TesseracT - Altered State review
|Release date:||May 2013|
01. Of Matter
1 - Proxy
2 - Retrospect
3 - Resist
02. Of Mind
1 - Nocturne
2 - Exiled
03. Of Reality
1 - Eclipse
2 - Palingenisis
3 - Calabi-Yau [feat. Chris Barretto]
04. Of Energy
1 - Singularity
2 - Embers [feat. Chris Barretto]
TesseracT is back at it again only this time instead of a cube it's been Altered to look like a sphere. The prog/djent masters have once again created a dark psychological and atmospheric musical journey, very similar to the widely acclaimed debut album One. The main difference this time is in the vocals. Last time, the vocals were an odd mix of harsh, half shouted and clean whereas this time around they are cleaner than a shirt fresh out of the washer. Honestly, I think that main point right there is what makes this album better than the previous. The new vocalist Ashe O'Hara has a voice that could make a wolverine purr and a very satisfactory range. Honestly on One, I had a hard time with the vocals because they were so weird and I felt like they didn't always work well. Here? Here they work fabulously and I always want to hear them. The guitars are the same as before. The drums and just about everything else is the same too if a bit cleaner all around and perhaps less chaotic.
What I also really like about this album is that they included some catchy choruses and riffs that really work. The best examples of this are "Retrospect", "Nocturne" and "Exile". There are others, but these parts utilize it the best. "Nocturne" deserves special mention; from the moment you hear it it's incredibly obvious why it was selected as the single for this album and it really makes you want to bang your head. Starting with probably the heaviest riff on the whole thing, it then leads into a softer section with back-up vocals singing faintly leading into an epic climax which culminates in one of the most amazing choruses I have ever heard. This definitely gets a nomination for best chorus of the year. The climax is absolutely fantastic, though I feel like the track goes on a little longer than necessary, after about the 3:30 mark it's just atmospheric stuff and back up vocals, which is excellent, but is just padding for the next part of the song. One thing worth mentioning is that the entire album is really just four songs split up into separate tracks on the CD. Of Mind, which consists of "Nocturne" and "Exile" is the clear winner for best of the four. Not only is "Nocturne" fantastic, but then "Exile" takes us away from the dreamy atmosphere of "Nocturne" and brings us abruptly to consciousness with the most unique riff yet and the rest of the eight minutes of this song are really on display.
"Of Reality" is the shortest song here, but it certainly has some unique parts. "Calibi Yau" is short, but also really fantastic; what everyone is probably looking for is the epic saxophone solo here and it is excellent, but it's also really short. For those of you who listen to bands like Suspyre that like to include some odd jazz elements in their music this is definitely for you, when I first heard the sax solo I was incredibly excited and happy and being a sax player myself, I was really able to appreciate the tone and skill of the player. "Singularity", from "Of Energy" is long like "Exile" and shares some similarities, but most importantly it still manages that epic feel with some catchy memorable parts as well. The opening climax is probably the coolest part of this song.
All in all the Djent and prog elements really go hand in hand and work together to create something really unique and awesome, but also very tasteful. Bad things to say about this album are rather few and far between: sometimes it feels like it repeats the same theme several times over and it really takes a number of listens to be able to tell each section apart, but it's certainly a worthwhile journey. The vocalist doesn't really do a lot different with his voice, but that wasn't a problem for me because I love what he's doing with his voice anyway. On the flip side, the Bass player really turns out to be a hero of this album, you're going to want sub woofers when you listen to this because the bass is loud and in your face and damn is it awesome. You really shouldn't need any more encouragement from me to get this album, even if you don't like Djent much there's plenty of prog metal to not only satisfy you, but fill you up, the Djent and Prog are extremely well balanced. TesseracT has truly outdone themselves, and they won an award for the first album; I can't wait to see the reactions for this one.
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