Tesseract – Portals (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:45:50 minutes | 1,19 GB | Genre: Metal
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Kscope
There are a lot of bands that would rather not relive the horrific year that was 2020, but thankfully for TESSERACT, the year ended on a high with the release of their live-streamed concert P O R T A L S. It was an incredibly successful realisation of their whole career to date in stream form. Every song stood tall on its own, with each section of the show weaving in and out of one another effortlessly, proving that TESSERACT are truly astonishing masters of their craft if you weren’t already aware. Finally, their set is available as a standalone album so that we can enjoy it away from screens.
Firstly, let’s talk production. While P O R T A L S is a live album, its sound is closer to that of a studio record. It’s polished and quite frankly perfect. Every instrument is mixed brilliantly and is meticulously at the correct levels throughout. You wouldn’t even realise this was a live album from most of it due to how strong it sounds and how tight the instruments are.
Daniel Tompkins has undoubtedly one of the greatest voices in rock and metal. His ability to switch between heavy and clean styles on the fly is mesmerising. It’s only noticeable on the odd occasion when he sings certain parts ever so slightly different to the original recordings that listeners are reminded this is a live album.
The rest of the band sound incredible too, and a special mention has to be made to drummer Mike Maylan, who stepped in and learned 19 tracks for this performance due to Jay Postones not being in the country. He nails every track with an ease that would make you think he was a permanent member of the band.
As for the setlist, it takes you on a journey through the band’s hits, including some deeper cuts, from the early days of Concealing Fate, to King from their most recent outing Sonder. The opening three-pronged track Of Matter from Altered State is a perfect entry point to the album, and Tompkins‘ vocals fit perfectly even though he wasn’t the vocalist at this particular moment in the band’s career. Each section of the album feels as though you have ventured through a moment of the band’s history – through a portal, if you will. For long time fans, hearing the older tracks will feel like a comforting welcome home, while those unfamiliar with their early work are sent through a journey of discovery.
Highlights include the sensational Tourniquet, which may be the most stand out moment on the record, as well as the heavy, driving crunch of Juno, and the closing beauty of Seven Names.
While P O R T A L S is at its best when paired with its visual partner, it still stands as a triumph on its lonesome. TESSERACT‘s music has always been that which can fabricate visions within the mind when eyes are closed and headphones are on, but their fully realised video showcase finally makes those dreams a reality.
With this album, TESSERACT prove yet again their ability to translate their sonically pleasing sound onto the live stage without losing an ounce of aural magnificence. Their ability to weave through highlights spanning their complete discography is a showcase of musicianship and perfect production. It’s a must for TESSERACT fans, as well as for anyone who wishes to dive into their works for the first time.
01. Of Matter (14:54)
02. King (5:45)
03. Concealing Fate Parts 1, 2 & 3 (18:24)
04. Tourniquet (4:38)
05. Beneath My Skin / Mirror Image (11:16)
06. Orbital (2:16)
07. Juno (6:01)
08. Cages (5:28)
09. Dystopia (6:23)
10. Phoenix (4:11)
11. Nocturne (4:17)
12. Eden (6:34)
13. Of Energy (10:54)
14. Seven Names (4:55)