Uh oh. A band with a massive online following got a new vocalist. It’s ok though because we love TesseracT and love conquers all. Right? Maybe. Ooh err… Either way, we popped down to the opening night of the Lowering The Tone tour in London to tap our feet in 7/8. It’s really difficult.
Six things we found out when we went to see TesseracT et al on the Lowering The Tone tour in London:
1) The Garage is packed out for the opening night of this tour. Tech metal has come a long way in terms of popularity over the past few years. This is absolutely an underground niche genre and the bands on display tonight are hardly advertising the diversity of the genre but by gum is it popular. Big on the internet, apparently…
2) Without further ado: Is Elliot Coleman an adequate replacement for Dan Tompkins on vocals for one of the fastest-emerging British metal bands of recent years? YES. Yes, yes, yes. If anything, his vocal technique adds more light and shade than Tompkins ever did. However, while there are truly refreshing moments where Coleman turns songs into Mosh Anthems, other points see his jazzy warble drifting aimlessly off. Reign that bit in and we’re all onto a winner.
TesseracT @ Sheffield Corporation - 16 September 2011 c/o Gary Wolstenholme
3) Uneven Structure have got a bright future. With their debut album, Februus to be released on 31 October, the French sextet are busy flogging their brutal, dynamic wares tonight. Coming across like Cult of Luna meets Meshuggah, there’s an ethereal melody about their work which adds a spacy element. Singer, Matthieu Romarin looks like “Mad” David Draiman but luckily sounds nothing like him.
4) Chimp Spanner is bloody great but is still not 100 per cent convincing as a live entity. Paul Antonio Ortiz’s expanded instrumental solo project has all the deliciously intricate nuances live as it does on record but, unlike with Uneven Structure, there’s no real focal point and, sadly, the meandering nature of the music is mirrored in the audience’s attention.
5) Not that you’d expect anything less but the rest of the band is magnificent. Maybe they were conscious of the need to step up tonight, it being Coleman’s first official gig with the band, but it was a seamless, powerful performance. It’s amazing just how much heavier this band sounds live rather than on record. They shake your whole body.
6) Tesseract have the brightest of futures. It’s rare that a band recovers from the loss of a member as instrumental as a singer but TesseracT have done it before when Tompkins replaced Abisola Obasanya as recently as 2009. This band has always been about the music and we look forward to hearing a second album. It’s not called Neophobia, by the way.
If you’d like to keep up with TesseracT guitarist, James Monteith’s column on Thrash Hits, you might want to click here for the Djently Does It series. You really ought to.