Album Review: TesseracT, ‘Polaris’

Tesseract-Polaris-Album-CoverArtist: TesseracT
Album: Polaris
Our Verdict: 8/10
Release date: Out now
Find it at: TesseracT’s band store
Review by: Graeme Blackwell

“The UK’s progressive metal progenitors return with their latest, and possibly best, collection so far”

For all their technical prowess, TesseracT have never been a band afraid of deploying a sizeable, accessible melody. In amongst the mind-melting polyrhythms and metallic force of their first two albums, One and Altered State, the UK’s progressive metal finest have always maintained a deep connection to the tunes that underpin their work.

TesseracT’s third and new studio album, Polaris, moves even further along the path, teasing out ambience and atmosphere and paring back some of the more thunderous elements of their sonic pallette. The result is perhaps the most satisfying body of songs the band have recorded to date.

The return to the fold of vocalist Dan Tompkins may have had bearing on the evolution of the TesseracT sound, the group having parted ways with previous incumbent Ashe O’Hara and welcomed Tompkins back after one album away. It would certainly be possible to draw a line between Tompkins’ experience and development with Skyharbor and White Moth Black Butterfly in the intervening years and TesseracT’s progression across these 9 new songs.

Band lynchpin and guitarist Acle Kahney also points to the greater involvement of friend and live sound engineer Aidan O’Brien as being a key influence on TesseracT’s sonic evolution, giving him serious props in a recent interview for the development of the ambient and piano parts that weave their way through Polaris’ bewitching tapestry.

TesseracT 2015

Whatever the driving forces behind TesseracT’s forward march, Polaris is a thing of coherence, power and great beauty. Much has been written in recent weeks about the lack of a full-on metallic onslaught here, but there are perfectly timed passages of taught musical musculature that are unleashed as powerful assaults on the senses: look to “Phoenix” or “Survival” for the evidence.

Elsewhere there are moments of pure Floydian grandeur. Some of the soaring lead guitar lines in “Cages” certainly wouldn’t seem out of place in amongst David Gilmour’s back catalogue, for example. Tompkins’ beautifully timed, rhythmically on-point near-rap in the closing stages of “Utopia” might have, however. Nevertheless, it works perfectly and brings the aforementioned track to a thrilling end.

In songs such as “Tourniquet”, “Hexes” or album closer “Seven Names” the effect is occasionally one of, say, djent scene favourites Periphery being fronted by the crystalline tones of A-Ha’s Morten Harket; something that seems apt given Polaris’ pop-smart, heart-rending lyrical themes of emotional and physical separation and an always evolving relationship with the very nature of truth.

Their sonic explorations having so far yielded an embarrassment of progressive and technical rock riches, and with Polaris being another fine case-in-point, it will be a delight to behold where TesseracT venture next. For now, be content to immerse yourself in one of 2015’s very best.

TesseracT are currently on tour down under and will head to the USA for an extensive tour during November and December. Connect with the band via their official website and Facebook page.

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TesseracT stream ‘Messenger’, first full track from forthcoming new album ‘Polaris’

TesseracT promo 2015 2

TessearacT are streaming the first full track taken from their forthcoming new album.

“Messenger” is lifted from the band’s new LP, Polaris, due out on the 18th of September via Kscope.

TesseracT vocalist Dan Tompkins comments on the track “The concept of our new album, Polaris is simple; it is about the transient nature of universal truth. There is no such thing as an absolute fixed human concept that will forever be the truth. Perhaps that is a message most of us can’t or don’t want to listen to but ‘Messenger’ highlights an ever growing awakening from the onslaught of the social conditioning we’re exposed to everyday from the media. The truth constantly obscured and the public subdued by ‘Casting fear into doubt.’”

Polaris is available to pre-order now in CD+DVD, CD, 2LP and Digital formats.

Take a listen to “Messenger” below and be sure to let us know what you think.

The full track list for Polaris is:

Tesseract-Polaris-Album-Cover01. “Dystopia”
02. “Hexes”
03. “Survival”
04. “Tourniquet”
05. “Utopia”
06. “Phoenix”
07. “Messenger”
08. “Cages”
09. “Seven Names”

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TesseracT announce details of new album ‘Polaris’

TesseracT 2015

UK progressive metal band TesseracT have announced details of their new album.

Polaris is scheduled for release on the 18th of September via new label Kscope, and in North America via partnership with eOne Music.

The new album is the follow up to 2013’s Altered State and sees the return of vocalist Dan Tompkins, who was replaced by Ashe O’Hara for the previous LP.

“TesseracT has been through a roller coaster of a ride since our first EP,” says the band. “We seemed to always have been filling the holes in our ship’s hull to stop this ship from sinking, as we raced around the world time and time again.”

“Polaris, is a different scenario. The first chance for us as a group to stop and take stock of what we are right now, to explore a TesseracT of melody, dynamics, and singular focus. For the first time, too, we feel free from the bounds of genre specific expectations.”

The full track list for Polaris is:

Tesseract-Polaris-Album-Cover1. “Dystopia”
2. “Hexes”
3. “Survival”
4. “Tourniquet”
5. “Utopia”
6. “Phoenix”
7. “Messenger”
8. “Cages”
9. “Seven Names”

You can check out a teaser for the album below:

Pre-orders for the album are now live with physical editions here and digital here.

Connect with TesseracT at:
Website: tesseractband.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/tesseractband
Twitter: twitter.com/tesseractband

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