Sophomore full length effort by U.K. progressive metal band TesseracT entitled Altered State proves itself worthy of all of the praise. This album is nothing less than a work of natural art, as if TesseracT went at it organically, with no over-ambitions. Clocking in at slightly over 50 minutes, it flows perfectly and never gets boring.
The opening track “Of Matter – Proxy” showcases what you can expect to hear on the album. Vocals and guitar begin the song, creating a vibe that while soft, the listener can feel it building up and leaves them eager to hear where it goes. Varied dynamics like that are what drive Altered State, and are what stand out more than anything when it comes to the song structures. Another incredible example comes in the track three, “Of Matter – Resist” from when the song begins with beautiful ambience building up to the hard hitting “No! I tried to settle bets with my own soul!” chorus.
One other specific thing about these songs is that all of them have the ability to be both exciting/energetic and beautiful at the same time. The best example of this is the original single “Nocturne” (titled “Of Mind – Nocturne” on the album version). It makes me want to jump and sing my heart out to it at the same time. And because of that, it has stuck with me since the single was released almost a year ago. The chorus specifically has very hard hitting and exciting instrumentals with a vocal melody that I could sing for days. The sudden climax of the song has some of the most beautiful vocal layering I’ve ever heard (I really enjoyed how they portrayed that visually at 3:13 in the music video.
Overall, this album just reinstates why TesseracT have been my favorite band since the day I discovered them about two years ago. After changing vocalists twice since their debut album One, I wasn’t sure what this release would be like–and if Ashe (new vocalist) could live up to the high bar set by Daniel Tompkins. But Ashe blew any doubt I had out of the water, and the band once again outdid themselves. It takes a lot for me to call an album nearly perfect on every level, but I have yet to find any significant flaw in this, so I can’t give it any less than a 10/10. Well done, lads.
Side note: TesseracT will be playing a show on Wednesday, October 16th 2013 at Skyway Theatre Studio B in Minneapolis. It’s an honor to say my own band, The Broken are Crowned, will be one of the local opening acts, so if anyone needs tickets, let me know! See you there!