TesseracT: Redefining Boundaries
You would think that with the advent of the internet and the way music is distributed in the digital age; that hidden treasures are a rarity, no matter where in the world a band is located. Introducing TesseracT, that hails from the U.K., and truly is a treasure that is just now catching the eyes and ears of music fans, musicians and press outside of Europe, including the States and worldwide.
TesseracT has been around in different formations for several years; however, the current line-up with front man, Dan Tompkins, is when they really took off. The melodic range of Dan’s voice opened up vaults of creativity for the entire band; empowering them to go places musically they hadn’t envisioned before but with Dan’s voice now had no constraints.
I have been a fan of Century Media artist, TesseracT since I first heard them. It wasn’t through the Internet, rather was turned on to them by Dan Kenny, bassist for Suicide Silence, while on their tour bus a couple of years ago. Since they were from the U.K., I figured the chances of seeing them live would be slim; yet I did just that while they were in the middle of a month long tour in support of their newly released album, “One” with Protest the Hero and Maylene. With every step the band has taken, playing shows outside of their homeland, they have discovered a fan base worldwide including continental Europe, Russia, India and the USA. That is where the Internet has helped boost them in a way that could not have been achieved previously. People know their songs, who they are and don their merch at every show to the pleasant surprise of the band.
Coming together with a common musical influence of Meshuggah; TesseracT was borne out of the technical “djent” guitar work by Acle Kahney in his bedroom. Acle received positive feedback from guitarists Frederik Thordenal of Meshuggah and Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, on his guitar riffs and was motivation for Kahney to move forward. It was just a side project for Acle, that gained following by Amos Williams(Bass), Jay Postones (dums) and James Monteith (guitar) through Meshuggah message boards. All proficient musicians with that common interest, they formed TesseracT and explored the limitations, or lack thereof, to the boundaries to what they could create.
I have mentioned the name TesseracT to other musicians that I have interviewed in the time span since I first learned of them, and they all stagger at the mention; including Travis Neal of Divine Heresy whose response was, “That band blows my mind!” That seems to be a common ideology when opinions are formed about TesseracT, with the melody of Dan’s voice complimented by perfectly timed screams, the harmony of the guitar riffs, syncopated drums and the epic journey of their songs with atmospheric changes in tempo and rhythm that take you to different places mentally, much along the lines of a metal version of Pink Floyd, whom they cite as a big influence.
The stretching of any faux musical boundaries is the very premise upon which TesseracT is by definition. Tesseract is a geometric term referring to what amounts to a cube within a cube, a cubic prism or a 4 dimensional analog of a cube. How that relates to TesseracT; the band, is that there are dimensions beyond that which have been discovered musically; there are no boundaries other than those that we have created by playing the same chords, measures and bars. Judging from any listener’s first glance at their music, it is clear that TesseracT were aptly named, as they redefine any attempt to categorize their brand of metal. They have been referred to as a prog metal band, but it seems to be the consensus that they are a sub-genre all of their own, creating a style and majestic music that is not only appreciated, but often leaves you in awe in how original their sound is and the musicianship.
“One” is a full length LP and follows up “Concealing Fate.” Both are a must for any fan or musician that has appreciation for the true musicianship, musical complexity and technical metal without over indulgence. As an American, I think I have a pre-conceived notion that when I meet someone that is British, they are going to be pompous or condescending and the band proved me completely wrong. I spent a couple of hours with TesseracT and they are the friendliest, unpretentious guys with appreciation for the fans they have amassed as well as appreciation for music in general. Self-described geeks, they are students of music, music history and theory and the technological components, as they are all producers in their own right.
Photos by: Kristell Gathoye