Single Review: TesseracT – Messenger

Big news was released from Kscope yesterday: TesseracT has revealed its first single off their upcoming album “Polaris.” After another lineup change, singer Daniel Thompkins has returned to the band, providing a lower registered voice left off by former frontman and falsetto master Ashe O’Hara. The single, “Messenger,” is a perfect teaser to fans of the band, and a welcome back to the lead singer.

Lasting around three and a half minutes, “Messenger” picks up where songs off their last record “Altered State” left off. With mainly clean vocals, Thompkins’ passionate voice is center stage, proving that the switch in vocals was well worth it. I’m not going to lie, I was a huge fan of Ashe O’Hara. In fact, it was the album he fronted that got me into the band in the first place. Since the single is shorter, we are unable to tell what depth Thompkins will bring to the album, whether he can provide those falsetto notes that he simply couldn’t hit off their recent live album. After listening to the song, I was relieved that the band provided a lower pitch with their instrumentation to better compliment Thompkins’ lower voice. In addition to Thompkins’ clean vocals, we are given a preview of those passionate screams that Ashe never entertained. It was the one thing lacking in their near-masterpiece, that extra effort needed to increase the emotion on that album. I can’t wait to hear how Thompkins will incorporate his screams and growls into “Polaris.”

Speaking of the band’s instrumentation, I can’t get enough of their djenty sound. I have hailed drummer Jay Postones in the past, who provides not so much the speed that other prog metal bands have, but instead a much more technical skillset. He shines again on the single, with deep floor pedal hits and cymbal crashes. He alone is worth a listen, and leaves me in anticipation for the rest of the album. The deep sound continues with the bass and electric guitar, which bounce their low tones off each other. I particularly enjoyed the subtle inclusion of keyboards in “Messenger,” especially towards the song’s end. Helping to relax the listener, the song fades out with keyboards and sound manipulation, furthering the progressive direction they’ve been heading towards since their first album.

The lyrics are a little vague, but it comes across as a breakup song. Time will tell if the album follows the concept. In the meantime, I will praise the amazing bridge section, containing the most passionate vocal delivery and the greatest collaborative effort from the band:

“Apathetic, interaction, another distraction / A lack of compassion for the weak / You don’t see”

With so much anticipation being built for their upcoming album, “Messenger” is the perfect single to release off of “Polaris.” Although short, it perfectly teases the listener, providing a glimpse of Thompkins’ reuniting vocals and top notch instrumentation. I am sure fans will be satisfied with this record after their single release. Be sure to support this band as they release their upcoming album in September.

Check out the official music video for “Messenger” below: