Altered State is an album that removes all of your preconceptions of what a metal album should be like, very few bands could pull off something so emotive without immediately being branded an Emo band. Ashe O’hara makes a huge stamp on the overall sound of TesseracT, his voice souring throughout, powered along by thumping bass grooves and chugging riffs.
There is a stark and welcome boost on the bass on the record, which has the higher platform in the mix, the drum sound is big and tight, with well thought out guitar melodies and riffs throughout. Much care is paid to the overall atmosphere of the sound, resulting in a record that can only be described as epic in scope and feel. This is such a unique record that it is hard to draw comparisons to other bands, there is a djent feel to it, but its not quite djent, it is just TesseracT, but different from their previous work, there is such serenity in the overall sound, yet the massive groove of shuddering riffs keeps them grounded in the metal genre.
New, different, bold, astounding, epic, are a few words i would use to describe Altered State, This is definitely one of those “must hear before i die” records.
When asked about the meaning of the title Altered State, Amos Williams, told Grand Rock
The concept is simple. It’s all about change, people’s inadequacy with coping with change, but also the types of change that exist in our world. From the very small everyday things, to the very large eternal things. But, the title helps show our public that although TesseracT has gone a slight alteration, we are still firmly and forever the TesseracT that we always have been. It’s kind of a reaction and answer to our critics and fans who felt that after Dan chose to leave that we’d never be able to continue as TesseracT, which of course is complete bullshit. Even Dan would tell you that we were TesseracT way before he came along, so his departure just meant we needed a different vocalist. That’s not to belittle what Dan meant to us as people and as a band member, he’s a brother forever, but not the be all and end all. I think if Acle chose to leave then that would be the be all and end all, as he is our chief songwriter and the reason the band exists in the first place.
With the departure of Ashe O’Hara in 2014 from the band and the return of Daniel Tompkins the next record will see more another change. Daniel Tompkins can be heard on the bands Odyssey/Scala live album released on May 18th, 2015.