Flying the flag for progressive metal in the U.K., TesseracT have garnered a cult following that continues to grow. With Perspective, the five-piece deliver their first acoustic work, having been inspired following the addition of American vocalist Elliot Coleman (Zelliack, ex-Sky Eats Airplane) and an acoustic session they filmed in New York in 2011. Taking “Perfection,” “April” and “Origin” from 2011’s One, the band strip the songs of their metallic armor, emphasizing their more ethereal, haunting cores. As a band who on occasion seem to get caught up in their technicality to the detriment of the song, these interpretations push feeling to the foreground, Coleman’s Jeff Buckley-esque voice soaring and swooning over the understated yet intricate instrumentation. “Origin” is the best of these, cinematic in scale while blending a sense of urgency with a poignant mournfulness, though the other tracks are no less affecting.
Also included is a re-recorded (electric) version of “Eden” titled “Eden 2.0”, which first introduced fans to the band’s new vocalist, as well as a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Dream Brother.” While the cover is tastefully rendered, emphasizing the internal eeriness and drama of the song, Coleman’s vocal style is in fact so similar to those of the deceased singer/songwriter that it almost seems that they are forcing the point in choosing this track. Had the band chosen something a little more left field, or a song that perhaps emphasized a different aspect of his vocal abilities, it would have given a better demonstration of Coleman’s musical identity and also where the band might be headed on their next release. However, this doesn’t detract from what is overall an engaging listen, and one that does a good job at expanding the sonic palette the band have been painting with so far.
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