Arriving late and wet we descended the stairs into the dark and cavernous underground room that is The Roadhouse in Manchester. Painted black with graffiti covering the walls and stage which Enochian Theory had just graced with their own brand of atmospheric prog, the place was already full of heads bobbing and camera phones flashing. The last track played which was the heaviest of their set was a just a small taste of what was to come.
Next up was French producer Remi Galligo, of The Algorithm. Once described as 'a techno-death-dubstep-reggae-djent mastermind that smashes genres like the Hulk smashes everything else' we wondered how it could be done live but they certainly didn't disappoint. The trio which sees Remi team up with drummer Mike Malyan from Monument and guitarist Max Michel merge powerful djent riffs and electronic breakcore and trance on top of wild drumming from Malyan, the crowd were all over it.
The headliners for tonight were well worth the wait. The other two bands seeming a distant memory. TesseracT came out to a moody blue light in a veil of atmospheric smoke opening with two tracks from their forthcoming album 'Altered State', the duo of 'Proxy' and 'Retrospect' blowing away everyone in the crowd. A stream of the album had only just been released online two days previously. Having listened to it repeatedly before the live gig it sounded just as incredible live. Front man Ashe O'Hara said he was nervous at the Sheffield gig as previous TesseracT singer Daniel Thompson was in the crowd but if The Roadhouse gig was anything to go by, he had nothing to worry about. The quintet who's bass player Amos Williams plays to the crowd with hair flailing and no shoes on as it apparently helps him to balance really have honed their material. The live set was a perfect mixture of atmospheric troughs and heavier peaks, particularly on cuts from 'Concealing Fate'
With and epic new album on the way and sets such as this under their belts, one thing is definite for sure, TesseracT will not be playing in small dark venues for very much longer, so if you want to see them in an intimate setting where you can feel the air from the movement on stage, you'd better do it soon...
Review & Photos by G