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Polaris

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Customer Reviews

Anti-pre-release-review Review

Who reviews an album before it's even available? Who does that?

Danisbackeract

This promises to be one hell of an album. The teaser sounds majestic af. Love this band. Preordered in a heartbeat. You should too.

Good album, but a step backward.

Polaris is a good album. Unfortunately, One and Altered State were great albums, so it's a bit of a let down. Polaris is a much more restrained and atmospheric album than the previous two, which is fine. The problem is, the band spends at least a minute or two setting up the atmosphere at the beginning of each song, and winding it back down at the end. When you consider that these songs only average about 5 minutes in length, by the time the atmosphere is established and fades out, there is only 3 1/2 to 4 minutes of real music in between. That's simply not enough time for a band like Tesseract to develop a good song. That's my main complaint about the album: the song length.

Tesseract established their identity by writing lengthy, complex pieces that start with an idea and explore it for several minutes (sometimes a half hour over multiple tracks) while progressing to a climax that leaves the listener wholly fulfilled. These songs don't really do that. They are pretty short and to the point, and that's not why I listen to bands like Tesseract. There are so many great ideas on this album that could have been developed more and explored further, but they were cut short, and I don't feel fulfilled after listening to each song or the album as a whole.

As far as the quality of the musicianship during the actual music, it's still very, very good. I'd probably give it 4 1/2 stars. There are a lot of interesting rhythmic concepts as always. A lot of polymetric drumming by Jay Postones that matches up with sharp bass lines to create a perfect counterpoint to the over-arching vocal meter. The guitar goes back and forth between supporting the vocal rhythm and the polymetric rhythm of the bass drum. I love that kind of action in a song, but not in a 4 minute song where it can't be fully fleshed out.

So, for what it is, the music on this album is great, but it could have been lengthened and developed to culminate in a more challenging and satisfying album. There are a lot of 5 star musical concepts here, but the songs were much too short for those concepts to be utilized to their potential. I have to give this album 3 stars overall even though I love this band.

If you're a Tesseract fan, buy. If you're just getting into them, check out the other two albums first, then come back to this one. I can see this album not making a ton of sense to somebody who has never heard Tesseract before.

I'm editing this review because I forgot to address Dan rejoining the band. Dan is a superior vocalist to Ash. He can sound a little whiny at times, but his range and explosiveness as a singer are unique and very hard to duplicate. Ash's voice is probably a half octave higher than Dan's, but Ash couldn't sing live to save his life; Dan is an incredible live singer and can evoke more emotion with his voice. I think his voice was made for Tesseract, so I'm glad he's back.

Biography

Formed: 2007 in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, E

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Originally started in 2003 as a solo outlet for English guitarist Acle Kahney, who at the time was playing in the band Mikaw Barish, alternately brutal and cerebral progressive metal outfit Tesseract eventually morphed into a full-blown force of nature and early adopter of the djent style, which relies heavily on tight, palm-muted riffs that sound much like the word itself, and was coined by Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal. Tesseract released its debut EP, Concealing the Fate, in 2010, followed...
Full Bio
Polaris, TesseracT
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