2011 was the year when UK progressive metallers TesseracT leaped from the internet underground to become the UK's fastest rising international metal prospect.
The debut album 'One', released in March, received a phenominal response with music fans and the press alike, making many of the critics top albums of 2011 lists, including those in Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Prog magazines.
'TesseracT are fucking immense, KKKKK'
Audiences were wowed on a global scale by the powerful TesseracT live show when the band's relentless touring schedule took them to the US and Canada twice with Protest the Hero and Between The Buried and Me, Australia with Periphery, as well as head-liners of the UK and Ireland. And not to forget the monumental performances at Euroblast festival in Germany, the prestigious Sonisphere (UK) festival, and a show in front of 6,000 people at Karapur, India.
The year also saw the introduction of vocalist Elliot Coleman, whose characterful vocal style, soulful sensibilities and brutal metal abrasion opened up whole new possibilities of where TesseracT's music could go next.
'Essential for anyone who likes their metal brutal yet cerebral'
2012 is all about new music, and the band are currently writing and recording their follow up to 'One', which they hope to release late 2012. They will also release an Acoustic EP this Spring, and are expected to make a number of exclusive festival appearances in the summer.
Bassist Amos Williams comments on the second album: 'The challenge of the sophomore album! Before you come to public attention, most bands will spend years toiling away at their first album. With some songs maybe taking years to form fully. How do you then, once you've become a known band, produce an album that is as developed and rich as your debut? Well, as musicians we're very eager to create our new record. We've learnt so much over the last two years of touring 'One'. We've all grown as musicians, our 'voices' are richer so to say. As engineers and producers, there are so many new ideas that Acle and myself wish to try. We're very excited to start working Elliot, too. His voice is so exciting. So emotional, detailed and rich. Elliot joining has really opened up a whole new dimension of possibilities for us.'
'Up-and-coming British prog-metal. From the department of Things that are slept on but are Stupendous'
Tesseract began life as an experimental solo project in the mind of guitarist Acle Kahney, and quickly gained a strong following from music clips posted on guitar forums. Since the formation of the band's five-piece line-up in spring 2007, TesseracT have picked up richly deserved props from peers (Textures, Meshuggah) and press alike (Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, Scuzz, Classic Rock Prog). Following the release of their 2007 demo, TesseracT continue to cultivate a growing International fan base through well received UK and European tour dates, and internet word of mouth. Their reputation of delivering jaw-dropping live performances was furthered fuelled through appearances at Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Caos Emergente in Portugal and Hellfire 2 festival at the Birmingham NEC arena.
2010 saw the release of the track 'Deception' on Metal Hammer's February issue cover CD and accompanying video on Scuzz TV, where it enjoyed six weeks in the most requested
chart top ten. Following an extensive European headline tour travelling as far as Russia, the band inked a worldwide record deal with metal heavyweights, Century Media. Tesseract's debut EP Concealing Fate was released in October by the label, coinciding with the band's debut tour in the USA, supporting The Devin Townsend Project. 2010 concluded with the band playing at the Great India Rock Festival in Pune, New Dehli and Bangalore, with Enslaved and Meshuggah.
'One is certainly going to be in many albums of the year polls – guaranteed'
Tech-heads will often focus on the quintet's time signatures and musical complexity, but TesseracT are far from an exclusionary exercise in tech metal pomposity. They fully embrace their experimental progressive sensibility without excessive self indulgence or pretentiousness; delivering atmospheric, metallic songs that stir strong emotions and evoke powerful mental images. All of which, they argue, are at the core surprisingly simple:
'The concept is to have music that just has a pulse, a heartbeat; you don't count your pulse and split it into sections of four or five; it's just there beneath you, not forcing you to work in a box four heart beats long. Honestly, most of the time we haven't a clue what time signature or key we are in, and to be honest we don't really care all that much. We ain't smart enough to deal with that! Knowing those things would only get in the way of the vibe, which is paramount.
'We only ever wish to create music with subtle power and emotion, to avoid genre-specific cliches and tired old tricks. We want to aim for the same place as our musical heroes – people like Pink Floyd, The Doors, Faith No More, Meshuggah, Jeff Buckley, Textures and Sigur Rós. To create an ALBUM, not a collection of songs that fit the mould of three singles and seven fillers, but an actual old school album that you want to take 50 or 60 minutes out of your life with, and sit down and escape with.
'It'll be as simple as can be in places, and then as obscure and as intricate as could be in others.' concludes Amos. 'The complexity in our music comes from the details. The subtleties add the depth that makes TesseracT different. We hope this album will faithfully portray that. Ultimately, if when you listen to it, it moves you emotionally, intellectually and physically, we will have achieved our goal.'