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13 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost tech-perfection., 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
Easily one of the most exciting `djent' bands to emerge on the UK scene, TesseracT sit comfortably between tech-metal overlords Meshuggah (instrumentally) and more easy-listening hardcore fare like Coheed and Cambria (vocally). 2010's taster EP, `Concealing Fate', was a thrilling experience, showcasing a group that could create complex musical ideas coupled with an organic and emotional sound (one that is rare to hear from bands like this) within one glorious 25-plus minute song.

High hopes, then, for debut album `One'. Although it is essentially just `Concealing Fate' with 5 tracks sandwiched on either side of it, the new songs do well to carry on the spirit of the aforementioned EP while maybe not hitting the EXACT same giddy heights in terms of quality. Now it should definitely be pointed out that this is not the bands fault, but part of the problem is that, although Concealing Fate very much felt like one song in 6 parts, it is very strange to hear TesseracT write such succinct compositions (closer `Eden' aside). Openers `Lament' and `Nascent' hit hard but feel too short; JUST as they start to get going, both songs end with what feels like a whimper. As I said, this was my initial reaction to both of these compositions and I've warmed to them both a great deal, but it certainly does feel strange. On the other side of the EP tracks, `Sunrise' is probably the most aggressive thing on the album and `April' is the only song that really has any `ballad' inspiration on here (the verses are pure pop emoting). Album closer `Eden', the albums other real highlight, starts off rather seductively before descending into organised chaos that unfolds over 9 minutes.

It's no surprise, then, that the real meat of the album is embedded over the 6 tracks that make up `Concealing Fate'. As a whole, these songs remain an immensely entertaining listen that is not challenging in the same way that Meshuggah or Sikth are (I absolutely mean this as a compliment). It takes absolutely no effort at all for these songs to get buried under your skin; they are immediate and accessible, with no desire to alienate. This is, of course, a review of the whole album (not just these six tracks), and the other songs do threaten to approach the EP tracks in terms of quality, but `Concealing Fate' really is the best thing on the album. However, as mentioned before, the spirit and intent of these EP compositions linger over the whole disc; `One', as a whole, is immediately likeable, yet repeated listens are also rewarding. This is mostly down to the phenomenal performances by the players themselves and the fantastic production. Guitars sound warm without over-the-top distortion, the bass is quite prominent and independent in the mix and the drums feel very real and organic, not to mention vocalist Daniel Tompkins who deserves multiple plaudits for his emotional performance. Too often clean vocals can sound ridiculous over music like this but Dan's tone, harmonies and charisma make it seem very natural.

A couple of gripes: even though the rest of the tracks on `One' are independent works, too often much of the music feels like it should be part of a larger single work as there is not much variation in the sombre mood that permeates the whole piece. There are also too many moments where individually plucked rising guitar notes serve as a mood setter before delving into Meshuggah-style off-tempo riffage. Used sparingly, this technique is thrilling, but TesseracT seem to open most of their songs this way. Finally, the vocals are very much an instrument unto themselves. Don't expect too many hummable choruses and pop-hooks; they are used mostly for colour and texture, something which I love but can imagine will grate on some listeners.

Yet these really are small complaints. Overall, this is a genuinely exciting release and I wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah or Periphery (though I suspect you`ll already be aware of TesseracT). To non-fans, though, this could be the perfect introduction to the `djent' scene; `One' is immediately enjoyable while retaining the more complex elements of the usually alienating tech-metal style. It is easily enjoyable on the first spin and will retain this bite over multiple plays. TesseracT have crafted a warm, endearing, intimate record in sound that just happens to be epic in scope. They are, to sum up, hugely admirable. I thoroughly enjoy this debut and look forward to their next step.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SuperDjentawesome!!!, 22 Mar 2011
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
I took a chance with this album after reading an article of the band in Metal Hammer. I'm so glad I did because I've just discovered my new favourite band of all time!!! At first I was expecting something similar sounding to Periphery, but whilst there are more polyrhythms and technical mathcore riffage that you can shake a stick at, you get something far more accessible and groove laden. Part of this is down to the vocalist, Daniel Tompkins, whose clean vocals take the music to another level, his range is ridiculously good. Musically you've got the technical ferocity of Meshuggah, Periphery and Sikth combined with the song structures that wouldn't be out of place on a progmetal album. Take album highlight and centre piece Concealing Fate, its a 25 minute opus split into 6 parts that ebbs and flows through some beautifully melodic parts before unleashing a barrage of heavy, groove laden technical metal. It will leave you breathless. Plus, these guys are British so get behind the UK metal scene and buy thia album, you will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is awesome, 26 May 2011
This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
Excellent album, have listened to it every day since I bought it. I can't wait to see them at Sonisphere! Muz
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Album, 31 Aug 2012
This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
An Amazing Album by a great band!
Listened to the album MULTIPLE times, can't get enough of it.
It's definitely up there with,
Periphery,Volumes, Textures and Tesseract. I recommend this album (and the other bands albums) if you're into the Progressive Metal/Djent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spell-binding metal, 23 Jan 2013
By 
LM BUTCHER (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
If 'One' (and their subsequent EP) is anything to go by, TesseracT might - just, might - be the band a league of judicious music lovers have been waiting years for. Traces of all the great progressive rock- and metal-bands are here including (but not limited to) elements of King Crimson, Rush, Dream Theater, TOOL and Meshuggah. For sheer musical clout, Meshuggah is their closest kinsman but there's so much more melody and breathing space on offer here. Like all great progressive rock acts, TesseracT has a seemingly innate ability to take you on a journey. It's almost an out-of-body thing; you can sit back and over the course of 5-10 minutes you'll be party to musical twists and turns that end up in completely different places from where they started out, leaving you wondering, "How did they do that?" I suppose for a start, it's because these boys can really play - and not just technical, lurching, angular stuff. At times they display touch, feel, subtlety and nuance that could probably get them a place in Peter Gabriel's band. What's more, beneath the heavy blitzkrieg of skull-numbing riffery there's actual, genuinely- skilful songsmithery - just check out their acoustic reworkings on their follow-up EP (worth purchasing as a pair, if I'm honest) that prove some solid underpinnings. A genuine masterpiece that's well deserving of five stars!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So much win, 22 Dec 2013
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
I would have paid so much more for this if i had to, absolutely love this music, never stop listening to this CD
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5.0 out of 5 stars One, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
Love this tesseract album! Great! 5 stars . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome album, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
Saw Tesseract twice live before buying this album. Amazing live and on disc.
I reckon the they are like a more melodic Periphery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is what ecstasy sounds like., 16 Feb 2013
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L. Harris (Southampton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One (Standard Version) (Audio CD)
This album is simply fantastic. If you like your music heavy, melodic, intelligent, moving, and generally bloody fantastic, this should be in your collection. Each song can stand on its own but really this needs to be played as the band intended- in the correct order and in its entirety. Do this to fully appreciate this masterpiece of an album. After a few times through I found that I was unable to listen to anything else, and just kept playing it back again and again and again and again... It makes you feel like you've been punched in the guts repeatedly and leaves you on top of the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a stonker!, 13 Feb 2013
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Aaron Bourne "Slade Dragoon" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
There are very few albums I can happily say I still listen to all the way through after the tenth playthrough, but this is definitely one of them! Every song is a tour de force in power, progression and style and not a dull moment between. I'd recommend this album to anyone, especially if they happen to be a fan of Devin Townsend, Skyharbor, Dreamtheater or any progressive rock/metal.
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One (Standard Version) by TesseracT (Audio CD - 2011)
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