TesseracT -- Sonder
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TesseracTSonder

★★★☆ TesseracT have expanded their emotional resonance on their fourth album, but the price is a somewhat lessened emphasis on their foundational djent. The sacrifice isn’t too dear, as the songs don’t spend too much time away from the band’s bread and butter. Speaking of time, I wish this album was longer; as it is, it is evocative of their debut EP “One” for brevity.

Good Tiger -- A Head Full Of Moonlight
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Good TigerA Head Full Of Moonlight

★★★★ A stunning debut for a group of ex-members from The Safety Fire, The Faceless, Architects, and TesseracT. The first surprise is that the resulting sound doesn’t sound like a mishmash of styles culled from those other bands, or really even a mishmash at all. To be fair, you can hear elements of those bands in the music, but you’re more likely to be reminded of Tool, The Mars Volta, and Glassjaw.

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Re: Metal?

The age old question: what makes something metal? It has come up for me lately a bit because my daughter has been enjoying AC/DC lately (started with hearing Highway to Hell over the closing credits of one of the Iron Man movies, now she likes some other tunes like Dirty Deeds and TNT) and she asked me “Is AC/DC heavy metal?” I told her no, they are really hard rock.

TesseracT -- Polaris
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TesseracTPolaris

★★★☆ The band return to purvey their peculiar high-gloss brand of atmospheric djent, and once again I liken the sensation to being crushed by ten tons of craft paper: heavy as fuck, but somehow hollow. My biggest worry going into this listening experience was that, in losing vocalist Ashe O’Hara (replaced in vintage djent-musical-chairs fashion by former TesseracT and Skyharbor vocalist Daniel Tompkins), the band would take a step backward.

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Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

This is a bit of a bummer: TesseracT just announced that their current vocalist, the excellent Ashe O’Hara, is leaving the band. In his place will be their old also-excellent Daniel Tompkins, sure, but I felt like Ashe brought more to the table in terms of musicality and range (based as much on the two albums as on their live performances).