TESSERACT – PERSPECTIVE (Century Media)
Release Date: May 21, 2012
TesseracT right from their inception in 2003 saw some pivotal change of vocalists – going from completely harsh vocal based to heavy screams and smooth cleans. Along with Periphery and Monuments, TesseracT gave the ‘djent’ scene a big boost. Dan Tompkins – TesseracT’s vocalist until recent past, and one of the most important reasons for their debut album’s success, parted ways and paved way for Elliot Coleman to take vocal duties. Fans of the genre/band had mixed reactions since Elliot comes from a very R&B/soul background and his voice adds a distinctively new flavor to the band’s over-all sound.
This is maybe why TesseracT released an acoustic E.P of some of their celebrated tracks from 2011’s One, along with a cover. The E.P is aptly named Perspective because the songs completely turn around your viewpoint of TesseracT and its sound and feel. The focus is 90% on Elliot in this E.P since all of the fans – new and old would be absorbing only him, since all the tracks are just acoustic versions of their prior released tracks – which in turn means vocal priority.
Elliot scores high on his vocal abilities on Perspectives. His ‘Mars Volta’-ish vocals are top-notch and on acoustic numbers- they shines even more. But considering the fact that these are NOT Elliot’s tracks- he has done a fairly decent job. It’s really surprising how the rest of the band and their musicianship was left a bit overshadowed (although it’s excellent) unknowingly due to the whole ‘new singer’ mindset. Although the track “Eden 2.0”, which was released as the band’s showcase of the new vocalist, is the only track which would appeal to core TesseracT fans longing for the heaviness and subtlety alike.
The extremely proggy Jeff Buckley cover is another bulls eye hit by Elliot. Although the cover is quite similar to the original, Elliot and Co. add a lot of emotion to the already soulful track. Talking about the Dan-era tracks – this is where Elliot lacks a punch. Mainly because the acoustic versions of those tracks are as experimental as Tesseract’s music, but it doesn’t seem to go well with the flow. Maybe the originals are to blame, but the whole ‘average’ vibe isn’t just Elliot’s – it’s the whole band.
For example, the tracks “April” and “Origin” had some subtle shadowed vocal patterns which Elliot drags and stretches making them sound either dry or a bit over the top.
The album is truly a new Perspective to Tesseract’s music. It is amazing in places and sounds very average and heavily lacking in others. The hype , the band’s success or just the anxiety of the new singer – whatever be the reason , the new E.P is bound to get them new fans as well as lose out on some as well. Elliot’s true flavor can only be tested and tasted when they come out with their second album, which should leave its own imprint on the TesseracT signature.
The E.P is a must-listen to all for TesseracT fans because Elliot brings a new dimension to music making, and this new Perspective might just be the change the edge that elevates the band to the next level.