Album Review: TesseracT – P O R T A L S

In 2020, the world as we knew it was put to a halt as we collectively attempted to battle the catastrophic Coronavirus.

Because of the ongoing restrictions, bands had to rethink how they would perform in front of their fans whilst remaining entertaining and staying within government guidelines. For many bands, this meant live streams.

Some bands simply recorded themselves playing how they normally would at a live show (just without the audience), some bands, however, got creative with their live streams and started to deliver unique experiences.

TESSERACT have always been at the forefront of creativity within their niche, so it’s no surprise that they were one of the pioneering bands of delivering unique digital experiences in the times of lockdown.

Their take on the digital livestream trend was P O R T A L S – an ambitious concept that provided fans with an escape from isolation.

In this live event, TESSERACT performed the very best tracks from their back catalogue, including King, Juno, and Dystopia.

As usual, the atmospheric guitars and the emotive vocals provided by talented vocalist, Daniel Tompkins, made P O R T A L S a magical listening experience.

Along with the band’s trademark groove laden progressive metal, fans were treated to stunning visuals which were often psychedelic in nature.

The striking lighting and visual effects were also accompanied by chaptered screenplay which added emotional depth to the already dynamic soundtrack.

Nocturne, which is already available on the band’s YouTube channel, is just a short but accurate depiction of what P O R T A L S is all about.

During the performance of this particular song, the stage is lit up with florescent strobe lights which makes the space the band is performing in look like some sort of alternative reality.

Whether you tuned into the original event or want to experience it for yourself, you will soon be able to watch and listen to P O R T A L S at your convenience.

The experience will be available in a range of formats, from a 2CD soundtrack to a Blu-ray and DVD that also features a behind-the-scenes documentary, fans will be able to truly immerse themselves in P O R T A L S.

P O R T A L S deluxe will also feature a special forty page book which contains pictures from the live event.

For many bands, performing live is their livelihood. Not only is it how they make a living, but it’s how they express themselves. It’s also an escape from their reality, and with what’s going on in recent times, an escape from reality is much needed.

Bass player, Amos Williams, said when reflecting on the show that “it is only with hindsight and some time to appreciate it that we realise what this show meant to us. P O R T A LS as a show was an experiment afforded to us in a time when anything was possible because nothing of our previous life was possible.”

Williams sums up P O R T A L S and what it meant to the band and the fans best: an amazing experiment in times where everything is possible even though nothing is possible.

That’s why, if you’re a TESSERACT fan and you crave that disconnect from reality live music can provide but aren’t able to experience due to local restrictions, I urge you to check out P O R T A L S.

It’s an excellent alternative to live music in a time where it may not always be possible.

Rating: 8/10

Words: Megan Taylor

P O R T A L S will be released 27th August 2021 via KScope Records.

Find TESSERACT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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