Sound — 8
Finally, they released it. If you don't know the story by now, TesseracT are part of the newest wave of everything trendy called "djent" and are among the big hitters at the top. This album "One" has been in the making for nearly 8 years, so you'd hope to see that all this used time is time well spent. In short.. Not quite. In long, its basically just the EP and their demo's re-recorded and updated with "Concealing Fates" (EP) production and two shiny new tracks. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that, its still perfectly good material. TesseracT use polyrhythmic/metric, syncopated grooves and extremely dense melodic structure, using reverbed guitars, synths and stratospheric vocals. This is basically what "djent" is, but every band does it differently and TesseracT do it best. Starting off with one of their 2008 demo tracks "Lament", the intro has been Enya-esqued for a big opening. The familiar faded bass comes in and all groove is unleashed! This is definitely one of TesseracT's better written songs, less about mathematics and more about the headbang, although that bridge will throw you right off. Track 2 "Nascent" is one of the new tracks, this one is so much darker than what TesseracT usually do, closer to Meshuggah than I'd like to admit (even has the eerie atmosphere thing). Although the tonality is basically the same as a recent Meshuggah track, its hard to ignore those vocals over the top. The slap bass is also prominent in this track, highlighting the grooves during "softer" sections. Then its the entirety of the "Concealing Fate" EP ("Deception" through to "Origin") so.. Track back to my previous review of that disc. Oh alright: I think its kind of obvious that the "Concealing Fate" series is on the album and good thing because it holds up the backbone of the album very well. The 6 songs are practically untouched so they remain the same as they did on the EP. After the disc within a disc ("Deception", haha, meme reference), comes the other two early demo tracks, "Sunrise" and "April Song" renamed "April". Sunrise has actually been re-written and arranged in some areas, although its pretty recognisable to fans. The groove is so catchy, as is the melody, although it fit the old vocalist better. "April" is one of my personal favourite TesseracT songs, the original had a better sound but there's a lot added in the newer version that improves it in other ways. "Eden" is the final track and the other "new" track. Well, my word, where did their originality go. Okay, well apart from the intro being a direct Periphery homage, its actually a good song as it progressively gets better and better as it continues.
Lyrics — 8
Dan Tompkins, bless his awful awful hairdo, really roasts his lungs out on this. If you've ever seen him live (I have), you'd be really stunned at how much effort goes into his performance, although the Ricky Martin look could probably go. Lyrically, TesseracT are rather abstract. I've read most of their lyrics and I'm not sure if the themes are about people, objects, theories, drug abuse, cubes within cubes with lines attached or just thinking too hard with your head on a microwave. From the song "Nascent": "As the mind evolves menaces are born. As the needles turn innocence is torn. Wake, wake, wake. They find all things tiring. In time they'll find a reason to hide their devotion. Desperate defiance, such a complex rage inside us all. This structured raw submission, such a killer free to lose control. I would really like to take it seriously but I guess its all open to interpretation and so on."
Overall Impression — 8
TesseracT are most definitely in their own little world, although two bands have a similar-ish sound: Vildhjarta and Monuments. However, Monuments are like TesseracT + Limp Bizkit (its weird and stupid and doesn't work unless you're 12, plus the vocalists are awful live) and Vildhjarta seems to have fallen off the face of the earth which is unfortunate (They're good because their vocalists have balls, unlike most djent bands). Without a reference point, its best to start with listening to the demo's, then the EP then this album. Its impressionable but also hard to follow, so you may find yourself incredibly confused and elated after listening to it. However, with all the time that's gone into it, it feels little bit anti-climactic in an odd sort of way. You'd have to listen to find out. Songs to look out for: Everything apart from "Perfection", its really annoying.