Released: May 21, 2012
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Progressive Rock, Dark Ambient, Djent
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 5
This EP is what happens when a modern prog metal/djent band decides to do an acoustic EP. Compared to their contemporaries' albums, TesseracT's "Perspective" stands out as unique due to the very prevalent acoustic elements.
gitarheroexprt, on june 15, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album is definitely a hard one to try and tackle, simply because not much has changed. The absence of electric guitars may turn off some people, but I see the addition of acoustic instruments as a brilliant way to add new life into older material. The atmospheric texture of the group is there, and with newly recruited vocalist Elliot Coleman (Sky Eats Airplane, OMNOM (Of Man Not Of Machine), Zelliack) there is a distinct difference in how the older songs are performed.
The important thing to notice that in the acoustic tracks, the TesseracT staples are still driving the EP: the layering of clean guitar repetitions, the accented syncopation that beg the listener to bob their head, and the percussive quality of not only the drummer, who utilizes percussion outside of his normal drum set, but also of the guitar riffs.
This rhythmic foundation is what keeps these tunes on repeat in my car or on my iTunes at home. "Perspective" starts the EP with such a powerful reminder of Tompkins' vocals, yet Elliot Coleman finds a way to take the same words and melodies and shape them to fit his vocal mold. "April" is so powerfully relaxing it was hard not to just stop my car and absorb the song in its groovy, acoustic form. "Origin" loses nothing when transformed on this album, showing just how creative TesseracT can be with essentially the exact same music. "Dream Brother", a cover of a Jeff Buckley song, was the first full track released after "Eden 2.0" hit the web earlier in the year, and it is a tasteful cover of the song. They didn't infuse it with complex rhythms and dense harmonies, but rather let the song speak its message through the medium of their instruments. Finally, "Eden 2.0" is a powerful end to the album, as it surges forward with that easily recognizable TesseracT sound, and the passion infused in this remake is clear from beginning to end. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Lyrically the album can't be described other than "Don't fix what ain't broke". Tompkins' laid the groundwork on the band's first album "One", and many were stunned when he decided to leave the group for other projects and career opportunities. Once Elliot Coleman took the reigns, the firestorm of Internet hatred came to the forefront. From YouTube video comments to direct Facebook messages, it seemed like it would be a rough start for the Coleman.
However, all Coleman had to do was sing in "Eden 2.0" to get my vote. Coleman's voice soars high and dies down with such grace, easily establishing himself as a fitting musician to replace Daniel Tompkins. The dedication to hitting every note with both precision and musicality shows his appreciation for TesseracT's music. Coleman will continue to do great things with the band, and even if the hatred still continues to swarm, remember this haters: Coleman was awesome in Sky Eats Airplane, he already put out an awesome album with his project Zelliack earlier this year, and he works with household modern metal guitarist Misha Mansoor on an awesome project as well. So while he continues to tour the world with TesseracT, he is still maintaining the high standards in his other groups as well. // 8
Impression: This is the start of a new, beautiful chapter in TesseracT's music. Elliot Coleman brings a tenderness and vulnerability to vocals as the groups instrumentalists continue to operate like a finely tuned machine. The production is also great, continuing to expand on their atmospheric palette even with the absence of electric guitars. They are going into production of their second full length release, and with Elliot Coleman on board, plus the hinting of new elements like saxophone, one can only wait in anticipation by purchasing this EP. // 8
ProgFripp74, on may 25, 2012 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The highly anticipated first release from the UK djentlemen since the departure of highly acclaimed vocalist Dan Thompkins, and after the request of fans after the acoustic set in NY, is a personal favorite, however the general the conscious amongst the TesseracT die hards is less so. Having read other fan reviews on the EP, the main issue people are having is Elliot Coleman's different vocal style. He uses a slide vocal technique while having a softer tone, similar to The Mars Volta vocal style while others complain about his different tempo choice. The vocals certainly have less bite than those on their debut "One" however the transition compliments the whole purpose of this acoustic EP, more so than Dan perhaps could have.
To the actual music, the five track EP at 23 minutes long is perhaps short, but every song has impact, "Concealing Fate Pt. 4" coming in softly with guitar laden ambience, "April" and "Concealing Fate Pt. 6" sweeping through with refreshing musicality only TesseracT can employ, while showing the simplicity of their debut through a stripped back acoustic environment. Then the Jeff Buckley arrives, obscure though the choice may seem, it is a perfect fit for the EP, with the Elliot's vocals shining through with a remarkable resemblance to Buckley's.
The EP concludes with the already released track "Eden 2.0". While not acoustic, it again shows the newer vocal style and the slightly altered (shorter) structure. As for production, it is superb quality as was their debut, every instrument is heard clearly while no element of the music is lost in the mix. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: As for lyrics, Elliot has not written anything new himself. As far as I am aware, the lyrics on the one album, apart from sunrise, were all written by Dan, however someone please correct me if I am wrong here. Dan's original lyrics are very good, however it is more the vocal execution by Dan, and now Elliot, that bring the lyrics alive in the music. // 8
Impression: Overall the new "Perspective" EP is as divisive as it is enthralling. Many of the Dan Thomkins die hards were sad to see him leave TesseracT as was I when I heard, however Elliot, while he has not fully won over the fanbase, has shown his worth as a talented vocalist. The EP is a good transition between albums and shows the band in a new light, more as songwriters than capable musicians this time round. // 9
oneblackened, on may 25, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This EP is what happens when a modern prog metal/djent band decides to do an acoustic EP (save for "Eden 2.0", which is their usual metallic style). The songs are all mellower versions of songs from TesseracT's debut album "One", released in 2011. They still hit hard though, but differently. They're much more eerie in acoustic form, almost more somber, due to the lack of electric guitar. Also on the album is a cover of Jeff Buckley's 1994 song "Dream Brother". It is a phenomenal cover that adds a whole new level of atmosphere to the original song. The musicianship throughout is very good, especially that of the rhythm section of Amos Williams (bass) and Jamie Postones (drums). // 8
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics are diverse, but mostly relate to the human psyche. "April" hints at the psyche of an abuser or a criminal, with lines like "I like to watch things burn down, soft and gently/I need to watch her abused 'til I'm satisfied". "Perfection" shows the thoughts of someone hopelessly in love with another but unable to do anything about it. The lyrics ask the person to "Give me just one second/Just to touch what I'll never own/Let me count those feelings/Of love that I will never share". The mood evoked by the music meshes well with the lyrical content.
The lyrics are hard to interpret at times; "Eden" and "Origin" are difficult to interpret, though their themes are hinted at throughout. "Eden" appears to be about wasting the environment for our own self-gain, where as Mort. New vocalist Elliot Coleman (Of Man Not Machine, Zelliack, Haunted Shores, Sky Eats Airplane) does an excellent job conveying the lyrics, with a haunting, almost neo-soul tone to his voice. // 8
Impression: Compared to their contemporaries' albums, TesseracT's "Perspective" stands out as unique due to the very prevalent acoustic elements. It has a much stronger atmospheric element than most of their peers, and it works very, very, well. If it were stolen (which is difficult, considering I bought it as a digital download), I'd gladly buy it again.