With the recent Djent bandwagon being jumped, it is incredibly difficult to find some creativity in the new scene of progressive metal. This year, however, has shown to be quite a year for Djent and prog in general; already we have seen The Safety Fire
deliver a satisfying debut and Veil
of Maya give a dissonant, yet incredibly quick LP entitled "Eclipse
" that only improved over "[id]" (In my opinion) in many ways. Prog/extreme metal giants Meshuggah
, who have been credited by Misha Mansoor of Periphery
as a main influence in the djent sound, released a great album that didn't fail any of the hype it had built.
Perhaps the most interesting of any Djent band to release something this year is Tesseract
, who mix ambient passages, melodic vocals, and bone crushing grooves. Last year they released their much anticipated debut, "One", and have toured with bands like Protest
the Hero and Between the Buried and Me. However, singer Dan Tompkins departed the band in 2011 before the band's tour, resulting in Elliot Coleman to step up. Elliot's position in the band wasn't exactly taken in the best way and resulted in being very negative. What is separating Tesseract
from the rest of the Djent and prog bands at the moment is their choice in release: an "acoustic inspired" EP of three songs from their album, a Jeff Buckley cover, and a reworked, more single friendly version of Eden
, entitled "Eden
The end result of this EP is definitely something to marvel over. Granted "Eden
2.0" has been around for some months now and three of the five tracks are just rewrites from the album, but the final product gives a much different... Well... Perspective
's music. Does it suck? Hell
no. Does Elliot do a great job? Yup.
The EP starts off with the "acoustic" version of "Perfection", which is a boat load of ambient sounds and spacey echoes. It's obvious that the production on this album is top notch and crystal clear. The sound on "One" was great but it's an obvious leap forward. As the CD shifts into "April
" and the bass slapping starts, you can tell this is still the same Tesseract
from the album before, since their technique hasn't changed at all.
The songs easily translate into their acoustic versions. One example on "Origin
" features the same grooves on the album that it would if it were distorted. Elliot sings the entire time and his voice is incredibly pure and clean. "Origin
" takes the biggest transition and ultimate becomes the best of the three "acoustic" songs from the album.
Brothers" and "Eden
2.0", both which are very different from the rest. While Tesseract
Brothers" sound like it is their own song, lyrically it doesn't fit the lyrics Dan wrote for the first album, which were usually more focused on personal issues or emotions. It isn't a bad song by any means, but it's definitely the weakest track on the EP, but doesn't bring it down at all.
2.0", however, is a hit or miss if you haven't heard it yet. Elliot's vocals are more airy than Dan's and the song is shortened to be a single, but, in my opinion, delivers and gives a fresh take on an already great song. I can understand fans disliking it, since Elliot's vocals can definitely throw the listener off, but I do think it is a great addition to a great EP.
As far as the EP is, Elliot helps give Tesseract
that airy, acoustic-inspired sound they promised with this release. I greatly enjoyed the 23 minutes I devoted to this release and I am only excited for what this band will be doing in the future. My only concerns are if "Eden
2.0" is going to push the band to have a more accessible sound and if Elliot is going to be able to hold up on the heavier songs. But I will worry about those two later. This EP is definitely worth the listen for Tesseract
fans. New listeners should still check out "One" before this, but a listen to "Eden
2.0" wouldn't hurt. I'd highly recommend it.