My first reaction to TesseracT when I heard their debut album One was that I would never listen to this group again. Not because I thought the band sucked, no I praised them quite! But because their music is just not my thing. Now two years later, here I am again with the second album of the guys who called themselves math metallers: Altered State.
The concept of Altered State is simple. The group went through some changes and this effort is about change. Original vocalist Tompkins left the band and the singer, Eloit Coleman, that recorded the EP Perspective likewise. For this record, TesseracT found Ashe O’ Hara. Where on the last efforts, you still could find some screams , here they are entirely gone. This is a bad thing if you, like me, mainly appreciated the Music and the alternation between melodic vocals and screams. It makes the songs to polished and sweet. Music wise, the tracks became a bit less atmospheric and also less progressive, which was their strong point.
Still, their songs are very dynamic and there is no way of accusing them of being repetitive (although with one exception, Resist does sound very much like a continuation of Retrospect). A lot more interesting is Nocture and partially Exile, where the complexity and heavier aspect of the former material surfaces again. Luckily this trend continues throughout the record and the math in their metal is revived, just listen to Eclipse. Only until after the jazzy intermezzo, the downfall starts again.
However, I can only conclude that this Altered State of TesseracT is not a state that is an improvement. The band seems to have exchanged to much of their heaviness and in some songs even the complexity for pleasantness that suits the style of their new vocalist better. Even though the music is still impressive, the gentle, sweet vocals of O’ Hara are the reason that simply kills most enthusiasm for this album in my case.
Here is a full album stream for you to make up your mind for yourself!
1. Of Matter – Proxy
2. Of Matter – Retrospect
3. Of Matter – Resist
4. Of Mind – Nocturne
5. Of Mind – Exile
6. Of Reality – Eclipse
7. Of Reality – Palingenesis
8. Of Reality – Calabi-Yau
9. Of Energy – Singularity
10. Of Energy – Embers