, with an excellent mix of heavy, punishing guitar work, a great use of atmosphere, and some very powerful vocals. Fans of the band are sure to be pleased, and anyone like me who has previously found this genre to be a bit too rough on the ears to handle may be pleasantly surprised, this is a very nicely balanced album that certainly has some excellent melodic and calm portions, to go along with the expected intense bursts. I was expecting to enjoy this album, but it greatly exceeded my expectations and become one of my favorites of the year so far, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing anything else TesseracT does in the future.

originally written for myglobalmind.com: https://myglobalmind.com/2018/04/21/tesseract-sonder-review/

TESSERACT Sonder

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
In my mind, there’s no doubt about it. Tesseract are the undisputed kings of Djent. There are a lot of great tech metal and alternative metal bands around right now, a lot of bands who mix elements from Tool or Messugah or Nine Inch Nails with the lessons learned from modern metalcore. Some are good, some are even great, but for me none are as effective as Britain’s own Tesseract.

I’ve seen Tesseract a good few times live both with Ashe O’Harra and with Dan, (Never with Good Tiger’s Elliot Coleman sadly) and slowly fallen completely in love with them. Amos and Jay are the perfect rhythm section. The guitarists work so well together weaving through each-other and creating glorious shimmering melodies. To date, all their studio albums have been great, from the heavier debut One to the beautiful and haunting Altered State and the hypnotic Polaris. Even their live album Odyssey/Scala is cracking. With a track record that good something was bound to go wrong. No one can keep it up for so many albums in a row. No one can keep a hot streak alive forever. Sadly however…

…Gotcha! No, 2018’s Sonder is far from a disappointment. Sonder is a triumph! The album is getting some seriously good media attention now. Its not hype. Its not major label pressure on the magazines. Its because Sonder is an absolute barnstormer.

Its got some absolutely electrifying singing. Its got some damn catchy rhythms. It got some pretty classy lyrics (its a concept album exploring a profound sense of insignificance). It flows perfectly from beginning to end. It is expansive and progressive in one way, but is punchy and concise in another way.

Its too early to tell obviously, but a lot of people are calling this the band’s best ever album. As much as I’m skeptical of hyperbole, and think statements of that nature need longer to be sure, I don’t feel utterly resistant about it in this case. (I mean its amazingly hard to top Altered State, which is my personal favourite due to when I came on board, but it doesn’t seem that much of a stretch).

There are some terrific tunes on this. The second single ‘King’ is Djent perfection, that section where it goes ‘Bow. Down.’ is so strong. ‘Juno’ is one of the catchier numbers, up there with ‘Nocturne’ for their catchiest song to date. The lengthy ‘Beneath My Skin/Mirror Image’ is the album’s epic moment. To be fair, its all well and good picking highlights, but this is the kind of thing you have to listen to all the way through.

If you like weird time signatures, if you like emotional and evocative clean singing, if you like awkward polyrhythms and a band who can be technical but make it sound catchy instead of just showing off, Tesseract are the band for you. If you like Tesseract, there is no other option, you need Sonder in your collection now.

TESSERACT Polaris

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
The British Progressive Heavy Metal band Tesseract’s previous album, Altered State was my studio introduction to the band (after catching them live supporting someone else) and has since become one of my very favourite albums of the last decade and one that I would without hesitation call a genuine stone cold masterpiece. Vocalist Ashe O’Hara was an excellent frontman on record and live (both as a surprisingly great opening band I’d never heard of and then again later when I saw them again as a converted fan) and quickly became one of my favourite singers. I’ve since gotten into Tesseract’s earlier material and also Skyharbour’s output featuring Tesseract’s excellent original singer Dan Tompkins but my real love of Ashe made me very happy to have both options, it was nice to have both Tesseract with Ashe, Skyharbour with Dan… the best of both worlds if you will, and I was a bit sceptical of Dan’s return to the band and saddened by Ashe’s exit. I know its popular to root for the original guy… (There’s always someone to point out that their favourite band’s first singer was better – Paul Diano, Paul Baloff etc) but individual personal preference, I just always liked Ashe more, and so got a bit worried when he was no-longer in the band. Since catching the band live with Dan however, all my fears were alleviated and I began to get excited for their new album. They started the promotion cycle and excitement built even more.

Now that its finally here, and I’ve had time to digest it all, I can safely say that Tesseract’s self-produced third full-length album Polaris is a damn fine record. Even coming at it from the perspective I was, this is a great record and very satisfying.

Stylistically; Its not as heavy as their debut album, One, and its not a perfectly blended singular journey like Altered State was, its got a cool unique feel to it. It’s essentially a lot of distinct, separate moods and vibes, experimental and loose in one manner yet studied and perfectly formed in other ways. It feels like the listener is exploring a lot of different sides of the band’s influences and areas of interest. Some of it is more electronic, some of it is more Djenty, some of it is a bit more traditionally prog, and best of all… all of it is good. That’s the real crux here, because with reality being what it is, some people are always going to hate or dismiss this record; Some, because it isn’t heavy enough for them, some because Ashe isn’t there, some simply because its Djent and its cool to hate on Djent at the moment… but regardless of what genre it is, who sings on it or how brutal it is or isn’t – its just good. Damn good. A fine third album by this band and most importantly a fine album in and of itself even devoid of any context.

The highlights of the album for me are the momentously enjoyable and memorable ‘Hexes,’ as well as the entertaining robotic-sounding opener ‘Dystopia’ and the lead single ‘Messenger.’ Even in such an awkward, angular, evershifting genre as Djent they manage to pack in the choruses and vocal melodies that stick in your head for days and make you hum along in your head long after the record is over. ‘Hexes’ in particular has a shot at being the best song in the band’s whole discography for my money.

In summary, Tesseract don’t sound anything like either of their previous full-length records here, but they do sound fresh, interesting and captivating. It’s a grower for sure, and I’ve found its charms revealing themselves more and more with each new listen, always something fresh and interesting to focus on, always some new thing in the background coming to your attention, always a cool bass or drum part to make you smile.

TESSERACT One

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Tesseract are a five-piece Progressive Metal band from England and 2011’s One is their debut full-length studio album. It was produced by Acle Kahney, Amos Williams, Francesco Cameli and released through Century Media.

The standard of musicianship here on this album is excellent, particularly drummer Jay Postones and bassist Amos Williams, who’s superb rhythm section forms the backbone of the record. The production job is flawless, and all instruments (and even individual bass strings, drums and cymbals) are clear and audible, amongst the textured guitar, vocal and electronic waves which float over the top.

There’s a nice balance of fast and slow, heavy and soft, straightforward and complex, and a cohesion and sense of purpose that makes the album feel like one, singular, well-considered piece of work.

Highlights include the catchy album closer “Eden,” as well as the lengthy multi-part “Concealing Fate” and the punchy “Sunrise.”

For fans of the band’s second album, Altered State its worth noting that Daniel Tompkins (of Skyharbor fame) provides lead vocals on this album, before their current singer Ashe O’Harra joined the band becoming the band’s fifth lead vocalist to date. Thompkin’s vocal style is in the same ball-park of lush, melodic and emotional clean singing, although different enough that you notice the change.

Musically, this album is noticeably heavier than its follow-up, and there aren’t any saxophones, but in general the band’s identity is more-or-less the same and if you enjoyed Altered State, you should easily enjoy One.

For newcomers to the band entirely, especially those skeptical of anything assosciated with the word “Djent” its worth noting that in the same way that Thrash Metal bands took the chugging of songs like Black Sabbath’s “Symptom Of The Universe” and spun-off on that idea developing entire songs and albums using that as a starting point from which to develop their own ideas; Here, you can hear the sort of guitar tones and complex rhythms that Meshuggah have been playing since the 90s used as a jumping off point.

Rather than the all-out punishing assault of Meshuggah and their progressive take on extreme Metal, Tesseract deliver that sort of rhythm mixed in with floaty melodic vocals in the vein of Tool and Rishloo, and subtle ambient electronics to create something else. It couldn’t have existed without Meshuggah, and it couldn’t have existed before Melodic Metalcore became a decade-long mainstay of the Metal world, but it isn’t one or the other.

If you are a fan of established bands like Dream Theater, Riverside, Opeth, Fates Warning, Tool or many other Progressive bands within the Metal spectrum, you will find little touches here and there that chime something with what you like already, be that in the use of dynamics or uncommon time-sigs, but updated and in a different shape. If you like bands like Sikth, Botch, Carbomb, Fellsilent, Dillinger Escape Plan, or anyone in the math-y end of the Metal spectrum you man find something you like, but updated and in a different shape, and well, the same goes for if you like Meshuggah. Its not impossible to like Meshuggah and Tesseract despite what a vocal minority may claim.

If you are a fan of bands like Periphery, Monuments, Circles, Animals As Leaders, Textures, Volumes, Structures, Intervals, Skyharbor, Vildhjarta, Miroist, Hacktivist, The Algorithm or The Safety Fire then you may recognize the shape already and enjoy another slightly different take on it.

Overall; Tesseract are a strong and interesting band and One is a strong and impressive debut that should keep fans of the band, fans of the subgenre and fans of the overarching genre happy. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the band because of the movement they belong to, as you’ll miss out on some brilliant music if you do. This isn't just a throw-away album from a flash in the pan trend, there's a demonstrable artist weight to be found here.

TESSERACT Altered State

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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arcane-beautiful
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.

8.1/10

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