A quick chat with Tesseract’s Ashe O’Hara

Tesseract is hardly a name that is unfamiliar to the average Indian metalhead. They’ve played at the now hallowed GIR and opened themselves up to a relatively newer audience back in 2010. Since then a good portion of the metalhead populace here have jumped on this relatively new genre bandwagon. In spite of having several bands today aping them and with the genre having it’s own share of pitfalls, they will, and always stand apart from their peers. For they are simply a class unto themselves.

Now while on the threshold of releasing their second full length ‘Altered State‘ via Century Media Records, our very own Raj Sharma caught up with their new vocalist Ashe O’Hara. Now, the band’s been teasing their fans (rather tortuously) with extremely short yet brilliant clips of tracks from their new album. Although all of it seems to be alluding to some grand concept, which we are still unaware of, here is Ashe throwing a bit of light on it .

TesseracT

1. Greetings Ashe, with Altered State release date coming closer, how is the excitement level going at your end??
It’s been a crazy year for me, joining the band, going out on 2 small tours, one in the EU and one in the UK, and it’s been an amazing journey writing the album with the guys. It’s been complete for a few months now so we’re all very excited for this release and we are very excited to see how it is received.

 

2. What about growls or screams?? Are they really not happening with this release not even from the backings?
There won’t be any screams or growls on Altered State. The guys feel they are at a stage in their career, and have carved enough of a niche where they feel they no longer need to be afraid to be themselves. And right now, being ourselves is to have purely melodic vocals. With ‘One’ they felt they had to have harsh vocals in order to be accepted by the community. But, they’ve never really wanted to be that type of band. There’s nothing wrong with that style of vocals at all, but they never felt as happy with the tracks they created with screams as we did the tracks without screams. We will still perform the older tracks live with screams, as even though we’ve moved on a little they are still part of TesseracT, and the fans want to hear the older tracks. And who knows, maybe we’ll have some on future recordings. But, right now, it’s just not for us.

4. When exactly did you take up singing, what inspired you?? Was it the first interest in the music field or was it any other instrument??
I’ve always been singing as long as I can remember. I was nine when I wrote my first song and as you can imagine, it was bollocks. I wrote about stars and milky ways – I could have been referring to the chocolate [LOL]. The main key influences for me when I was younger were artists like Alanis Morissette, Queen – having my parents constantly blasting The Beatles and The Rolling Stones probably subliminally influenced me regardless of my distaste for that style of music! I’ve always been melody-heavy, and artists like Alanis, Anberlin, Thrice, Anathema, Dead Letter Circus and Karnivool are all styles I have stuck with and follow religiously.

 

3. Who came up with the idea of getting Chris Baretto and the use of saxophone in the album??
The idea of incorporating sax was something that has been rattling around for about 8 years with the band, around the time when Julien or Abi were fronting. Chris Baretto’s an old friend of the guys and I think it was a case of “We must have some sax – call Chris, he’ll know what to do!”, and it’s probably one of my favourite tracks on the album, mainly because of the fusion of the two very contrasting sounds feels very groundbreakingand enigmatic. I think Chris is ridiculously talented and I’m really hoping to work with him in the future – whatever that may be.

 

4. All the four states, Of matter, Of mind, Of reality and Of energy?? Give us a little insight on these states?? Also as a tease let the readers know which is the most grooviest state or say most fun state of the album in your opinion? For us we are sure the whole would be fun!!
The main theme of the album is change, the titles of the movements are such to inspire thoughts about the subject of change. Change on the very small, and microscopic or everyday scale of humanity – relationships and immediate concerns. As well as change on the infinite, macroscopic scale of the universe and eternity.
“Of Matter” is about a physical change that is obvious and tangible, like the change of a band member for example whereas “Of Mind” is about the internal change such as beliefs, and the struggles this can cause when pitched against other people who may not be willing or able to change. “Of Reality” is about the need to accept that things do and indeed have to change in order to survive, and “Of energy” is a muse of the inevitable destiny of everything we know; a slow burn away to nothing – Embers.
The band favourites currently would have to be “Of Mind – Exiled” and “Of Energy – Singularity”, my personal favourite would have to be the first movement “Of Matter” – it was probably the easiest to write, and it’s probably the most personal and resonates my most insular self.

 

5. You have released a solo track online sometime ago, very catchy stuff!! Do you plan to release more music solo later??
Absolutely! I’ve been writing for years and I have lots up on my Soundcloud account (www.soundcloud.com/asheohara). I always try to venture out to different genres and styles – I am a huge fan of techno and trance, and I love a good ballad too. I’ve done a lot in the rock and metal corner, and I am currently writing a concept album, which is very ambient, cinematic, special and tribal. Its been a very busy year with TesseracT and I am certain it will continue to be this way, but it’s helped me manage my time more effectively and has made me much more productive.

 

6. Your other band Voices from the fuselage, any more updates in that camp??
I founded VFTF with the boys just over three years ago, we are currently processing a line-up change (new bassist – nothing too drastic!) and we are writing our debut full length titled “Odyssey”, which is the astral story of a young boy who encounters an extraterrestrial being, who then takes him on a journey into the future and upwards to present to him the secrets of the universe and the importance of Earth and humanity’s specified road yet to come. We hope to have it released around this time next year.

 

7.What has influenced you the most as a vocalist/frontman??Is it any particular band/album/live DVD you want to mention about here, which has made a deep impact over you musically??
I have always been an unhealthily obsessed fan of Anberlin, mainly due to the writing. The melodies and harmonies are always beautiful, but the lyrics are so profound, and never fail to touch me on such a personal, emotional level. I would say their third studio album “Cities” is probably my favourite album ever, and their frontman Stephen Christian is an idol. I think with my current work, Karnivool really inspire me with how skilled and enigmatic they seem to be. Ian Kenny is absolutely flawless live, and I thoroughly look forward to their latest album. I am also a new, avid fan of Dead Letter Circus, and I love the grounds they seem to be treading.

 

8. Hows the touring life going along now?? Touring with Tesseract is hopefully getting you busy schedule, how do you make it up too being active at the same time with Voices from the fuselage??
Well! Touring is always a grey area – you either love travelling to all these wonderful places, or you hate being away from home and can’t stand being in a box on four wheels with a bunch of guys who take pride in their farts. This is what I have learned so far! [:P] I really enjoy it, and I am looking forward to the tour with Periphery – I do hope to make a good first impression, as they are incredible musicians, and I feel oddly intimidated by the idea of supporting them as much as I feel honoured!
The guys in VFTF have all been very supportive and understanding of my commitment to TesseracT, and we’re all very excited and eager to get our debut full length album out to everyone. We feel that it has been a long time since our EP “To Hope” (even if it’s only 15 months) and we want to give something new to our fans and we intend to spoil them with this album – it’s going to be long, and epic.

 

9. Shout out board : Tell us any bands or musician you want us to check out ??
If you haven’t heard of them yet – Dead Letter Circus will be taking over very soon! I hope to tour with them some time in the future. As always, check out Voices From The Fuselage – we’re available on www.facebook.com/voicesfromthefuselage. I am currently working with Keshav Dhar and Devesh Dayal (guitarists of SkyHarbor) on an EP with the band These Precious Days – of which there will be a preview released very soon, and you can check them out at www.facebook.com/wearethesepreciousdays.

 

10. Thanks a lot for Interview, Good luck with the album release. Any last words to the fans???
Thank you very much! And I hope you enjoy The Altered State, which is available on May 27th (EU) and May 28th (worldwide), and keep an eye out on www.facebook.com/tesseractband and www.tesseractband.co.uk for updates and some juicy surprises coming your way!

 

 Watch all their new Altered State trailers below, in the sequence up-down (U-D) and lap up the secret message held within.

Advertisements

Cultes Des Ghoules – Henbane

Today we have reviewer Jayaprakash Satyamurthy reviewing the new LP from Cultes Des Ghoules titled Hexbane, released via Hells Headbangers.

PromoImage

Tracklist:
01. Idylls Of The Chosen Damned
02. The Passion Of A Sorceress
03. Vintage Black Magic
04. Festival Of Devotion
05. The Devil Intimate

When it’s all said and done, black metal is at its best when it is absolutely morbid and twisted, when it evokes a palpable miasma of the unclean, unholy and occult. Genre pioneers Mayhem nailed this vile, eerie atmosphere with the ponderous guitar layers and unearthly vocals of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.  And if that kind of vibe is your cup of tea, no sorry, your splintered bone-goblet of brackish moonshine laced with hallucinogenic herbs, you’re ready to join the acolytes of the Polish black metal sect that goes by the name of Cultes Des Ghoules.

Another one of those orthodox black metal collectives that veils its individual identities, Cultes Des Ghoules established a reputation for crushing black metal that projects an undeniable aura of primal evil and dark rituals with their first album, Haxan, and they’re back to unleash a new set of pandemonic chants and horrific soundscapes.

Stream the album below…now!!!!!

The first thing that stands out is the sound – it’s thick, dense, not at all crudely produced, but still somehow raw and oppressive. The guitar tones are just that little bit over the top in true black metal form, and the drummer varies between fast, double bass-anchored parts and lurching, tribal patterns. This makes the drum work an integral part of the atmospheric effort, not just a faceless obligato running its fleet-footed way in complete disregard of the musical context. The vocals are utterly ghoulish, as indeed they ought to be, and if someone told me the being that uttered these rasping chants and guttural cries was in fact some graveyard-scouring, subterranean monstrosity from a Lovecraft story, I wouldn’t have too much trouble believing them.

The songs are frequently bracketed in brief atmospheric melodies and a restrained use of samples that add to the uncanny atmosphere. Highlights include the rank ululations and simple yet darkly insinuating guitars of ‘The Passion of a Sorceress’ and the acolyte-march riffage and swooning vocal invocations of ‘Festival of Devotion’, but there really isn’t a false step here. These 5 songs are lengthy, hypnotic and completely effective in their creation of an atmosphere of obscure horror. This isn’t the kind of black metal that will dazzle hipsters with an eclectic mix of influences or appeal to the mainstream metal crowd with epic guitar solos and technical drumming. Instead, it’s the equivalent of the kind of horror movie I keep hoping they’ll make some day, something with the lush atmosphere and visceral horror of a Dario Argento film, crossed with the immediacy and immersion of a found-footage film. That’s a combination which we may never see; but in the meantime, Cultes Des Ghoules is putting out the same mix of rich texture and engaging spontaneity, all in service of a chillingly effective whole, in musical form.

Inter Arma – Sky Burial

Today we have Mohammad Kabeer reviewing the new album from Inter Arma titled Sky Burial released via Relapse Records.

PromoImage

Tracklist

1. The Survival Fires
2. The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)
3. The Long Road Home
4. Destroyer
5. ‘sblood
6. Westward
7. Love Absolute
8. Sky Burial

 

Often  you find that Metal  seems to   push itself  towards  a particular cage, and doesn’t  even  try to come out of it , sometimes to create something  that will appeal  to the  mainstream  audiences, sometimes  because  of the narrow-mindedness of the musicians  and fans themselves  and sometimes because it just doesn’t  want to . Once in a while however you do come across a band that changes things, Inter Arma is that band .

 

Stream the entire album from the player below

 

Inter Arma is a five piece from  Richmond Virginia,  consisting of T.J. Childers(Drums) Steven Russel (Guitars)  Trey Dalton (Guitars) Mike Paparo (vocals) and Jon koerkes ( bass). The band’s sound is very hard to categorize in one single word, the best way to describe it would be   black/sludge/doom metal that is strongly influenced by psychedelic rock   but that barely scratches the surface. One word that describes this album perfectly is rich, both in terms  of production, which  encompasses  a really thunderous, deep  drum sound  and also   multiple layers of guitar tracks,  and in terms of the actual  performance  which  dosen’t really stick to one formula or genre for that matter. The Survival Fires  mixes   avante-garde black metal  with  crushing sludge while  Sky burial   does the same, except mixing it with really melancholic rock ,  whereas you  have   less extreme tracks   like The Long Road Home(Iron Gate). The long road home and  Love Absolute  which  have more of a psychedelic  vibe,   mixing  spacey  effects   with simple  acoustic  guitar .  And if that’s not all there are  tracks like  ‘sblood  which is driven  by very tribal  drumming, mainly on the toms  accompanied  by  really mystical  guitar work  that sounds almost like a didgeridoo and  Destroyer which has really buzzing ,hypnotic  almost drone like guitar work accompanied  by simple minimalistic drums, which  reminds of Venus in Furs by  Velvet underground.

All of these factors make Inter Arma a challenging yet quite intriguing listen; these guys are doing something different and thinking out of the box.  This is definitely an album that I think every  music  fan will enjoy regardless of their  preference in music .

Lifeforms – Multidimensional

Today we have reviewer ‘Dev Arbikshe‘ reviewing the new album from Lifeforms titled ‘Multidimensional‘ released via Lifeforce Records.

CD-550x550

Tracklist:
01. Descent Into Madness
02. Multidimensional
03. Illogical
04. String Theory
05. The Ones
06. Digitize
07. Reflections II
08. Paradox
09. Interlude
10. Home

Music is one of those art forms which tops any other art form because it comprises of sound, poetry (in form of lyrics) and is compact in that it is brief compared to other art forms. But what makes it unique is that it can unfold a story of its own in such short time!
Multidimensional is one such album that achieves this feat. And it is not every day that you come across an album which has a compact beginning, middle and an end.  But I’d be honest I didn’t like the songs at first.,as the vocals seemed guttural and yet I couldn’t overlook the melodic elements and the impact of songs as a whole.  The songs here somehow reminded me of the trailer to the album ‘’Kolossus’’ by’’ Keeps of Kalessin’’ which is as good as any trailer of a movie based on ancient mythology. The point is ‘’Lifeforms’’ knows what they are doing and the messages are put across through their music.
The title ‘’Multidimensional’’ says it all. There is so much to explore here. There are no compromised fillers and every song has something in it which is unique and a reason enough not to skip any of the songs. But this is one of those offerings which is best enjoyed with going in for it without any pre-conceived ideas or expectations. This is not an album to be compared with other benchmark records in this genre like that of Born of Osiris ‘’ The Discovery’’. And to limit something by defining it as a part of particular genre is creating obstacles in enjoying music for what it is. The quintet of’’ Lifeforms’’ has amalgamated the elements of death core, djent and progressive music creating an animal with its own life.

To me every song conjured up an imagery creating a story in images with each passing second without even worrying about lyrics. For instance ‘illogical’ gave me chills and conjured up an imagery of badass killer bees flying with swords! The hurricane like atmosphere is the striking element of this album which bludgeons its way into your head and out of it. It will surely knock your socks off.

There is no dearth of chugging breakdowns. The test of good music is that it gets stuck in your head and that cannot be the case if the songs are not ‘’multidimensional’’. But the music that grows on you is even better as it stays on your playlist for long without the listener getting bored of it. This is a crossbreed of melody and’ in your face ‘straight-up no nonsense tunes. ‘’Multidimensional ‘’will reveal itself in layers on every listen. There is so much that can be written about the songs but there’s no point dissecting them here. I’d leave it to you to find out. From dismissing it at first listen to getting lost in its amazing diverse layers, it sure is a reminder not to pigeonhole music and stay open.