TesseracT
Concealing Fate


4.0
excellent

Review

by Butkuiss USER (12 Reviews)
October 21st, 2010 | 109 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tantalizing EP that will further polarise the band's fanbase, and leave the fans hungering for TesseracT's upcoming debut.

Ah, Djent, thou art a fickle mistress. Ever since Meshuggah released their classic “Destroy, Erase, Improve”, legions of bands have been clamouring to follow in the footsteps of the polyrhythmic metal gods. Many were successful-one only has to look at the catalogues of bands such as Fellsilent and Textures to realise that-despite the near idiotic genre name-Djent artists are fully capable of putting out some great music. With Misha Mansoor’s perfect hype storm, Periphery, finally releasing their debut effort earlier this year, and Fellsilent (unfortunately) disbanded, the eyes of bedroom metal fans and internet beings everywhere descended upon one band. TesseracT.

Oft considered Periphery’s main rival in the modern “Djent” scene, Acle Kahney’s TesseracT are one of the main pioneers of the Djent scene. Founded on the expected principles of overabundant polyrhythms, melodic-to-harsh vocals and atmospheric ambience combined with ultra-modern production techniques, TesseracT have been closely watched by music fans the world over, patiently waiting for the band’s debut album to appear. Unfortunately, after recent setbacks pushed debut LP “One” back further, the band decided to issue the Concealing Fate EP in order to whet their fans’ tongues for the upcoming release.

Interestingly enough, Concealing Fate is not your typical EP. Following once again in Meshuggah’s footsteps, the boys from Milton Keynes have decided to do away with convention and craft one humongously long song-“Concealing Fate”. Clocking in at just under half an hour, the moody epic is split into six sections in order to provide a more palatable listening experience for fans with shorter attention spans. However, the idea of splitting the half-hour epic into more digestible parts is questionable, especially when the full impact of the musical journey isn’t felt unless the EP is treated as a whole. These sections are flawlessly segued into one another via serene clean passages accompanied with airy synths.

The music found on Concealing Fate is typical Djent affair, albeit with a fair amount of flair woven in. The polyrhythmic drumming, the jazzy chords, clean breaks and ambient sections so often displayed by peers Periphery and Textures are all present. The guitarists are in top form, providing both memorable, groovy riffs and unsettling melodies and arpeggios, seamlessly alternating between the two. The drumming alternately locks in with the guitars to power forward the band’s groove, or playing across and under the riffs in flurries of dead-accurate double kick. Surprisingly, bassist Amos Williams is not lost in the mix. Instead, his funky slap bass brings a new element to the style, bringing out another dimension of TesseracT (no pun intended, of course). The songwriting too, is in top form. Presenting a slower, more epic version of the established Djent formula, Concealing Fate weaves to and fro, meandering through various sections and moods towards its inevitable climax and finale. The moody build-up of Part 1 of Concealing Fate at times almost brings to mind the vintage work of post-rock moguls Sigur Ros. Conversely, the EP can suffer from a bit of repetition due to its lengthy nature, and all at once seem too short for a release as anticipated as this, and too long for a single suite.

Unfortunately, as with many bands performing in this style, most of the complaints related to TesseracT’s debut work are in the vocal area. Like Spencer Sotello before him, Dan Tompkins has a very different vocal style to his predecessor, lacking the aggression and bite of former times. This new voice of TesseracT holds his own quite easily-his angelic croon soars over the top of the rest of the band effortlessly. While his harsh vocals may not live up live up to the great heights of Mikee Goodman, they are still competent, if a little lacking in aggression. Tompkins obviously knows his strengths, and sticks with his soothing cleans for most of the record. Unfortunately, Tompkins’ cleans are uncomfortably close to Sotello’s at times, and draw TesseracT one step away from their own sound and one closer to that of Periphery.

The production on Concealing Fate is, in one word, immaculate. Having bumped up the bass in the mix from their demo, Concealing Fate is at the forefront of high-tech production. The guitars are clean and clear when they need to be, and heavy and groovy the next moment. The bass is highly audible, and at times even a tad funky, bringing a presence and dimension not often felt in records of this style. The drums sound heavy and hard, and carry the band with a boom and a thud. Ambient synths float in and out of the background, providing sufficient atmosphere but never taking over the recording. Tompkins’ vocal production is also spot-on, never completely overtaking the show, but never sinking to the background. Nevertheless, for those used to the minimalistic production in other genres of metal, TesseracT can at times sound a bit too triggered, a bit too perfect.

Concealing Fate shows a lot of promise from a band on the brink of extraordinary things. Showing epic songwriting tendencies and a great deal of talent, Concealing Fate will no doubt further polarise their audience. The fans will yearn for the arrival of their debut with renewed vigour; the detractors dismiss the EP as proof that the band is yet another Meshuggah clone trying to gain mass appeal. The dangerous step closer to Periphery territory, and the slight change in style from the demo will no doubt irk some listeners, Concealing Fate has just as many, if not more, redeeming qualities. While Concealing Fate has its fair share of flaws, it is a truly promising EP, and if TesseracT continue to hone their style as they have obviously done over the past few years, they will no doubt become one of the genre’s most defining bands.



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user ratings (292)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Kempster (4.5)
Djent djent djent djent... Okay, sorry. But seriously, there's no denying it: TesseracT are pioneeri...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Butkuiss
October 21st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Argh. My rating's stuck just between a 3.5 and a 4 at the moment. Feedback is greatly appreciated. This time I tried weaving the negative points into the body a bit more instead of separating them all at the end. I'm tired, so if you see any errors, please let me know and I'll edit them.

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

bloc
October 21st 2010


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's quite good, I wasn't into anything else they released before so I was a bit surprised.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

Butkuiss
October 21st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To be honest, I hadn't actually heard anything but whispers about these guys until the release of this EP. But I did prefer this to the demo, even if it is going dangerously close to periphery territory. I'm actually surprised nobody had gotten to this before me, but I guess I should be thankful. I'm curious to see how their debut will turn out.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 21st 2010


3776 Comments


"Djent", really? Ek. Anyway, this was a really solid review, well done.

bloc
October 21st 2010


34998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

These guys are still pretty simple musically compared to Periphery, and it's nice to hear that once in a while without the whole thing becoming boring.

Butkuiss
October 21st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hate the term too, but really I can't think of any other way to describe the scene. Don't worry. I can taste bile at the sight of the word too. And thanks; this review actually took me a great deal less time than my others to write. I'm surprised it turned out so good, seeing as I wrote it in an hour and a half while half asleep. But thanks!

MO
October 21st 2010


18990 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I was really looking forward to this when they had the old singer. Before anything gets taken down, go to youtube and find concealing fate part 1 with the old singer Abisola. His voice is much more raw and fits the band WAY better than the current cookie-cutter Djent vocals. Sigh, another Djent band cursed by bad vox.

Butkuiss
October 21st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Exactly. I still don't get the fascination these bands have with pretty-boy cleans and airy harsh vocals. I mean, Kidman and Mikee Goodman sound completely raw and wild and it works amazingly. You'd think they would have taken note of that seeing as their respective bands are the supposed main influences of the movement.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 21st 2010


10618 Comments


Pretty phenomenal third review, great job.

MO
October 21st 2010


18990 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Oh yea and great review buddy, these guys definately have the talent...we'll see what happens with them next.

botb
October 21st 2010


9757 Comments


i need to check this out. i've heard so many good things about this.

Digging: Solstafir - tta

JWT155
October 21st 2010


9318 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is between a 3.5 and a 4 for me, right now I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt.

wyankeif1337
October 21st 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck, I wanted to review this first. Good review, though.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2010


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I didn't enjoy this at all, but I'll still give their debut a chance once it comes out. Good review.

elephantREVOLUTION
October 21st 2010


2783 Comments


just got done listening to this and it was pretty sweet. i like the vocals a lot more than periphery. probably a 4 for me.

Gmork89
October 21st 2010


5537 Comments


I saw these guys open for Devin Townsend, Sunn O))) would have been a relief.

Butkuiss
October 21st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, the vocals are much greater than Periphery, even if done similar stylistically. But still, I personally would have prefferred something more aggressive.

@Wyankief. Sorry!

Scoot
October 22nd 2010


17887 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sooo goood

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

hybridstigmata
October 23rd 2010


169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Um, his vocals are not like the guy from Periphery. The vocalist from Periphery is awful and therefore ruins anything that band has going for themselves. Periphery's music is great but I find it very hard to listen to because of that shitty vocalist. That said, Tesseracts vocalist is good and I think it is a very nice addition to the badass music.

MO
October 25th 2010


18990 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

So far, of some of the main Djent bands out there VILDHJARTA! and Animals as Leaders take the cake.



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