Review Summary: Tesseract lose what little balls they had
Tesseract, a polyrhythmic progressive metal band, lost their lead singer/screamer in 2011 and promptly decided to hire an alt rock, effeminate sounding crooner to fill his shoes. What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, a lot apparently since their 2012 release Perspective
is a reinterpretation EP, aka a few of their past tracks done again in a different style, which in this case is a very stripped down, piano and acoustic guitar-filled sound to contrast the abrasive polyrhythmic chugging found in One
‘Perfection’ starts off nicely with a subdued piano melody and calming instrumentals throughout, but as soon as the vocals come in they completely overshadow everything else, and not in a good way. Technically Elliot can sing, there's no doubt about that, it’s just that his voice doesn’t fit with Tesseract at all. I suppose on paper his presence fits for the theme of this EP, considering four out of the five tracks are reinterpretations of songs from One
, but his tone of voice just sounds so incredibly awkward over the instrumentals. The other song is a cover of Jeff Buckley’s ‘Dream Brother.’ Why a polyrhythmic metal band chose to cover a Jeff Buckley song is beyond me, but oddly enough it’s the only song where Elliot’s vocals fit right at home. I could see Elliot in any chill alternative or pop act really, it’s just for Tesseract he was way out of his depth.
It’s hard to call Perspective
a bad release because for its purpose it does a pretty decent job. These songs do sound nice stripped down and acoustic, and the atmosphere is
quite pleasant in these songs. The only song that comes close to their One
-style heaviness is ‘Eden 2.0’ which is easily the best track here. Although Tesseract is notorious for rereleasing songs far more often than any band should, that’s not even the biggest issue with Perspective
. The whole “reinterpretation EP” concept does work out in some cases (e.g. Cynic’s Re-Traced
) but unfortunately Perspective
shows Tesseract way too far out of their comfort zone to succeed. Better luck next time.