Tesseract (band)

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Tesseract
Tuska 20130628 - TesseracT - 29.jpg
Tesseract live at Tuska Open Air 2013
Background information
Origin Milton Keynes, UK
Genres Progressive metal, djent
Years active 2003–present
Labels Century Media
Associated acts Periphery, Heights, Between the Buried and Me, Skyharbor, Meshuggah, The Algorithm, Fellsilent, Haji's Kitchen, Ever Forthright, Monuments, Zelliack, Voices From the Fuselage
Website www.tesseractband.co.uk
Members Acle Kahney
Jay Postones
James Monteith
Amos Williams
Daniel Tompkins
Past members Julien Perier
Abisola Obasanya
Elliot Coleman
Ashe O'Hara

Tesseract (often stylized as TesseracT) is a British progressive metal band formed in 2007. They are currently signed to Century Media Records.[1] They are credited as one of the bands to pioneer the 'djent' movement in progressive metal. As of 2013 Tesseract have released two studio albums, One and Altered State.

History[edit]

Early years (2003–2009)[edit]

Tesseract started out in 2003 whilst founding member Acle Kahney was recording and writing with his band Mikaw Barish. What started as an outlet for creativity and experimentation grew and Kahney posted clips of his technically heavy guitar work on forums such as Sevenstring.org, taking the feedback on board and gradually improving his technique. It was in this way that a community of bedroom producer-musicians were spawned and a new wave of progressive music called djent was created. Others who helped to create this new "djent" scene include Misha Mansoor (Periphery), Paul Ortiz (Chimp Spanner), and John Browne (Monuments), who was a band mate of Kahney's in Fellsilent.

Frenchman Julien Perier supplied vocals during the bands' very early stages, but the logistical difficulties of distance meant that he could not join the band permanently. The line-up was completed in 2007 with Jay Postones on drums, James Monteith on guitar, and Amos Williams on bass. Monteith and Williams brought along with them Abisola Obasanya, the vocalist of their previous band, <209>. After their first full lineup was realized, they began playing live shows and compiling material for their debut album; they released a 4 song demo in 2007 containing parts of what would eventually become their debut album One.

One (2009–2011)[edit]

In 2009, Obasanya decided to leave the band. He was replaced by Daniel Tompkins;[2] Acle had come into contact with him having assisted with the production on his previous band First Signs of Frost's album Atlantic. The band reworked the album's songs with Daniel, moving towards a 2010 release. Just before heading out on their first major tours, they released the Concealing Fate EP, a 6 track suite which forms the centrepiece of their debut album.[3]

In 2010 they performed headline shows in the UK in support of their Concealing Fate EP, opened up for The Devin Townsend Project on a North American tour,[4] and performed in the Great Indian Rock Festival in India. One was released on 22nd March 2011.[5]

In 2011 they were a part of "The League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour" with Periphery and Monuments throughout the UK,[6] and were an opening act on the Scurrilous Tour with Protest The Hero and Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster in the US.[7] Later in 2011 Tesseract toured throughout the UK in support of One with openers Chimp Spanner and Uneven Structure,[8] and they also performed at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth.

Departure of Daniel Tompkins and Perspective EP (2011–2012)[edit]

On 20 August 2011 rumors began spreading that vocalist Daniel Tompkins had left the band, as Tesseract were seen performing with a different vocalist during a gig at the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes. This was confirmed by the band a few days later on 23 August, when they introduced Elliot Coleman as their new singer.[9] Daniel Tompkins now sings for the progressive metal band Skyharbor and the pop-rock band In Colour, as well as gradually developing his own solo project White Moth Black Butterfly.

In September 2011 an instrumental version of One was digitally released and in October 2011 both the original and the instrumental versions were released on vinyl as a double LP.[10]

During early 2012 Tesseract worked on an acoustic EP inspired by the radio acoustic session they played in Brooklyn, New York a year before. This came to be known as the Perspective EP and it was released on 25 May 2012.[11]

Departure of Elliot Coleman and Altered State (2012–present)[edit]

On 12 June 2012 Tesseract announced that Coleman had amicably left the band:[12]

Sadly, our good buddy Elliot has decided to leave team TesseracT. We’d like to thank Elliot for everything he has done for us. We have loved having him be a part of this beast. He introduced us to a completely different side of our sound, as well the delights of Pho! Things we will always be grateful for. So, as well as continuing to write and record album 2, we are also on the hunt for that special (shpecial) person to be the new full-time Tesseract vocalisT.

On 7 September 2012 the band announced that they had found their yet unnamed new vocalist and would release the single "Nocturne" on 12 October.[13] A series of shows in Europe were also announced, including a performance at Euroblast Festival.[14][15]

It was later revealed that the new singer was Ashe O'Hara,[16][17] who is also currently the vocalist of the bands Voices From The Fuselage and These Precious Days. Tesseract issued a short statement about the new vocalist on their website:[18]

We realize that the vocalist search seemed like it took a long time, but we wanted to make sure that we found someone who was a perfect fit both on stage and in the studio and Ashe is just that. We very much appreciate the patience and support our fans have shown us and look forward to the next TESSERACT chapter.

On 15 December 2012 Monteith stated in an interview with Gothestro Radio that they expect Tesseract's upcoming second album to be released in the early part of 2013. He also said that the album is taking a more melodic route than their previous releases.[19]

On 28 February 2013 the band unveiled a release date for Altered State (27 May 2013 in UK and 28 May in US), a full track listing and a subsequent UK tour with The Algorithm and Enochian Theory just prior to the release. The album is a 51-minute continuous piece divided into four large sections (Of Matter, Of Mind, Of Reality, Of Energy), each of which contains several tracks. The album's artwork was also posted.[20] They have since released four trailers for the new album, each containing two minute snippets of different songs,[21][22] although the names of the songs were not mentioned. Footage of the band rehearsing for their upcoming headlining UK tour (which featured a clip of a new song blended with camera audio of the band rehearsing it) was also uploaded onto the internet on 26 April 2013 by Century Media. On 30 April 'Singularity' was aired for the first time on BBC Radio 1's Rock show,[23] and has been released on their Soundcloud account.[24]

During a phone interview with Metal Injection, Amos Williams stated that the band would be going on tour in the US during the summer of 2013 and touring Europe in late 2013.

"Altered State" streamed on 12 May 2013 on Century Media's official YouTube channel,[25] 2 weeks before the planned release.

The band stated in an interview at the HRH Prog festival that they have been steadily working on new material and are "always writing".

On 20th February 2014, a video was released of the band performing the Of Matter movement of Altered State live in a studio, similar to their Concealing Fate Live DVD which came as a bonus disc in the deluxe edition of One.

Departure of Ashe O'Hara, return of Daniel Tompkins and 3rd album (2014-present)[edit]

On 27th June 2014, it was announced that TesseracT had parted ways with vocalist Ashe O'Hara, with Dan Tompkins rejoining the band as vocalist, while still continuing his duties as frontman of Skyharbor. TesseracT commented:

"We have amicably parted ways with Ashe as we have found ourselves in different places, creatively. Ashe is a fantastic talent and will continue to be successful in his career and we wish him the absolute best! "Moving forward for TesseracT – Daniel Tompkins will be rejoining us as a full time member of the band. Starting from our main stage performance at Sonisphere, UK on 05.07.14. We are also looking forward to starting writing and recording album three with Daniel, which will begin later this year."[26]

Music[edit]

The band plays a specific style of progressive metal which often features polyrhythmic riffs and odd time signatures, and several atmospheric layers. They have stated that they do not compose their music with specific polyrhythms in mind, and play what they feel fits the groove. They also include a mid-range sounding distorted guitar tone and melodic clean passages heavily influenced by ambient music.[27][28][29] They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the djent subgenre of metal.

The vocal style of the band has seen a considerable shift. On One, Daniel Tompkins employed a mixture of clean and harsh vocals, with an emphasis on long, drawn out notes. However, Ashe O'Hara's performances on Altered State dropped the harsh vocals entirely in favour of a more melodic style, with an emphasis on strong melodic "hooks". In an interview with Metalspree, Ashe stated, '...right now, being ourselves is to have purely melodic vocals. With ‘One’ they felt they had to have harsh vocals in order to be accepted by the community. But, they’ve never really wanted to be that type of band.'[30]

In his interview with Metal Injection, Amos Williams stated that the decision to drop harsh vocals entirely from future material was an unconscious collective decision by the band and this made the search for a new vocalist extremely hard; his explanation was that many vocalists with an all clean style do not want to live the "metal" lifestyle of regular touring, or do not enjoy metal music enough to want to take part in a band in TesseracT's style.

Throughout their career, the band have produced, mixed and mastered all their material themselves: Williams is a qualified audio engineer and Acle Kahney has carried out production, mixing and mastering work for several other progressive metal bands. They have also refrained from taking part in the loudness wars; instead, they use more gentle mastering which preserves the dynamics of their music.

Amos Williams stated in an interview[31] that TesseracT's music is relatively reliant on the bass in comparison to other metal bands: he states that "[The bass] is always on its own little shelf" in the music and that during the production process "We left a lot of room for there to be sub and actual bass stuff going on".

Awards and nominations[edit]

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "One" Golden Gods Award for Best New Band Nominated

Progressive Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2012 "One" Progressive Music Award for New Blood Won
2013 "Altered State" Progressive Music Award for Album of the Year Nominated

Band members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Extended plays

Singles

  • "Nascent" (2011)
  • "Nocturne" (2012)
  • "Singularity (Radio Edit)" (2013)

Videography[edit]

  • Deception (Concealing Fate Part 2) (2010)
  • Nascent (2011)
  • Concealing Fate Live (2011)
  • Eden (2011)
  • Singularity (2013)
  • Nocturne (2013)
  • Of Matter Live (2014)

Tours and festivals[edit]

  • Bloodstock-Open-Air, UK 2008
  • Caos Emergente, Portugal 2008
  • Hammerfest, UK 2009
  • Hellfire II, UK 2009
  • Headline UK Tour (Instrumental tour playing the Concealing Fate EP), UK 2010
  • The Devin Townsend Project US Tour, N. America 2010
  • Great Indian Rock Festival, India 2010
  • The League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour with Periphery and Monuments, UK 2011
  • Scurrilous Tour With Protest The Hero & Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, N. America 2011
  • Sonisphere UK On the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, Knebworth, England 2011
  • The League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour with Periphery, Australia 2011
  • Lowering The Tone Tour with Chimp Spanner and Uneven Structure, UK 2011
  • Euroblast Festival Vol.7 Germany, 2011
  • Saints & Sinners Tour with Between The Buried And Me and Animals As Leaders – N. America 2011
  • Euroblast Festival Vol.8 Germany, 2012
  • The Epic Industrialist Tour with The Devin Townsend Project and Fear Factory - Europe 2012
  • HRH Prog festival - UK 2013
  • European tour with Periphery and Syqem - Europe 2013
  • Takedown 2013 - UK 2013
  • Altered State Release Tour with The Algorithm and Enochian Theory - UK 2013
  • Tuska Open Air Fesitval, Helsinki, Finland - UK 2013
  • Tech Fest Headline, Peterborough - UK 2013
  • Ireland tour supporting Lamb of God, Dublin & Belfast - UK 2013
  • Macmillan Festival headline, Nottingham - UK 2013
  • Altered State release tour w/ Monuments and Skyharbor - RU 2013
  • Katatonia/Cult Of Luna North American tour - US 2013
  • Altered State Of Matter North American tour w/Scale the Summit and Anciients - 2013
  • Altered State Of Matter tour, Mexico - C. America 2013
  • Asymmetry release tour supporting Karnivool - UK 2013
  • TesseracT India Exclusive - India 2013
  • Soundwave Festival - AU 2014
  • Trondheim Metal Fest, Norway - March 2014
  • Altered State Of Mind North American Tour w/Intronaut and Cloudkicker - 2014
  • Sonisphere 2014

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Century Media Records - TesseracT". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  2. ^ "Dan Tompkins announced as the new TesseracT front man - #AltSounds". Hangout.altsounds.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Century Media Records - TesseracT - Concealing Fate EP". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  4. ^ "Tesseract added to Devin Townsend North American tour". metalunderground.com. 
  5. ^ "Century Media Records - TesseracT - One". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Periphery announce UK tour". Roadrunnerrecords.co.uk. 
  7. ^ "Protest The Hero announce North American tour". lambgoat.com. 
  8. ^ "Tesseract announces UK tour". holdtightpr.com. 
  9. ^ Neilstein, Vince. "Exclusive Interview: Tesseract'S Amos Williams On The Band'S Recent Vocalist Swap". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  10. ^ "TesseracT - One /black 2 LP". Cmdistro.de. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  11. ^ "Century Media Records - TesseracT - Perspective EP". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  12. ^ Tesseract (2013-01-18). "Sad News… - TESSERACT". Tesseractband.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  13. ^ Kraus, Brian (9 September 2012). "Tesseract announce new single, find new singer". Alternative Press. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  14. ^ metalsucks.net: Metalsucks presents: Euroblast Volume 8, featuring Scar Symmetry, Jeff Loomis, Animals As Leaders and more Retrieved 26 June 2012
  15. ^ euroblast.net: Euroblast Festival Retrieved 26 June 1012
  16. ^ "Voices From The Fuselage". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  17. ^ "Voices From The Fuselage - The Wreckage (LYRIC VIDEO)". YouTube. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  18. ^ Tesseract (2013-01-18). "Biography - TESSERACT". Tesseractband.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  19. ^ http://www.gothestro.co.uk/lnl-12-12-15-hmv-ritz.html
  20. ^ "TesseracT - TesseracT's Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  21. ^ "TESSERACT - Altered State (Trailer featuring new music!)". YouTube. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  22. ^ "TESSERACT - Altered State 2 (Trailer featuring new music!)". YouTube. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  23. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Rock Show with Daniel P Carter". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  24. ^ "TESSERACT - Singularity (Radio Edit) by Century Media Records on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  25. ^ "TESSERACT - Altered State (Full Album Stream)". YouTube. 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  26. ^ 1:09 PM. "Tesseract Splits With Vocalist Yet Again - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  27. ^ GuitarWorld Staff Member (16 March 2011). "Tesseract Unveil New Video". Guitar World. Future US. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  28. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "One review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  29. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Concealing Fate review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  30. ^ [1][dead link]
  31. ^ Myungnotta, John. "Big Bottoms: Amos Williams from TesseracT". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2014-07-12.