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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TesseracT stream London live show in full ahead of release

TesseracT Kscope Announcement Band Crop 640x360

The UK’s progressive metal band TesseracT are streaming the hour long video of their recent London live show in full ahead of its official release next week. You can watch it below.

Odyssey/Scala was filmed last November at London’s Scala venue and features the return of vocalist Daniel Tompkins who took over from the departing Ashe O’Hara in June.

The full Odyssey/Scala package features an audio CD with the same tracklist as the live show, but with the songs having been recorded at various different venues on TesseracT’s 2014 European tour. The band are currently working on their third studio album expected to be released later this year via Kscope.

The full tracklist for Odyssey/Scala is as follows:

ODYSSEY (AUDIO) TRACKLIST
01. “Singularity” (recorded in Moscow)
02.”Deception” (recorded in Birmingham)
03. “The Impossible – Concealing Fate Part Three” (recorded in Nottingham)
04. “Perfection/Epiphany – Conceling Fate Parts Four/Five” (recorded in Rome)
05. “Origin – Concelaing Fate Part Six” (recorded in Strasbourg)
06. “Of Matter – Proxy” (recorded in Koln)
07. “Of Matter – Retrospect” (recorded in Nijmegen)
08. “Of Matter – Resist” (recorded in Budapest)
09. “April” (recorded in Paris)
10. “Nocturne” (recorded in Manchester)
11. “Acceptance – Concealing Fate Part One” (recorded in Moscow)

SCALA (VIDEO) TRACKLIST
01. “Singularity”
02. “Deception”
03. “The Impossible – Concealing Fate Part Three”
04. “Perfection/Epiphany – Conceling Fate Parts Four/Five”
05. “Origin – Concelaing Fate Part Six
06. “Of Matter – Proxy”
07. “Of Matter – Retrospect”
08. “Of Matter – Resist”
09. “April”
10. “Nocturne”
11. “Acceptance – Concealing Fate Part One”

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TesseracT perform live set from giant igloo

TesseracT Finland

UK progressive metal band TesseracT have performed a show on what might well be the world’s first “gigloo”.

An igloo the size of three double-decker buses was constructed in Yllas Village, Finland recently as part of the Jägermeister Ice Cold Gig series, and formed the basis of the stage for TesseracT’s live set.

Snowmobiles and neighbouring igloos were used to provide lighting, combining with the spectacular natural sight of the Northern Lights as a backdrop. Audience members seemed suitably impressed as the band emerged from a tunnel carved deep in to the ice structure, before taking to their instruments that had been specially prepared for the occasion with electro-luminescent edging.

Said TesseracT guitarist James Monteith: “We’re great mates first and foremost, so we’ve shared some amazing moments. But even after playing the main stage at Sonisphere last year, the Jägermeister Ice Cold Gig was definitely TesseracT’s most challenging performance to date, and what an amazing experience it was. Something we’ll remember forever!

“The final stage build was tougher going than we expected — we were shifting 150kg blocks of ice to create the steps leading up to the stage. Fortunately, we had a team of locals to help us and the effort was well worth it; we drew in spectators that lived some 20 to 50 kilometers away. It was absolutely freezing, but as soon as we saw the crowd of people adrenalin took over, the hard work was forgotten and we battled through the gig.”

Tom Carson, Jägermeister music manager, added: “For 2015 we really wanted to create something special. The Ice Cold Gigs have become such a prominent feature for our Jägermusic programme that not only do we want to challenge our artists, but we like to challenge ourselves by doing something that’s never been done before.”

As part of last year’s Ice Cold Gig series, UK metal band The Defiled became the first act in the world to play a gig on an iceberg.

You can watch a mini documentary about TesseracT’s set below:

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