Those who follow the modern technical metal scene closely (and if you’re new, just check out the UKTM Facebook page) will surely need no introduction to TesseracT. There are few bands who have harvested such an outstanding amount of respect and attention from the metal community, particularly within the djent realms with which they are pioneers and visionaries. Having just recently released a live CD/DVD combo package entitled Odyssey/Scala from their 2014 Altered State world tour, we are treated to the audio portions of an album that on paper looks like another one of TesseracT’s hypnotic and ambitious journeys, albeit with a couple of minor pointers. But it is much more than that.
Odyssey (namely the audio segment of the album) features TesseracT, with returning vocalist Daniel Tompkins as the centrepiece of the group once again ushering a haunting clinic on tracks both old and new. Tompkins has re-adjusted spectacularly on songs from One, which will probably be the inaugural inductee into the djent hall of fame should there be one. The 6-piece opus “Concealing Fate” is particularly enthralling, as it always is. He has also added interesting touches to material that was made famous by former vocalist Ashe O’Hara, namely the “Of Matter” piece which is a deeply mesmerising melodic quarter of an hour.
Needless to say, Tompkins knocks it out of the park with songs that he set the bar high for, and adds some interesting depths of complexity in his pitch perfect voice with newer ones. It is undoubtedly the biggest talking point of the album, as although the band have adjusted with vocalists often enough now for it to become a potential running joke, it’s a universal agreement that Tompkins is perfect for the TesseracT role and always has been.
Looking past another magnificent vocal performance, it would be criminal to say that the four backing musicians that make up TesseracT are anything less than the perfect example of technically proficiency. While Odyssey combines multiple performances from the band’s world tour, on every song there is never anything instrumentally mistimed or misjudged. The drum segments are even more intricate than on record, if that was possible, where their added edge and fills remind the listener that this is not to be taken lightly. The precision on the guitars is quite something to behold, having been exemplified to an excellent standard – the riffs are not only executed flawlessly, but their musical depth makes this album even more studio-worthy.
It’s probably likely that Odyssey won’t make TesseracT many new fans, as when compared with their two studio albums there lies the slight problem that the latter albums really have to be heard and appreciated to indulge TesseracT at their zenith. This live album is perfect for followers of the band who enjoy watching them execute their studio material excellently on stage, whilst remaining envious that the five-piece band are churning out riffs, fills or vocals that are almost impossible to replicate. As one of these followers myself, this was an excellent listen and I can thoroughly justify that it is so worth picking up.
2. Deception (Concealing Fate Part Two)
3. The Impossible (Concealing Fate Part Three)
4. Perfection (Concealing Fate Part Four)
5. Epiphany (Concealing Fate Part Five)
6. Origin (Concealing Fate Part Six)
7. Of Matter – Proxy
8. Of Matter – Retrospect
9. Of Matter – Resist
11. Of Mind – Nocturne
12. Acceptance (Concealing Fate Part One)
Daniel Tompkins – Vocals
Acle Kahney – Guitar
James Monteith – Guitar
Jay Postones – Drums
Amos Williams – Bass