TesseracT + Circles @ Metro Theatre, Sydney – Sept. 15, 2018

03 Oct

Live Review: TesseracT + Circles @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney – September 15, 2018

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Warning: this review may end up sounding a little biased. Both Circles and TesseracT occupy a very high level of rotation on this humble scribe’s playlists in any given month. There… I said it!
Anyway, I digress. Let’s begin 🙂
Melbourne’s Circles have undergone some significant change since I last witnessed them live at Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag – both in terms of personnel and sound. Now a four-piece after the departure of a guitarist and singer, new singer/guitarist Ben Rechter seemed right at home fronting the band tonight – which was a big relief to this reviewer. There’s no denying that they were some large shoes to fill.
There’s also no denying that Circles circa 2018 is a different band to the one that brought us some of Australia’s top modern metal over the last eight years. But it’s a case of different good, not bad.
While Rechter handles the old material with seeming ease (playing guitar as well as performing the vocals), Circles’ new material, as heard on new album The Last One, has shed some of the more jagged ‘djent-ish’ angularity in favour of bigger choruses and a direction that is a little more straight ahead than before. Some might call it a more ‘mature’ direction. Either way, it’s killer and tonight’s performance more than lives up to the lofty heights that those new tunes have reached. It’ll be a great injustice if Circles don’t at least reach the level of bigger progressive bands like Karnivool within the next few years.
TesseracT walked onto a darkened stage and showed no signs of nerves at having to perform after such a strong act. After all, this nearly-full Metro crowd was here to see them – and over the next hour or so, the UK band didn’t disappoint.
I’m not sure how I missed it, but the last time the band was on our shores was 2015. I was lucky enough to see them in a very sweaty Annandale Hotel on their first Australian tour back in 2011 with Periphery and the band has been through a lot over those ensuing years. Singer Daniel Tompkins left the band after that tour with TesseracT releasing an excellent second album fronted by another singer before Tompkins returned to the fold. They’ve released two stellar discs since then, including latest, Sonder.
To his credit, Tompkins performed cuts from Altered State despite being originally performed by Ashe O’Hara and he did a killer job of them, too. In fact, the set list included tracks from across the band’s four album history and the crowd lapped up every emotionally charged second of it – including Tompkins’ trademark dramatic stage moves.
There was no encore, but no one seemed too upset by the fact. TesseracT had done their job and the audience was spent, having witnessed a truly astounding and technically brilliant performance of modern progressive metal. Hopefully we’ll see the band back on our shores before too long.

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Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

Tesseract @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Sept. 15, 2018

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