Sound — 8
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.
Lyrics — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 8
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.