Review Summary: Fine grooves and awesome vocals.
When i hear the word "Djent" one band immediately pops up in my mind: Tesseract. It is no coincidence that this name is printed into my mind, Tesseract is seen as a pioneer of the modern Progressive Metal realm. They are also entitled as one of the founders of “Djent”.
There are mixed thoughts on the genre Djent, but it is a good word to use for a particular sound in the progressive metal scene to not cause confusion. Bands in this genre are often known for their heavy riffing and polyrhythmic use, and Tesseract are no exception.
Tesseract started out in 2003 as an outlet and experimentation project. It grew and one of the founders Kahney started uploading short clips when he played some of his technical and heavy riffs on forums such as sevenstring.org, he took feedback from the comments and improved his technique thereafter. Shortly after he started posting these clips, a wave off so called “bedroom producer-musicians” started doing the same thing and since then, the genre “Djent” have grown to be a very popular and recognized Genre.
Altered State is Tesseract’s second studio album. The previous: One, got very well received and alot of positive reviews. Their two EP’s Perspective and Concealing Fate got two very different receptions. The older one Concealing Fate got very well received meanwhile Perspective was huge let down personally and for alot of other fans.
Tesseract have a bad reputation for loosing vocalists very often. This have made many fans upset and made people think they could never settle down. Their present singer Ashe O’Hara stands out from the former vocalists. Ashe doesn’t do any deep stuff or scream at all, instead he uses high pitch singing. This kind of vocalist fits in better with Tesseract’s “dreamy" sound.
Altered state is divided into different themes: 3 songs in the theme “Of Matter”, 2 songs in the theme “Of Mind”, 3 songs in the theme “Of Reality” and 2 songs in “Of Energy”. This theme is really cool and if you check up the lyrics you can connect the lyrics to the theme which is really smart. I will not talk about every song in order, instead I will write about the songs that I think are important.
The first song: Proxy, are one of the songs that stood out to me and represents the pros and cons of this album. The melody really builds up excellent and the vocals are executed formidable. The guitars on this song is too weak for me and really just ruins the excellent excitement they built up. The other songs on this album have some good grooves but not excellent. I would like to see more heavy grooves as on Retrospect and Nocturne. The heavy grooves would really make an good contrast with the soft melodic parts and create the feeling of being hit by a storm.
The fourth song: Nocturne is my favorite track and gives the feeling of what could make the album more enjoyable for more heavy music listeners. The groove on this track is absolutely lovely. The song constantly mix between soft melodies, catchy lyrics and heavy riffs. This makes it possible for different kinds of music listeners to enjoy the song. The song is not too long either as other songs on this album. If more songs were like this one I would have enjoyed this album way more.
The ninth song: Singularity is one of the weakest songs on the album. It’s way too slow and bores me, the other half is more enjoyable but still way too slow. The song is also over 8 minutes long which doesn’t make it better. I can enjoy long songs if they shift in tempo several times and doesn’t use the same riffs and lyrics, otherwise it feels like being stuck in the same song for ages. The riff is pretty good but after it plays way too long it gets repetitive and boring.
Altered State uses an song structure which is very recurrent and it bores and disappoints me. This album has some okay groves and have some fine peaceful moments. But the part off this album that I liked the most are the vocals. Ashe’s vocals are some of the best vocals I have heard in a long while, he just reaches some pitches no one in the same genre can do. On an whole this album didn’t live up to my expectations but it is an fun listen. They are not the same band that they were 3 years ago but they are changing and developing their own sound, personally I don’t like their new sound. But i know alot of other people will appreciate it.