It’s not been the easiest ride for UK sonic soul-searchers Tesseract. Highly respected from day one in progressive and djent circles, they’ve struggled to keep a consistent frontman on the hook, the slippery buggers swimming off into the sunset at an almost farcical rate.
For Polaris it’s all change again, Ashe O’Hara replaced by none other than his own predecessor, Dan Tompkins. Hopefully he’ll stick around in the long run this time, because his emotive, mournful vocals are perfectly suited to the dense, atmospheric music they’ve presented here, their more metal side toned down in favour of a heavy but thoughtful wash of sound, performing a perfect sonic balancing act between going completely overboard and keeping the ship on an even keel.
The hazy Survival, in particular, showcases a more delicate side, guitar patterns twinkling like stars until the song builds and amalgamates to a beautiful, stormy crescendo. With shades of Tool and Aereogramme, but mainly its own beast, Polaris is pure confidence converted into sound.