TesseracT
Altered State


4.5
superb

Review

by DjentForTheWin USER (2 Reviews)
May 18th, 2013 | 34 replies


Release Date: 05/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: TesseracT comes back with an incredible sophomore release, a brilliant new vocalist, and some new flavorful and fresh melodies (not to mention saxophone); yet it's several structural issues can't be ignored.

TesseracT, being one of the founding fathers of djent, really should score a 5 out of 5 release. Talent and effort wise, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Altered State. Every instrument can be heard crisp and clear. The music sounds incredible and Ashe O'Hara fills some big shoes pretty effortlessly, taking Tompkins' place on lead vocals with very little dilemma. The only true problem with Altered State is the structure as an album. Its billed as a 51 minute track, when quite honestly it isn't even 4 tracks (even though I will review this as such). It's 10 different tracks that intermittently fade into each other, which is kind of a bummer considering it has a concept, or at least a universal theme. Before I go any further with my criticisms, let me just say there's a few other related issues scattered through below, and begin:

Of Matter is virtually flawless. Proxy is eerie and starts off the album with a cascade of acoustic sections along with soothing vocals and some very technical electronic-type of riffs. Retrospect is arguably the best moment of the album, O'Hara's vocals soar in all different directions and the blend of melody and djent is just phenominal. Resist concludes Of Matter with elements of it's two predecessors, plus an epic finish. The tracks all fade into each other seamlessly and Of Matter very much does feel like one track. Issue #2, however, they have just opened with the best song on the album, something no artist should ever do. That's not to say other parts of the album don't get close, but when the bar is set so high, the listener tends to get disappointed.

Of Mind opens with the first single "Nocturne". Nocturne has immensely improved since it's debut in 2012, with the addition of blast beats in the beginning and an interlude at the end, and it already was a pretty good song in the beginning, with a solid chorus and a powerful pace. If you turn your computer up full volume, you can hear a slight transition between Nocturne and Exile, but unfortunately it mostly feels like they're two different songs. Exile is the first of two eight minute epic segments. If you take Proxy and mix it with Pink Floyd, Periphery, and an ecstatic and elated sound, you have Exile. Exile is gorgeous and soars through the sky with complexity and craftsmanship.

Of Reality begins with Eclipse. Subconciously, listeners may be expecting to hear the lyrics "Sing to me, they're falling like raiiiinnnn". That's because they've taken their teaser from last year, subtracted Coleman's vocals, added O'Hara's vocals with different lyrics, and created a second half of the song to create "Eclipse." It still confuses me which parts were sung in what versions but this version is powerful and another song heavily driven by it's strong vocals. Sadly, once again it's completely separated from the other two movements (which thankfully do seam into each other). Palingenesis is deep and climatic, with all different sorts of vocals, including the slightest hint of background screams. Since O'Hara doesn't scream (which is not necessarily an issue), that little feeling really helps with the album overall. Then all of a sudden it fades into the only instrumental track. Quiet at first, it segues into a part that's guaranteed to send chills down your spine, a saxophone solo. That's right guys, they had one short saxophone song very long ago, and they had the legendary Chris Barretto bring back the sax for some much needed epicness.

Of Energy is the fourth and final movement and it begins with the second eight minute movement, Singularity. This song is very reminiscent of the TesseracT we heard in their debut, One. In fact, at times O'Hara almost sounds exactly like Dan Tompkins. Fading into Embers, we have a soft and chilling intro that is followed up by some djenty riffs and a final statement that sounds something like "Wait (or maybe wade?) inside the fire" and then a final combination of acoustic guitar and smooth saxophone. That last part is fairly satisfying but the album's closing just feels extremely rushed. Compare Embers to Origin, the epic conclusion to the 28 minute epic "Concealing Fate, or Eden, the 9 minute devastating closing track on One as a whole. It doesn't feel like so satisfying now right? That's what I mean when I say I have a problem with the album's structure, it begins better than it ends(again, not to say it doesn't end well) when it should be the opposite; either that or they should be equally epic.

Overall, I think a 4.5 is extremely fair and accurate, because Altered State is not in any way lazy and it's certainly another TesseracT keeper. Unfortunately, it's just 2 or 3 steps away from a 5/5.

Top Three Movements:
3.Exile
2.Palingenesis
1.Retrospect


user ratings (610)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2013


21662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dat username

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

FearThyEvil
May 18th 2013


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Lmao at the username. Something tells me the review is going to suck with a name like that too.

FearThyEvil
May 18th 2013


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

TesseracT, being one of the founding fathers of djent, really should score a 5 out of 5 release.

First sentence and I already found my conclusion.

Hawks
May 18th 2013


35838 Comments


Never heard a full album by these guys, but the few songs I've heard from them sucked pretty bad.

JS19
May 18th 2013


4377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well I was looking forward to hearing this but only a 4.5 from that username? Must be a 2 at best

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989

InfamousGrouse
May 18th 2013


3570 Comments


dat username [2]

Apollo
May 18th 2013


10365 Comments


You have one of the shittiest usernames I have ever seen. Fuck this new generation.

Calc
May 18th 2013


12305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ohh chill out god of the sun

username is funny

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2013


50872 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I never come across anyone with an IQ above 75 that uses "for the win" or ftw

All it means is "I have nothing profound or even slightly intelligible to say about this topic, so...... Adventure Time for the win!"

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

ZilbelPing
May 18th 2013


6164 Comments


fuck adventure time so hard

ZilbelPing
May 18th 2013


6164 Comments


DjentFortheWin hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

fuck this site

Hawks
May 18th 2013


35838 Comments


DjentFortheWin hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

fuck this site [2]

Calc
May 18th 2013


12305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Issue #2, however, they have just opened with the best song on the album, something no artist should ever do."



literally think about this statement for 12 seconds and you'll realize it makes absolutely no sense.

Drummerboy123
May 18th 2013


2418 Comments


"You have one of the shittiest usernames I have ever seen."

All usernames on sputnik sucks balls hard.

Digging: Skyharbor - Guiding Lights

FearThyEvil
May 18th 2013


12694 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, like Drummerboy123

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2013


21662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

im surprised this doesn't have 10+ negs already based on the username and rating alone

TooLateToGoBack
May 18th 2013


1780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that username

ShinXetsu
May 18th 2013


605 Comments


That semicolon in the summary; lol.


tempest--
May 18th 2013


14423 Comments


terrible review, neg.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2013


10362 Comments


All of you judging on usernames, oh man

I mean, mine's silly but at least this guy appears to give zero fucks



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