Joensuu Finland 15th–17th Jul 2016

TesseracT depicts both the calm and the storm

British band TesseracT plays progressive rock in which the only definite is variation. Rhythm and vibe go from moment to moment and you're immersed in a whole new world.

A blue moment at TesseracT’s gig. Photo: Sampsa Geijer

The last act on Metelli Stage on Saturday, TesseracT, takes the stage without further introduction or intro music. The first song of the gig sounds calm at first but the first impression is shattered as the song progresses. On the stage you can see smoke, lights and the moving silhouettes of the band members. The focus is clearly on the music.

As representative of progressive rock, the band’s music is experimental and varied and their songs are long. While peaceful guitar melody plays on the background, singer Daniel Tompkins paints a picture with his voice and his hand held high. The illusion of beauty is broken when the rhythm changes and the music style verges on heavy metal. When the band starts moshing, the crowd does as well. Sometimes the music calms back to more peaceful sounds just to change again in a minute.

TesseracT’s music is the ebb and flow of rhythm and atmosphere. The peaceful parts of their songs are beautiful and haunting. They voice the feelings of despair. The vocals paint a picture of past destruction and there is still only emptiness around and a feeling that something terrible is coming to pass. The crowd is mostly still and deep within this reality that the band has created – until the next explosion. Heavy guitar sounds, fierce drumming and the blaring bass fill the tent and the crowd starts moshing.

The gig continues with this pattern and the songs navigate from calm to ever new storms. The performance is like the bouncing line of a heart monitor – going down and up alternately. The songs tell stories of journeys, feelings and the knocks of life. The lyrics to Survival describe perfectly the message that the band serves to the crowd: And people say the journey’s just begun / When you’re not a part of me I feel dead inside. The journey is only beginning, there is hope in the air, but everything is crushed in the end. The line goes up and drops down again.

Smoke, lights and a silhouette. Photo: Antti Pitkäjärvi

The atmosphere is a combination of wistfulness and strength. TesseracT’s music takes the listener to an uncertain place where the future cannot be predicted and where everything is in flux. The guitars and singing help to create a utopia and a dreamy ambience which changes to a battlefield in a moment. The audience is enthralled: when the band quiets down, the festival crowd gives an uproar of screams. The band speaks rarely in between the songs. However, the singer gives one short, but good tip:
– You guys take care.

TesseracT’s music envelopes the audience which demands more. The band continues playing even after the closing time and the crowd is thrilled. The Metelli tent becomes empty only after the band has given their all to Ilosaarirock.

Text: Anne Tuovinen
Photos: Sampsa Geijer and Antti Pitkäjärvi
Translation: Jenni Rajala

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