Review by Brady Deeprose
The UK ‘Djent’ scene is thriving at the moment and forerunners Tesseract have been on its frontline longer than most. With a complete line up, they return with Altered State, their second full-length album.
The album is split into four parts: Of Matter, Of Mind, Of Reality and Of Energy, with each having several tracks. As a whole, the album seems to be bringing out the more ambient/relaxed side of the band which, on the first few listens, can be a little wearing. The release sees Ashe O’Hara, Elliot Coleman’s vocal successor, bringing his soft, almost pop-esque voice into the equation. For such a young guy, his writing is mature and his lyrics are definitely more than would usually be expected for one of his age. That said, I feel that there’s nothing quite as memorable to this record as on previous releases.
The downfall of Altered State is the fact that after several listens, I couldn’t pick out any highlights (bar the intro to ‘Of Mind – Exile’ which is just beautifully groovy) and it seems to just blend into one long extended vocal line. There’s no real separation track to track meaning that without giving the album your 100% attention, it will just fade into a hazy stream of texture and sound. Obviously, this kind of feeling is what the band was aiming for but as a fan of their back catalogue, it doesn’t really do much for me.
Altered State is a competent release to say the least but it failed to capture my imagination quite like the bands back catalogue. One for the hardcore fans no doubt and for fans of the genre, it’s an admirable effort, but I’ll be hoping for a return to their more classic sound soon.
6 out of 10
- Of Matter: Proxy, Retrospect, Resist
- Of Mind: Nocturne, Exile
- Of Reality: Eclipse, Palingenesis, Calabi-Yau
- Of Energy: Singularity, Embers