TesseracT – Altered State
Label: Century Media
Release Date: May 27, 2013
Remember the rugged and tomboyish girl in your high school? Now picture her blossoming into a classy and sexy Prada wearing foxy chick. That’s exactly what has happened to TesseracT, musically. Spanning almost six years, in the pursuit of lowering the tone, TesseracT has finally decided to go ‘all cleans‘ with Altered State, which is a thought-after and conscious decision.
Essentially surfacing as a Meshuggah inspired band, they always stressed enough on being heavy as well as equally clean in terms of tonality and song structures. After carving a segment for themselves, they finally have done what any band of their status would do – not give a damn and make music the way they want.
That brings us to Ashe O’Hara – the new voice of TesseracT, who is going to be the focal point of all the listeners ecstasy. His Facebook shares and band posts make it clear that Ashe boasts of a completely different musical background as opposed to the rest of the band. With his likes of Paramore, Dead Letter Circus and Evanescence, his presence although different, is pleasantly felt in the songwriting of this album. Like in “Of Mind – Exile” (which is my fave track of the record, and almost Opeth grade progressive), you can hear almost four harmonies if you have a good pair of plugs. It truly signifies the control over pitch and range of this young lad. The vocal melodies are probably one the sole reasons why this album sounds so good.
But the real sparkle in the album though, is Jamie Postones (drums) and Amos Williams (bass). The amount of effort by them is so evident that you tend to literally hear only these two on some of the tracks (“Of Reality – Eclipse” and “Of Matter – Resist”) . The groove on almost all the tracks is praiseworthy and Ashe fits his phrasing like a glove. Acle Kahney, for the first time in my opinion, was more appealing as the producer than the guitarist. Dozens of tracks that are mixed with immense subtlety and those perfect drum mixes are stellar. It’s the best that I’ve heard in recent times. Chris Baretto’s sax solo in “Of Reality – Calabi-Yau” which can be heard in one of their trailers is mind-blowing to say the least.
The album art is trippy and the concept of the album will rustle the jimmies of anyone who loves physics or is even remotely a geek. The concept revolves around four states which alter – Mind, Matter, Reality and Energy. This change in states is primarily based on the fact that the band in itself went through a lot of changes to be in the ‘state’ it is today. What lacks though is accessibility. Tesseract always had a certain accessibility with them when it comes to songwriting but in this record, you really have to give enough spins to capture the true essence and concept. “Of Mind – Nocturne” might be the only track that’s catchy on the first spin.
But as said before, it’s a direction that the band has taken, and it does not care whether you spin it once or a million times, this is how they have made the album and I hope that they do this every time because the way this album has grown on me, is really warm and fuzzy. Give it the due ‘spins’ it deserves because it wont disappoint you, not musically or production-wise.
Rating : 8.5/10
Reviewed by: Varun Kodolikar