TesseracT - Odyssey (Live Album)

The long-awaited return of ex-vocalist Dan Tompkins, also of Skyharbor, is a huge delight to TesseracT fans everywhere. Following the departure of vocalist Ashe O'Hara shortly after the release of Altered State, Dan Tompkins, vocalist of debut album One rejoined the progressive metal band prior to the EU/UK tour with Animals As Leaders. Live album Odyssey is to be released on May 18th and contains an audio CD of the band's setlist across the Altered State tour, recorded at various locations, alongside a DVD version, Scala, filmed at Scala, London, on November 6th.

Odyssey opens straight into the tantalising groove of Singularity following rounds of loud applause and screams from the crowd. Seconds later, the sublime falsetto of Dan Tompkins erupts through the instrumental, and you can almost hear the joy overcome every fan in the crowd.

TesseracT work their way through the epic and story-like Concealing Fate (excluding Acceptance) as the magnificent and unmatched musicianship shines through. Hammering yet elegant grooves flow smoothly into ambient sections as each instrumentalist displays their technical ability. From the earth-shattering introduction to Deception, to the heavenly vocally-focused likes of Perfection, TesseracT's impeccable performance is met by constant cheers and singing from the audience, only reinforcing how loved and sublime their live show is.

The trio of songs from second album Altered State under the title Of Matter (Proxy, Retrospect and Resist) follow, and provide a potential test for the reinstated vocalist Tompkins. However, he completely makes these songs his own, showing the utmost versatility through his incredible talent. Although I am sure this is a much easier task when accompanied with the masterful techniques of fellow band members.

 Two fan favourites, April and Nocturne follow, and drummer Jay Postones' wizardry with the sticks stands out, with polyrhythmic cymbal hits and a seemingly never-ending onslaught of ghost notes over the delightfully groove-heavy main riff to Nocturne, performed expertly by guitarists Acle Kahney and James Monteith. “Would you like some more?” asks Tompkins, and the blistering cheer of “yes!” from the crowd tells you all you need to know.

What TesseracT live set is complete without an encore of Acceptance? The band return to the stage to a wild crowd as the opening notes of the almost ten-minute saga begins. Backed up by the low growls of bassist Amos Williams, the skilfulness of Tompkins is prevalent through his screamed vocals, performed almost as incredibly as his cleans. A perfect closing song, a total coming together of all of the band's techniques, fluidly switching from ground-shaking grooves to melodic clean sections to huge sounding chorus passages, encompassing all of the band's supreme progressive technical ability. One final overwhelmingly awe-filled uproar from the crowd, and the album ends.

 An absolutely sensational return for Tompkins. TesseracT are completely in unison with each other, each song performed as perfectly as it is on record, with the added bonus of knowing that this band can do just as good a job, if not an even better one on stage. Sublime musicianship and talent pour out of live album Odyssey by the bucketload.  An outright joy to listen to from start to end.