ALBUM NAME: ‘Sonder’
RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2018
GENRE: Progressive Metal
How about a neutral, unbiased review?
Let’s just all agree that Tesseract can do no wrong. Every album they have released up until now has been stellar in every aspect: creativity, composition, production, tone, clarity and epicness. The latest release, Sonder, is no different.
The production on this album is meticulous. Every sound is individually audible inside the collective barrage of honest, beautiful and brutal notes and hits. The guitars are most certainly more beefy than on previous efforts. A large contributing factor in this would be due to the fact that guitarists Acle Kahney and James Monteith moved over to the Kemper guitar profiles as opposed to the AXE FX they had been religious users of until now. As Kahney explained in an interview with Ultimate-guitar.com .The Kempers feel more natural, more like a real amp, and they’re less forgiving than an Axe-Fx… the Kempers just feel more natural, and they’re easier, I find; it’s quicker and easier to get a usable, good-sounding tone out of the Kemper, compared to the Axe-Fx where you’re constantly tweaking buttons – endlessly, I find.”
There are not many things I could find to fault this record. The songs are simultaneously heavier and more melodic than before and Dan’s voice has matured elegantly – and we are finally treated to his gut-wrenching screams once again (only heard in the background of the last album). As if it was at all possible, drummer Jay Postones has become even more intricate, while bassist Amos Williams’ foundation never wavers.
My only complaint then would be the album’s meagre 36 minute run time. When the last song ends, it just doesn’t feel right. It’s difficult to explain but if you are a fan of Tesseract I think you will feel the same.
Another observation I made – and this is a personal opinion – is that the songs on this album have more in common with the band’s second full length album Altered State in the heavier spectrum blended with the last album Polaris’ melodic side. In a way I feel like Sonder could have worked well if it was released before Polaris.
Nevertheless, this album is superb and if you liked the singles that were released leading up to April 20 (Smile, Luminary and King), then I can say that the rest of the album is actually even better.
Reviewed by: Kevin Rule
Shots supplied by: Tesseract
Date: April 2018
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