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Britain's Tesseract is not the first and will not be the last heavy metal band to fall under the spell of Sweden's Meshuggah, whose highly distinctive style of technical extreme metal has gradually become pervasive enough for others to emulate without shame, or at least utilize it as a jumping-off point for their own musical experiments. Tesseract, to their credit, deserve inclusion in the latter category, since 2011's simply named One notably uses dense melodic layers of vocals, guitar, and keyboards to erect a surprisingly fresh panorama of progressive sound on top of those recognizable "djent" foundations. At their best, elaborate creations like "Lament," "Nascent," and the nine-minute epic "Eden" almost provide enough independent ideas to make the underlying Meshuggah influence seem like an afterthought; almost, but not quite. So too the six-part song suite subtitled "Concealing Fate," which comprises the meat of One's musical sandwich (and was released as a preview of things to come a few months earlier by Tesseract's label, Century Media) with memorable sections like "Acceptance," "Perfection," and "Origin" unexpectedly breaking out into chorused clean vocals, sweeping synthesizers, soothing atmospherics, inventive percussive clusters, funky slap-bass, and much more. But perhaps most impressive of all is how naturally these many elements are meshed together, not to mention the uplifting emotions they convey against such oppressive prog metal backdrops. If Tesseract can only take these experiments a few steps forward on succeeding albums, one can almost envision a point where Meshuggah's name won't have to be evoked whenever their music is described, and that would be something indeed.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick