Tesseract live at Tuska Open Air 2013
|Origin||Milton Keynes, England, UK|
Tesseract (often stylized as TesseracT) are a British progressive metal band from Milton Keynes, England. The band, formed in 2003, consists of Daniel Tompkins (lead vocals), Alec "Acle" Kahney (lead guitar & producer), James Monteith (rhythm guitar), Amos Williams (bass, backing vocals), and Jay Postones (drums, percussion). The band is currently signed to Kscope. They are credited as one of the bands to pioneer the djent movement in progressive metal. As of 2018, Tesseract have released four studio albums: One, Altered State, Polaris, and Sonder, as well as a live album, Odyssey/Scala, and the extended plays Concealing Fate, Perspective and Errai.
Tesseract started out in 2003 while founding member Acle Kahney was recording and writing with his band Mikaw Barish. French vocalist Julien Perier supplied vocals during Tesseract's early stages, but the logistical difficulties of distance meant that he could not join the band permanently. After their first full lineup was realized, Tesseract began playing live shows and compiling material for their debut album; they released a four-song demo in 2007 containing parts of what would eventually become their debut album, One.
In 2009, the original lead vocalist, Abisola Obasanya, left the band and was replaced by Daniel Tompkins. Acle had come into contact with Tompkins while assisting with the production of the album, Atlantic with his previous band, First Signs of Frost. The band reworked the album's songs with Tompkins, moving towards a 2010 release. Just before beginning their first major tour series, Tesseract released Concealing Fate, a six-track suite that forms the centrepiece of their debut album, One, which was released on 22 March 2011. Later that year, Tesseract toured throughout the UK in support of One with openers Chimp Spanner and Uneven Structure, and also performed at the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth.
On 20 August 2011, rumours began spreading that vocalist Daniel Tompkins had left the band, as Tesseract were seen performing with a different vocalist during a gig at the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes. This was confirmed by the band a few days later on 23 August, when they introduced Elliot Coleman as the band's new vocalist. Daniel Tompkins went on to sing for the progressive metal band, Skyharbor, the pop rock band, In Colour, and his experimental side project White Moth Black Butterfly.
In September 2011, an instrumental version of One was digitally released and in October 2011, both the original and the instrumental versions were released on vinyl as a double LP.
During early 2012, Tesseract worked on an acoustic EP inspired by the radio acoustic session they played in Brooklyn, New York a year before. This came to be known as Perspective, which was released on 25 May 2012.
On 12 June 2012 Tesseract announced that Coleman had amicably left the band. On 7 September 2012 the band announced that they had found their yet-unnamed new vocalist and would release the single, "Nocturne", on 12 October. A series of shows in Europe was also announced, including a performance at Euroblast Festival. It was later revealed that the new singer was Ashe O'Hara. Tesseract issued a short statement about the new vocalist on their website.
On 28 February 2013 the band unveiled a release date for Altered State alongside a full track listing of the album. The album is a 51-minute continuous piece divided into four large sections (Of Matter, Of Mind, Of Reality, Of Energy), each of which contains several tracks. On 30 April "Singularity" was aired on BBC Radio 1's Rock show, and was later released on their SoundCloud account.
During a phone interview with Metal Injection, Williams stated that the band would be going on tour in the United States during the summer of 2013 and touring Europe in late 2013.
On 27 June 2014, it was announced that Tesseract had parted ways with vocalist Ashe O'Hara, and that Dan Tompkins would be rejoining the band as vocalist, leaving Skyharbor. On 18 May 2015, Tesseract released Odyssey/Scala, their first live DVD and album compilation.
Shortly after Daniel Tompkins reunited with the band, writing and recording for a third studio album began. The band made frequent updates on social media depicting the members tracking multiple instruments in studio. On 10 July 2015 Tesseract's official Facebook page released a video teaser for the new album titled Polaris. They also released album art and set a release date for 18 September 2015. A full album stream was uploaded to YouTube by Kscope Music on 15 September 2015. In November 2015, the band toured in support of the new album with opening bands including The Contortionist, ERRA, and Skyharbor.
Writing for Sonder was done throughout 2017. The band released the promo single, "Smile", on 23 June 2017. Several band members, including Acle Kahney and Amos Williams, acknowledged that the single was not a complete final mix, and it would be further refined before its release on Sonder. According to Amos on Kscope's website, "We have a solid idea of where we would like to take this track on the next album, as it is in no way finished." Tesseract's fourth studio album, Sonder, was announced on 8 February 2018. The lead single, "Luminary", was also released on February 8, and a second single, "King", was released on 16 March. The full album was released on 20 April 2018.
Tesseract play a specific style of progressive metal that often features polyrhythmic riffs, odd time signatures, and several atmospheric layers. The band have stated that they do not compose their music with specific polyrhythms in mind, but play what they feel fits the groove. They also include a mid-range distorted guitar tone and melodic clean passages, heavily influenced by ambient music. The band typically plays in the style of the subgenre djent, pioneered by Meshuggah and SikTh. The vocal style of the band has seen a considerable shift. On One, Daniel Tompkins employed a mixture of clean and harsh vocals, with an emphasis on long, drawn out notes. However, Ashe O'Hara's performances on Altered State dropped the harsh vocals entirely, in favour of a more melodic style with an emphasis on strong melodic "hooks". In an interview with Metalspree, Ashe stated, "[R]ight now, being ourselves is to have purely melodic vocals. With 'One' they felt they had to have harsh vocals in order to be accepted by the community. But, they've never really wanted to be that type of band".
In his interview with Metal Injection, Amos Williams stated that the decision to drop harsh vocals entirely from future material was an unconscious collective decision by the band and this made the search for a new vocalist extremely hard. His explanation was that many vocalists with an entirely clean style do not want to live the "metal" lifestyle of regular touring, or do not enjoy metal music enough to want to take part in a band with Tesseract's style. While Altered State did not feature any harsh vocals whatsoever, the return of Daniel Tompkins to the band for the album, Polaris, reintroduced the audience to harsh vocals through subtle background growls on the songs "Messenger" and "Cages". Although the vocals on their 2018 release, Sonder, remained mostly clean and melodic, the songs "King" and "Smile" featured prominent growls for the first time since the album, One.
Throughout their career, the band have produced, mixed, and mastered all of their material themselves. Williams is a qualified audio engineer and Acle Kahney has carried out production, mixing, and mastering work for several other progressive metal bands.
Amos Williams stated in an interview that Tesseract's music is relatively reliant on the bass in comparison to other metal bands: He states that "[The bass] is always on its own little shelf" in the music and that during the production process "We left a lot of room for there to be sub and actual bass stuff going on".
|2011||One||Golden Gods Award for Best New Band||Nominated|
|2012||One||Progressive Music Award for New Blood||Won|
|2013||Altered State||Progressive Music Award for Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|