TesseracT – Polaris

TESSERACT_RingMaster Review

Lost in the beauty and technical magnetism of Polaris, a trio of thoughts leap forward to lead the increasing enjoyment and personal plaudits brewing up for the album. Firstly this is without doubt a typical TesseracT proposition, but not in any way one dosed with predictability or repetitious emulation of past triumphs. Their third full-length has the bands unmistakable presence and imagination, their renowned craft and riveting bold adventure, all colluding to create a brand new journey of creative evolution leading to expansive yet fiercely intimate discoveries.

Secondly like the creation of a painting, each track within Polaris plays like a layer upon layer; each individually standing alone but uniting to cast a rich and fully immersive landscape of emotive and provocative sonic incitement. They are textures to a whole which can be explored singularly or as one fluid movement across a record which just fascinates and transfixes at every turn.

The final leading thought is that everything seems right with the world as the returning voice of singer Daniel Tompkins caresses and roars in ears. As impressive and thickly important to past successes that previous vocalists Elliot Coleman or Ashe O’Hara were, something is complete with Tompkins sharing his vocal and emotional heart within the ever stirring sounds of the band.

Polaris cover_RingMaster Review       Released by the band’s new label Kscope, Polaris opens with Dystopia, it emerging through dank shadows with a tight spiral of riffs and atmospheric chills. Soon a swing grips the guitars of Acle Kahney and James Monteith, riffs and grooves enlivened with energy and a swagger as Tompkins walks their lure with his assured and distinctive tones. Pretty soon everything catches aflame, the guitars becoming openly fiery, vocals impassioned, and the bass of Amos Williams, well that just turns out the most delicious steely growl. With the dynamic beats of Jay Postones as skilfully impacting as ever, the track shows the band is on striking creative form individually and as one, and building yet another new drama of sound and imagination to get greedy over.

Of course one song does not dictate the way an album goes but its suggestiveness is quickly backed by Hexes and Survival after that, the next pair swiftly pushing on the emerging and immersion exploration within the album. The first of these two initially creates a celestial melodic sigh, its lingering elegance casting a radiance which keys and vocals share as the spatial depths of the track come into view. Its poetic glow just thickens around the subsequent vocal unions of Tompkins and Williams, remaining a rich hue as the track continually simmers and boils with intensity and emotion the further into its controlled yet tempestuous body is stretches. The track is hypnotic, seductive, and portentous; a stunning captivation matched by its successor which also opens on an absorbing calm but much sooner exudes a feistier blaze of emotion. Like a fire it smoulders and blazes, licks at the senses and crackles with aggression, and like a mass of flames totally bewitches the senses as they stare at its seamlessly volatile beauty.

Tourniquet spreads harmonic radiation next, keys and vocals an intensive caress against the mouth-watering rhythmic bait and prowess of Postones. They keep their mesmeric grip even as the guitars wind up their technical endeavour and intensity, parting only once the full technical and inventive theatre of Utopia takes over. A maze of styles and flavours cored by another entrapment of ardour sparking bass enterprise, the next song simply engrosses with its dramatic tenacity in sound and ideation, and indeed vocal strength where again Tompkins and Williams are riveting in their part within the superb creative emprise.

With a more reserved but no less impacting presence, the following Phoenix lives up to the suggestiveness of its name. Melodies leap like flames throughout, springing from a subdued canvas to soar, as the vocals, across the rich sonic sky of the encounter. Ears and emotions are full and basking before Messenger takes over with its spiny grooves and jagged riffs aligned to classically sultry keys and a melodic character which just oozes elegance, even when embraced by the more rugged elements of the track. Both songs drag ears and imagination deeper into their diversely textured depths, and like all songs and subsequently the album as a whole, reveal new twists, nuances, and creative revelations with each and very listen.

The immersive ambience bringing Cages to the fore is instantly compelling but once the song slips into something melodically and evocatively ‘comfortable’ it becomes truly spellbinding. Bass and drums flirt with rapacious tenacity whilst the guitars and keys impose their tempting with gaseous prowess, invading every pore for the richest pleasure. The song epitomises the album; every element and slither of inventiveness familiarly TesseracT but nurtured within a band taking their songwriting and imagination into new realms of experimentation and personal exploration.

Completed by the mouth-watering Seven Names, it is fair to say that Polaris is sensational and lives up to the hype already brewing around it on its first listen alone. The fact that it just gets more stunning and impressive with each additional play tells you why we believe that the new TesseracT album is the progressive/groove metal triumph of the year.

Polaris is out now via Kscope now across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 25/09/2015

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