Wednesday, April 17, 2024

TesseracT declare ‘War Of Being’ on Manchester

Since declaring a ‘War Of Being’ on England, the TesseracT army has been impenetrable and they continued their relentless invasion with Manchester as the next city to fall victim of the djent blitzkrieg.

The Callous Dowboys started things off and it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a gentle warm-up. In fact, it was utter chaos. In the same way that psychological thrillers mess with your head, they did that musically with their extreme mathcore style. Mixing elements of post-hardcore, alternative metal, pop punk and other genres as well as sampling songs like ‘Sweet Caroline’ out of nowhere made it impossible to classify their sound. This musical tornado unsurprisingly was mirrored by a rampant crowd opening large mosh pits that you would expect to see during headliner slots. Like a WWE Royal Rumble where anything goes, fans couldn’t care less about house rules and one might worry if security would have to step in before the Ritz got more trashed than a scrapyard.

Unprocessed followed suit with a massive job on their hands if they wanted to retain the engagement of an already hyperactive audience. Luckily, they lived up to the task as noise levels started vibrating the floor and people grew more excited by the second. With a sound closer to the headliners, conventional song structures were off limits so anyone who thought that it was another ordinary gig where keeping up is easy would be in for a shock. Leon Pfeifer on drums wasn’t afraid to show off his versatility, frequently playing polyrhythmic beats and when combined with syncopated fills, it was a total nightmare for new prog metal fans to headbang in time so paracetamol would for sure sellout due to musical headaches.

Manuel Gardner Fernandes though was also the centre of attention, displaying great skills on guitars and vocals while orchestrating the crowd. The transitions between screams and clean parts were smooth as silk and some technical riffs set the tone perfectly for what was to come.

TesseracT finally hit the stage after an anxious buildup and were greeted with an explosion of cheers as a sold out Ritz wouldn’t budge whether that meant missing the last train or bus home. Despite the style being prog metalcore, fans somehow managed to dance in time to odd time signatures and even create a pit. By this point, the venue was on its feet and in full voice, singing along with enough potency to fill out the Notre-Dame cathedral. 

Daniel Tompkins on vocals stole the show with his magnetic presence. His charisma could shine in the dark and turn a spotlight on by itself. Like a mime artist in the streets of Paris, you could tell just how much he was feeling the vibes through his mannerisms while letting the music take over. The firm stares and black makeup only seemed to suck fans even closer and their response said it all with a tsunami of crowd surfers crashing ashore. 

Jay Postones was faultless behind the kit as he was at the core of the instrumental madness with constant transitions between odd and even time signatures as he put his octopus limbs to work. Every hit was satisfyingly precise and his ability to carefully balance dynamics cut across sharper than a double-edged sword helped on by a crystal clear mix. In many instances, drums and bass overpower other instruments but this time, everything was spacious as the kick drum also packed a heavy punch as its chest thumping power filled the room nicely. 

TesseracT are considered to be one of the pioneers of the ‘djent’ movement in prog metal and they showed once again just why they’re one of the masters with guitarists Acle Kahney and James Monteith’s signature palm-muted, down-tuned riffs bringing wide smiles to Mancunian faces to ensure that no one went home feeling bored. 

By the end of the night, the Ritz was nothing but a dump site but a vibrant Manchester never ran out of energy and continuously chanted their name as a solid performance by the Milton Keynes metallers only meant one thing, ‘don’t be gone for too long’.  

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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