TesseracT is a band that came seemingly out of nowhere and rocked the metal community. The band’s mixture of vicious metal riffs with glorious, beautiful soundscapes captured and awed, garnering a fanatical fanbase that are near rabid supporters.
In August of 2011, singer Daniel Tompkins left the band, replaced by Sky Eats Airplanes vocalist Elliot Coleman. Less than a year later, Elliot left the band and fans were again left wondering what would be the next step. After all, the only official release with Coleman was the Perspective EP, which was a rerecorded version of “Eden” entitled “Eden 2.0” as well as acoustic covers of three songs from the One album (review) and a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Dream Brother”. So many were left wondering when new material would surface.
Then, suddenly, a post on the band’s Facebook stated that not only had a new singer been locked down but that a new single, “Nocturne”, would soon be released. Anticipation reached cosmic levels. Could this song satisfy the hopes of so many after so much had happened? Well, I was given a copy of the upcoming single and I have my thoughts on it below. Read on for my review!
The song opens with a thick, highly overdriven (not distorted) guitar and bass combination that pulsates like a heartbeat. Then the guitars drop down, becoming more syncopated as a floating melody hovers in the background. New vocalist Ashe O’Hara takes the verse as an opportunity to demonstrate his aptitude for beautiful, almost whispered vocal harmonies that build to a goose bump-inducing chorus, his voice soaring dynamically.
The song constantly adds layer after layer, each flavor only serving to compliment the full piece. The bridge begins with a guitar solo of sorts overlaid on top of the beginning heartbeat riff. Then it mellows down before bursting forth triumphantly into the final chorus, cries of “Wake me up!” lain over O’Hara’s tortured cries.
While there are no growling vocals a la Daniel Tompkins in this song, it is still as heavy as anything the band has released. It is also as melodically complex and fascinating. Many bands state that their new release is a sign of maturation and it ultimately fails to prove this is the case. “Nocturne” is cold hard proof that TesseracT have grown and risen to the next level.
The Final Word: If “Nocturne” is any indication of what we can expect coming from TesseracT in the future, then the progressive metal world will be scrambling to keep up. After all the hype and drama surrounding the band over the past year, this song blew away all of my expectations and then some.
“Nocturne” will be premiering at 11pm UK time on The Rock Show With Daniel P. Carter via BBC Radio 1. You can hear the song by tuning in or by rewinding the program here after the show ends.