I came to the party a little bit late as far as TesseracT are concerned. And actually, I’m kinda pleased I did, because had I come across them after their first release I probably wouldn’t be raving about them the way I am about to. Their latest album, ‘Altered State’ is their second full length record and was released last year to critical acclaim. And rightly so, cos it’s fucking immense! I found them in a top ten of 2013 list and checked them out. It was some seriously weird video where this pretty young thing wrapped in red lace gets boned by an octopus, or something? It’s kinda clever cos it’s all to do with their name (I’m guessing) but I suspect not many people considered that fact as the chick was writhing around in the bath with a tentacle between her legs. However the girl was pretty enough that it warranted another look and the second time I actually noticed the music. Well to be honest that’s pretty disingenuous of me to say, the music hit me the first time because it was really fucking good. One of those ‘ who the fuck are these guys?’ moments. incidentally it was the ‘Singularity’ video and I’ve posted it below. Check it out, it’s really rather entertaining!
Okay, so I bought the album, and was blown away instantly. It was one of those instant likes. The sounds coming at me were heavy, majestic, euphoric, melodic, lots of ‘-ics’ as you can see. It was brilliant. I loved the guy’s voice instantly, and yeah I too thought it was a chick after watching that video. I was instantly a huge fan. So I did a little digging, eager to know more about them. And the first thing that pleased me to see is that they hail from the UK. Which is awesome cos we pretty much invented the genre of progressive rock/metal music so it was nice to see fresh young bands taking it on and building upon the legacy. Secondly the whole vocalist thing has apparently been a bit of an issue for the band. And this takes me back to the beginning of this piece.
So naturally having been extremely impressed with ‘Altered State’ I purchased the band’s first album, ‘One’. It also had great reviews.The music is fantastic, as in the instrumental side of things, the vocalist was good too when he actually sang. But, like a lot of modern metal bands these days, it seems he felt like he needed to inject some menace into his vocals with some rather nonsensical (to me at least) growling. Now call me old fashioned, call me whatever you like, but this whole post grunge neo-hardcore new metal bullshit that has spawned all these growling cunts really gets on my fucking tits. I just don’t get it. I’ve had a bit of experience in the past where it’s been really tough to find the right vocalist for your particular sound. And it’s almost as if these bands are saying, ‘well we can’t fucking find anybody so let’s just get some cunt that growls, it’s what everybody else is doing anyway’. Go through the ages of all the great eras of rock music, from the 70’s to the 90’s, nobody did this growling shit. Bands were known for their great fucking vocalists as much as their awesome guitarists. Plant, Coverdale, Gillan, Cornell, Staley. All as integral to their band’s sound as their fucking guitarists, bassists or drummers. Even Ozzy was unique. Any cunt can fucking growl and it really pisses me off that every cunt and his brother seems to be doing it!
Anyway, fortunately, TesseracT seem to think the same way as I do. Between releases the first vocalist left and after a long, hard search a new, full time guy came in. Ashe O’Hara took over the reins, expressed he felt the weight of expectation on his shoulders and subsequently nailed it! The band say in a statement on their website that they wanted somebody who was the ‘perfect fit’, well for my money they found him. It may have taken them awhile but it was worth it. The guy has an amazing voice that just compliments everything else majestic that’s going on around him. And he doesn’t fucking growl!! Cos he doesn’t fucking need to!
So the band are complete, every piece is in place, the songwriting is, I’ll say it again, immense. They are credited among others, as being pioneers of the ‘djent’ movement, whatever the fuck that is, nobody seems to really know. What I do know is that ‘Altered State’ is one of the finest crafted records I own. It’s quite something for a band to take on the name of something with perfect form, and then deliver a sound that reflects that perfect form to perfection. These guys are seriously talented. And to merely say that they deliver a clinical, precise sound does them no justice. Because there is a funky groovy soul train running through their music that’s just as prevalent and relevant as the diamond cut poly-rhythms and off beats. I fucking love them. They just released their last record but I cannot wait for the next. These guys simply must have a huge future before them. There are a lot of good bands around right now, but TesseracT fall squarely into the category of greatness. I’m talking a TOOL level of greatness. I’ll say it one more time, they are simply fucking immense!
TesseracT are currently on tour in the U.S. and Canada. Check out their website for details but be quick cos tickets are selling out fast!