Tesseract – Polaris (Kscope)

Genre: Progressive Metal

Polaris represents something of a turning point for Tesseract. With Dan Tompkins back in the fold, they have a singer whose style perfectly fits the band’s brand of glistening, interstellar prog – and hopefully he’s here to stay this time around. In addition, the Brits’ third full-length also shifts them further away from the tech metal/djent scene they helped to define.

However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing: the Tesseract of 2015 put the emphasis firmly on writing beautiful, shimmering songs… and giving Tompkins’ free rein to express himself.

Yes, there’s still a hard edge to tracks like Messenger, but guitarists Acle Kahney and James Monteith are intelligent enough to know when to let fly and when to keep things subtle and refined.

And when Tesseract really hit their stride – Hexes and Survival spring to mind particular – they’re nothing short of spectacular.

Ok, so Polaris wanes slightly towards its conclusion, but it’s no exaggeration to say this album is the quintet’s finest work to date – and that the band now deserve to soar to great heights. Genuinely progressive, genuinely breathtaking, Polaris is a triumph.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Star appeal