TesseracT’s landscape is rich in contrasting textures; it’s a world filled with stark beauty, soaring passages of flight and intricate delicacy, but also one of disjointed and wretched climes. The release of their latest EP, Perspectives, has allowed the band to explore the former more than the latter by putting three of their songs into an acoustic format, and covering one of Jeff Buckley’s more subtle backcatalogue. As such, the scenes that TesseracT set with their previous releases have become bathed in new, mellower tones that give a startling, and welcome, demonstration of the band’s ability to return to basic principles.
What’s more, this is the first studio outing to flaunt the [obvious] vocal talents of Elliot Coleman, following the departure of Daniel Tompkins towards the end of last year. Coleman, in contrast to Tompkins, carries the kind of vocal range that would make Katherine Jenkins flounder, and his touch on the first three songs of this EP is noticeably delicate. Where the lyrics might have felt a little shallow on previous outings, the vocals are now adorned with richness from Coleman’s distinctive tone and consequently feel fathoms deeper.
What’s more, being no strangers to putting their music into an acoustic setting, TesseracT’s back line are systematically able to create an atmosphere that would probably be best described as one of sinister beauty. Origin in particular is filled with swirling notes and snapping guitar strings, marrying the transcendental feel of the musical passages with TesseracT’s tangible technical feel; it’s a combination of sounds that makes these acoustic adaptations feel like songs of their own merit, not just throw-away versions.
On the other hand, the cover of Dream Brother, from Jeff Buckley’s seminal album, Grace, is a fairly by-the-books adaptation, that once again showcases the set of pipes that Coleman has to offer. Eden 2.0, the final piece of Perspectives, is an entirely different beast altogether; it’s a crushing shift into full-pace TesseracT, that sits a little oddly after so many acoustic songs, but it’s undoubtedly present to bare the dissonant, wretched djenty fangs of these technical pioneers. As this track proves, they’re sharper than ever.
Coleman’s debut outing feels like a successful one, but it’ll be left to the release of the next full-throttle TesseracT album to see if he can replicate the kind of conflicting landscapes that this band deal in so well across a full-length offering. As it stands, this is an EP that has been put together to showcase TesseracT in 2012, and whilst it has songs rich in depth and beauty, it feels like a prologue to something bigger, as opposed to just being something that stands alone. What it does show, however, is a band who’ve become rightfully sure of their own feet. Watch this space.
For Fans Of: Uneven Structure, Meshuggah
Standout Tracks: Origin, Eden 2.0
Written by: David Keevill