After the unending protraction plaguing the band’s release schedule, it’s safe to say that One is among the most anticipated metal releases of the year. With their debut full-length album, TesseracT finally get their act together, delivering a record of startling beauty and depth. Over One‘s 54 minute runtime, the hypnotic quality of the band’s densely atmospheric approach to composition comes to the fore, creating a spellbinding, immersive experience. The album centerpiece, the ‘Concealing Fate’ suite, presents the band’s textured, layered style, with chiming, delay-drenched motifs drifting above syncopated, visceral riffage, while vocalist Daniel Tompkins’ vocals alternatingly soar above gracefully or dive into the chaos. The band’s mastery of dynamics pervades through tracks like ‘Lament’ and ‘April.’ Cohesion is paramount, as the sound transitions seamlessly from dreamy soundscapes to angular, percussive savagery, radiating a zen-like sense of balance and poise. While the pristine ‘Eden’ presents the band at their most ethereal, ‘Sunrise’ blends in some of the band’s more aggressive stylings.
Of course, it doesn’t help that over half the material on One was released the year before in the exact same form, as the Concealing Fate EP, which lessens the impact of this album. Additionally, while Tompkins’ clean singing is peerless in its clarity and sheer emotive strength, his harsh vocal style falls short in power and character. By the end of the record, the band’s sonic approach teeters towards the predictable, which might make for a monotonous listen for many. Nonetheless, with One, TesseracT have finally made a complete artistic statement that cements their place as among the finest practitioners of the modern progressive metal style.
Key tracks: ‘Concealing Fate Part One – Acceptance,’’April,’ ‘Eden.’