It has been 3 years since the great white hope of British tech metal, TesseracT, released their last album Polaris. Now, they have returned with Sonder. By progressive metals expansive standards, this is a short affair clocking in at just shy of 37 minutes but they pack a huge amount into such a short run time. Variation in and of itself does not a good album make, but when every element of it is done to such a high standard as it is here, it transforms an album into a multi layered journey. From the towering riff that opens the album on Luminary, to the swirling atmospheric tranquility of Orbital to the mosh fuel of the mid section of Smile, this album covers more ground than most albums that last an hour.
Having just mentioned the riffing, it is often commonly accepted that all tech or djent bands deal solely in off kilter, fast riffs with incredibly difficult time signatures and, while that is certainly on display here (just listen to the guitar and bass work on Juno), TesseracT specialise instead in enormous ground shaking mid tempo guitar lines, such as in King, Smile and the aforementioned Luminary, which feel like buildings crashing around you.
Along with the riffs, the other key element to this album is vocalist Dan Tompkins, whose ear worm melodies hold this whole alum together and truly compliment the soundscapes created around him. Further, beyond the beautiful melodies, with the short sections of vicious growled vocals in King and Juno he displays another element of his impressive arsenal.
This is a truly excellent album, and should cement TesseracT’s as one of the leading lights of Britain’s entire metal scene, not just in the sub genre of djent and tech-metal.