Album review: TesseracT – One

Metal can be a funny world sometimes. If you used the word “djent” but a few months ago, most people would have assumed you were speaking Swahili and waited patiently for you to return to English. Fast forward to March 2011, and TesseracT have recently wrapped up the League of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour with Periphery, and are about to unleash their debut full-length, One.

Questionable nomenclature aside, the fledgeling sub-genre has helped spawned a host of bands that play Meshuggah-style riffs along with sugary-sweet clean vocals that would put most of the X Factor lineup to shame. TesseracT have arguably been at the forefront of the whole movement, even garnering some attention from the mainstream media in the run-up to the release of One.

Tesseract One album coverSix of the 11 tracks on offer here are taken straight from their Concealing Fate EP, so don’t warrant much discussion. It’s just as well, because the new tracks on offer are a fairly significant leap forward for the band, even though they stick to the tried and tested TesseracT formula of bizarrely off-kilter riffs and bass playing that almost borders on funk.

Lament‘ and ‘Nascent‘, the first two tracks, are immediately going to become TesseracT staples, because the melodies on offer are much stronger than anything on the EP. The quintet clearly recognise the value of strong hooks and pepper the whole album with them, so even though it plays without interruption from start to finish as it were one big song, One has clearly distinguishable parts that are defined first and foremost by the melodic hooks.

The new songs also tend towards brevity and only the album closer, ‘Eden‘, goes over five minutes. This slightly more refined approach also works well, particularly on tracks like Sunrise, that throw up a slightly more aggressive tone but never at the cost of a good melody. ‘April‘ begins with a funky bass line, accompanied by nothing more than a minimalist drum beat and clean guitars, and while the standard TesseracT riffs return soon enough, the whole song is a lot more mellow than the others, offering a nice contrast.

Will djent fans love it? D’uh. Will the doubters be convinced? Highly unlikely, because it offers nothing different from previous efforts. Inevitably, discussion about the band and the genre will soon switch to the future, and whether there can be enough variation within the djent sound to keep future releases sounding fresh without straying outside its stylistic boundaries. But let’s forget about that for now and just enjoy a strong release from an exciting young band.

Rating – 8


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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