TesseracT – Sonder (Kscope)Tuesday, 24th April 2018
Lowering the tone since 2007, TesseracT represent the new breed on progressive, groove-oriented metal. Sonder as the fourth studio record accentuates the modern, diverse and experimental approach, continuing the polyrhythmic riffs, odd time signatures, and atmospheric layering that has made them captivating to their growing audience. The juxtaposition of clarity against heaviness while still conveying forward ideas different than their peers of the genre keeps ears pinned and interest on high, even if the record clocks in at a relatively sparse 36 minutes and change.
This UK unit fully understand the need for distinct hook sequences that percolate and circulate song to song – whether it be the flutter of similar guitar notes against ambient keyboards during “Beneath My Skin” or a low-tuned, Tool-like bass groove throughout “King” that opens up the soft spoken, airy melodies of vocalist Daniel Tompkins. A quieter number often sets up the next progressive outburst, “Orbital” featuring interesting, hypnotic word sequences with almost a backwards masking-type feel – as “Juno” thrusts into the airspace because of a killer slap funk-oriented bass/guitar main verse affect. The listener never feels overcome to fatigue because of dense ideas and the expression of them – the band knows how to juggle the dynamic landscape between the prism of light and darkness, softness and heaviness – and as a result the contrasts reel the ears in for more successive airings to grasp the finer details. Because of the ‘less is more’ philosophy, there’s no excuse to not dig deep into the crevices and submit to the rhythmic sway for “Smile” – a second half favorite this scribe returns to most often when needing that cathartic stress release.
TesseracT succeed where other djent-heavy bands fail because they use this tool without exploiting things on a self-satisfying level – the material on Sonder consistently striving for that multi-layered level of keying all senses.