Well-known singer, Daniel Tompkins kicked down doors as the vocalist for progressive music scene bands like TesseracT and Skyharbor. He has a legion of fans and has managed to reinvent himself on every release in his career. In the background, he has been working on solo material what would eventually become his debut solo album. Finding common ground with Russian producer Dmitry Stepanov, Tompkins is ready to shatter fans expectations for what they have come to expect from him, revealing new levels of artistry only hinted at. Freed from the genre rules or really any expectations, Castles (Kscope) arrives free of conventions or any other weird airs most signers fall prey to when they create a solo album. Continue reading
UK progressive metal giants Tesseract have booked a European tour for later in 2018 to go along with their previously announced slate of US tour dates and summer festival shows. These new dates will come with support from Between The Buried And Me and Plini. All dates will support their new album, Sonder, releasing on April 20th via Kscope Music. Tickets go on sale 9th March at 9am GMT / 10am CET at the link below.
TesseracT will be returning to the States in support of Gojira next week, and to get you extra excited for those dates, they’ve finally unveiled the beautiful new ‘Hexes‘ video for our viewing pleasure today. Continue reading
Progressive metal stars Tesseract have hit the ground running hard since the release of their new album Polaris (Kscope) in 2015. Re-energized by returning vocalist Daniel Tompkins and new horizons to reach for musically, the band has been slaying out on tour. Will a huge headline run of dates in their native United Kingdom, as well as the rest of Europe, rabid fans were in a froth. Especially to see Tompkins, who is truly a great conduit vocally and lyrically for what the bands lays down. Most of the shows on the tour are already sold-out, attesting to the greatness of this band; already a modern legend. On this night at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, the band was supported directly by like-minded US proggers The Contortionist and Nordic Giants (not pictured). The Contortionist themselves are another great young band, with a similar career arc of the headliners. Now fronted by Michael Lessard (Last Chance To Reason), the band is touring hardcore behind their own recent release the “Rediscovered” version of their album Language (eOne). As for the headliners, if you have ever seen them live, they are masterful performers. On this night they crafted a set list highlighting their newest work, but always remembering the moments from older albums that got them here in the first place. Captured here for Ghost Cult by Luke Denham of Luke Denham Photography, you get a glimpse one of tomorrow’s best band, today.
TesseracT set list:
Concealing Fate, Part Two: Deception
Concealing Fate, Part Three: The Impossible
Of Matter: Proxy
Of Matter: Retrospect
Of Matter: Resist
Of Mind: Nocture
Concealing Fate, Part One: Acceptance
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The history of TesseracT is very disjointed and confusing in places, both sonically and in terms of personnel. With a continuous base of founder and guitarist Acle Kahney alongside Jay Postones, James Monteith and Amos Williams, the vocalist has changed more than Doctor Who, now with Daniel Tompkins returning after his initial stint on the band’s first full length One. Since his first tenure the band’s sound has changed from the, at the time cutting edge djent metal sound, to one that focused towards a more expansive arena while diminishing their metallic influences on follow up Altered State (both Century Media). Now with Polaris (Kscope/eOne) they are venturing even further down the rabbit hole.
The albums opening song will prove the most familiar and easing track for those who crave a return to the crunchy metal of One, with a prominent, chugging bassline throughout, it shows signs of an underlying trait of their sound that has been there since day one, but less so through a Meshuggah lens. Instead Polaris shows an increasingly mellow and even ambient sound with a dreamlike atmosphere, punctuated by increased tempo and thundering basslines, a prime example being the ever building ‘Hexes’.
Of course, many ears will be on what Tompkins brings to the table again, and even with him still firmly on the radar during his TesseracT absence with a host of other projects, his evolution since then is staggering. Completely void of the harsh vocals that powered One, Tompkins clean vocals soar to new heights here, and his time with Indian prog metallers Skyharbor has elevated him even further, hitting new, astonishing high notes and ever improved vocal lines show his flawless adaptability to the band’s changes.
It has often been challenging keeping up with the changes TesseracT undergo, but for every roadblock that hinders their path they always come out the other side stronger than ever; this line up feels definitive as Tompkins proves even with the significant steps the band have made forward, that he still fits like a glove. Polaris is yet another important and impressive leap forward by one of modern prog’s most important alumni.
The ever daring and polarizing TesseracT continue to keep their ambitions high with the release of live album and DVD Odyssey/Scala (Century Media). Forgive the odd title as both sides contain the same set of songs. Odyssey was recorded across Europe during the Altered State tour while the Scala visual supplement was recorded at the posh London club of the same name.
What? Simply naming it Alive doesn’t quite cut when you’re used to adding ‘Concealing Fate’ to like half of your song titles.
Most importantly, Odyssey/Scala finds guitarist and ringleader Alec ‘Acle’ Kahney and the boys reuniting with original singer Daniel Tompkins 3 years after their last collaboration. And Tompkins does not disappoint, as his soaring vocals translate perfectly to the live format and shows no issues handling former lead Ashe O’Hara’s parts. Spending an afternoon with these kinds of talents seems like a good time, but something doesn’t quite work for me.
I have to wonder if the idea to make a concert film came after they planned on releasing the live LP. The only reason I ask is because Odyssey is the best way of the two to enjoy this evening with Tesseract. The songs feel much more alive on Odyssey while Scala has a very polished mix that almost gives the impression of being dubbed over at points. The heavier, double bass segments in tracks like ‘The Impossible’ and ‘Perfection/Epiphany’ sound like Tesseract want to give the most aggressive Periphery tunes a run for their money. Also the rousing closer ‘Acceptance’ make you wish they would let their hair down to the windmill headbanging position more often. Seriously dudes, the soaring melodies and quiet passages are great, but it’s fun to thrash out sometimes.
Something else not helping Scala is the unfortunate truth that Tesseract tend to be static as performers. With the exception of the charismatic Tompkins, the rest of the Milton Keynes’ crew is keener on standing in place. I’m not naïve, I didn’t expect the Dillinger Escape Plan style antics. That being said it’s a trend I’ve observed since I saw them open for Between the Buried and Me back in 2011. Also the bizarre MTV style editing can be jarring upon first viewing. For a band as sharp as Tesseract we shouldn’t have to sit through so many blurry and shaky camera angles.
Perhaps the decision to make this both an album and DVD was hatched after realizing that it’s barely over an hour’s worth of content so it was best to offer both variants as the greater value to the fans. While flawed, Odyssey/Scala is a testament to the appeal and skill of Tesseract who are able to release a quite capable live recording with only two proper full lengths under their belts.
UK prog-metallers TesseracT is streaming the entire show filmed for the CD/DVD Odyssey/Scala, featuring Daniel Tompkins, the vocalist who appeared on the band’s One album below. Odyssey, the audio portion, was recorded live during various stops in the autumn of 2014 throughout Europe and Russia on the Altered State World Tour. Scala, the video portion, was filmed live on November 6th, 2014 at Scala, London, UK.
UK prog metallers TerreracT will be releasing their first live audio/video concert Odyssey/Scala, on May 18, 2015 in Europe and May 19, 2015 in North America via Century Media Records. This package welcomes back Daniel Tompkins, who sang on the band’s One album.
Odyssey, the audio portion, was recorded live during various stops in the autumn of 2014 throughout Europe and Russia on the Altered State World Tour. Scala, the video portion, was filmed live on November 6th, 2014 at Scala, London, UK, A trailer for Odyssey/Scala can be seen below.
1. Singularity (recorded in Moscow, Russia)
2. Deception – Concealing Fate Part Two (recorded in Birmingham, UK)
3. The Impossible – Concealing Fate Part Three (recorded in Nottingham, UK)
4. Perfection/Epiphany – Concealing Fate Parts Four/Five (recorded in Rome, Italy)
5. Origin – Concealing Fate Part Six (recorded in Strasbourg, France)
6. Of Matter – Proxy (recorded in Koln, Germany)
7. Of Matter – Retrospect (recorded in Nijmegen, Netherlands)
8. Of Matter – Resist (recorded in Budapest, Hungary)
9. April (recorded in Paris, France)
10. Nocturne (recorded in Manchester, UK)
11. Acceptance – Concealing Fate Part One (recorded in Moscow, Russia)
02. Deception – Concealing Fate Part Two
03. The Impossible – Concealing Fate Part Three
04. Perfection/Epiphany – Concealing Fate Parts Four/Five
05. Origin – Concealing Fate Part Six
06. Of Matter – Proxy
07. Of Matter – Retrospect
08. Of Matter – Resist
11. Acceptance – Concealing Fate Part One