Tesseract at Manchester Academy
Tesseract @ Academy 2 Manchester
Electricity coursed throughout the crowd at m the Academy 2 stage in the University of Manchester’s Student’s Union. Each band brought their own sense of energy to the stage. Plini brought an ethereal energy to the stage, with deep blue lighting and a beautiful ambience. Between the Buried and Me produced a varied set drawing from many genres and progressive rock creating an intense fusion of familiar and different. Tesseract brought waves of energy with them and an immense presence that more than filled the room. This sold-out gig was a spectacle from the very start.
A brief note for those who may not be familiar with ‘progressive metal’, the genre that these bands fall into. This is a genre that puts an emphasis on technicality and complex music theory using instrumental and sounds that are typically associated with the metal genre. Unusual time signatures and uncommon harmonies are common features of this genre.
Plini, a guitarist from Sydney, was supported by a group of equally talented musicians. Together they hypnotised the audience with elegant but piercing guitar layered over wholesome bass tones. Tight, interesting drum beats topped off an already intricate set by adding in a driving force and energy to the music. The bass solo of Simon Grove was not to be forgotten either, an excellent example of how a supporting musician can go above and beyond their role. The excellent sound of Plini’s set was slightly clearer than that of Between the Buried and Me. Who, despite having quite vocals and a slightly muddy sound, got the crowd moving with their excellent presence and fast-paced songs. The passion was dripping from the band as they took aspects from genres such as blues and merged it with progressive metal to produce a captivating soundscape. Swing drum beats and unique keyboard sounds provided an interesting and refreshing change from the genre’s normal sounds. They ramped up the energy to 11 and really got the crowd dancing and moshing, setting the stage for Tesseract.
Tesseract appeared in powerful flashes of light timed to follow the emphasised notes of their iconic riffs. As they burst from the darkness the crowd was instantly captivated. Sharp, powerful guitar cut through the silence and angelic, elegant singing caused a contrast that would send shivers down anyone’s spine. The machine-like yet rhythmic dance moves of the singer, ‘Daniel Thompkins’, were captivating and showed personality to match their musical prowess. We were taken on a journey through some of Tesseract’s old works and some of their new album “Sonder”. A standout song from the 5-piece band was “Juno”, a song with dramatic melodies and drums that sucked you in keeping you hooked with a powerful combination of crunchy guitar and clear, but percussive bass. The band, originally founded in Milton Keynes, has been through some line-up changes in their near 15-year history, but this has not affected the impeccable quality of the music they play or the atmosphere they create. The energy was kept high by the cascade of unique drum beats and fills outputted by Jay Postones. You’ll not find a trace of the forgettable drum beats so often heard in modern pop, each song had unique drum arrangements each with their own personality and individual feel. Seeing the crowd scream every word and headbang perfectly in time to the irregular time signatures, was a testament to the loyal fan base that Tesseract has built and continues to build. A fan base that will continue to grow as Tesseract continue up north to treat Glasgow to continue what will end up being near a year of touring for the band (They started on April 19th 2018 and will end on March 23rd 2019, with a final gig in Norway at the Tons of Rock Festival in June.
By Jacob Barnaby for Canal St Online.