Written by: HES on 16/12/2015 00:46:20

Let me put it bluntly: I never took myself as a person that would appreciate TesseracT. Mainly because I had no idea that I could appreciate progressive or djent. For some reason is always smelled a bit too technical for a girl that usually appreciates the softer things in life, like lyrics or vocal integrity. But something about "Polaris" absolutely pulled on some of the right strings, serving as a translation for me.

First off, the album is extremely successful in setting a mood from the very first ambient noises of album opener “Dystopia” leading into a dark, springy bass. The band’s new vocalist Daniel Tompkins marks his territory already in this neck of the woods with an impressive vocal range, jumping into velvety falsetto-parts like is was no big hindrance. And as progressive as “Dystopia” is, with its masculine basslines and industrial sound, as completely different is the follow-up track “Hexes”, which is overall vocal-driven, supported only by quiet drums and a spider-like guitar slowly carrying the emotional outpour forward as the mood intensifies and leads to a crescendo of nu-metal’ish, dare I even use this word, rapping - which actually doesn’t bother me too much.

What I personally appreciate about "Polaris" is the overall coherency of the album. As it weaves between songs that are more in-your-face-proggy and the more ambience-driven songs, they all come together to paint extremely vivid mental pictures of both ease and tension. This is helped along by theatrical pieces of ambient noise and fragmented instruments in-between songs. A great example of this is the slowly building “Seven Names” that again opens in completely vulnerable state, but slowly grows more and more aggressive, but then ends out in fragile and disconnected piano.

In spite of the album being the extreme opposite of “radio-friendly”, it still manages to stay close enough to reality to produce the almost in-your-face catchy “Survival”. But to me, it is still the less bombastic songs like “Tourniquet” that deliver the most emotional impact. It's harmonic, but like a good hand of poker: Completely down-played for most of its duration, yet as "Polaris" does, it breaks the mold of what a progressive band should sound like, it breaks with the legacy of being the band that almost founded the djent-genre and it does so by combining unconventional choices with solid elements of excellent instrumentation.


Download: Cages, Survival, Dystopia, Seven Names
For The Fans Of: Animals as Leaders, Monuments, Circles, Rosetta
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 18.09.2015
Century Media, Kscope

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