Hybrids, or fusions if you will, naturally foster invention. British band TesseracT‘s soon to be released album (18th September, 2015) delivers nine tracks of the band’s progressive metal. This is about as far away from the three-minute pop song as you can get. “Polaris” is the band’s third studio album and the follow-up to “Altered State” from 2013.
Rather than melody that would pass the Old Grey Whistle Test (ask your parents), “Polaris” pins itself on layers of complex arrangements. But it never feels as if it’s complicated just for the sake of it – its internal logic demands that construct.
I think it works better as an album played as a whole, not splintered into separate tracks – the way albums used to be heard before we all started downloading individual songs. But some albums just lend themselves to hearing them in their entirety and in the right order, and this is one of them.
Prog Metal, and its numerous sub-genres, has been around for a long time. Fascinating from a technical point of view for all you aficionados out there, the everyday listener will hear something different on each subsequent play. As a band, the members are keen not to get boxed in by genre labels and have always pushed for originality and experimentation.
Having returned to the line-up after an absence, vocalist Dan Tompkins shows his impressive vocal range and his ability to switch from epic and emotional to aggressive heavy metal at the drop of a hat. These songs are like shape-shifters, bobbing along in a mellow bubble before bursting into driving metal and back again, a prime example being “Hexes”. “Tourniquet” is my standout track, simply because I like the way it builds and its sustained emotional pitch. My leanings are more toward the proggy than the metal, I guess.
In support of “Polaris”, the band will be touring extensively, to Australia, US and Canada later this year and in the UK and Europe in early 2016.
Listen or Buy Polaris here: