TesseracT - Sonder review


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Band: TesseracT
Album: Sonder
Release date: April 2018

01. Luminary
02. King
03. Orbital
04. Juno
05. Beneath My Skin
06. Mirror Image
07. Smile
08. The Arrow

A lot of time has passed since djent was an emerging genre and it was all the rage, and while it's in a slight decline, established bands like Disperse, Animals As Leaders, and Vola have all put out acclaimed material lately. Then there are the ones that had a clear fall in quality, like Volumes, Uneven Structure, and Periphery, and even ones we haven't heard from in a while, like Vildhjarta. So where does Sonder place TesseracT right now in the grand scheme of djent?

There are a few things to notice about Sonder without even diving into the music. First off, this is the first time they haven't changed vocalists between albums, so Daniel Tompkins is back on the mic, as on Polaris and One. Then this is TesseracT's shortest album to date, being only 36 minutes in length, which many fans have been a bit displeased about, calling it more of an EP, even though their albums have been getting progressively shorter.

As for the music itself, there are some slight adjustments in ingredients, but, overall, there isn't much to set it apart from its predecessor. Sonder is full of complex guitar and bass play (the latter of which does get a lot of punches to deliver, thankfully), poppier vocal choruses and loads of atmospherics and electronic elements. The last ones do seem to be a bit more prominent on Sonder, likely to fit with the conceptual theme of the album. "Sonder" is a term referring to the feeling of realisation that strangers live lives as complex and meaningful as your own instead of being simply NPCs, so that ties to several other themes of the album, like meaninglessness and isolation.

So while there's a bit less of that distinctly TesseracT-ish chug in favour of ambiance, they do manage to give the album a great flow, whether in between tracks or within the tracks themselves, although, even as trimmed as it is, some tracks, particularly "Beneath My Skin" and "Mirror Image", feel like a slight nudge below the rest. The production does do the album justice for the most part, being pristine both in the lighter and in the heavier moments, which I was worried about, listening to the single version of "Smile" that preceded the album. All that in mind, the highlight of the album does come midway through the album version of "Smile", when Daniel delivers his strongest vocal performance yet, and the riffs and electronic elements are at their most memorable.

While Sonder doesn't find TesseracT pushing the envelope of djent further into new grounds, it finds them polishing their craft into their most concise record so far, yet even this holds the promise for better.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 19.05.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 103 users
19.05.2018 - 12:26
Tornado Of Souls
Nice review, i really like this album i think this and the previous album are my favorites of theirs.
19.05.2018 - 17:51
Very fair rating. Yes, album length is a bit of a bummer, then again the flow you mentioned does compliment the duration. People seem to love the track 'Orbital' but that too could be part of or combined with another track (nitpicking) opening a space for an additional song.

I've listened to this album quite a lot and had similar feeling of filler moments as I had with Polaris. I've eventually accepted these ambient moments and have just as easily embraced them on this release.

Well done TesseracT.
19.05.2018 - 19:00
JoHn DoE
I enjoyed this one a lot, it left me wanting more.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
23.05.2018 - 17:58
I Am Cool
Don't remind me of Vildhjarta, I miss them so much

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