Live Reviews

Published on January 7th, 2019 | by Gareth Allen


TesseracT – Glasgow Garage

TesseracT returned to the Glasgow Garage on a very cold Glasgow night and showed again what a fine and talented band they are, and as on previous occasions, accompanied by a quite excellent supporting line up.



Four piece Plini from Sydney, Australia, preceded by Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller track PYT, took to the stage of a very cold Garage venue, with some thrilling driven playing, that brought together funk backbeats, stunning proto-metal riffs, and soaring melodic guitar phrases.

Their second number exhibited the sort of perfect jazz-soaked guitar playing, Steely Dan exhibited on their classic mid-period albums like AJA. Add into the mix some complex time changes, and full throttle guitar led metal charges, and the audience reaction was understandably very appreciative.

The third number in witnessed two magnificent guitar solos, that just spoke to the lyrical inventiveness Frank Zappa brought to his guitar playing. A pretty special inaugural Glasgow gig then! The band promised to come back next year, and I think Glasgow will hold them to it.


Between The Buried And Me

Between the Buried and Me (BTBAM) came on stage, mostly resplendent in hoodies. It was still pretty cold at this point! BTBAM are a band that compositionally play lengthy suites of music, that take you on a musical journey, full of unexpected and intriguing shifts and turns. Vocalist and keyboard player Tommy Rogers, deploys a full range of vocal styles, from wistful gentle singing to full-on death metal growling.

The second piece in the set had a collection of very ambitious musical sections. Beginning with a sweet pop sensibility, with counterpoint sections that introduced spiraling instrumentals that had a sheet of sound effect. The entry of some electronic dance music (think Kraftwerk/Tangerine Dream) even got the audience clapping along. BTBAM can even, with complete commitment, deliver some really edgy blast beats. This is a band with an astonishing musical reach and depth.

Lead guitarist Paul Waggoner can play exquisite medieval sounding chords and then head into Steve Howe territory, with lots of complex ascending guitar lines. On the last number ‘Voice of Trespass’, BTBAM take us into jaunty Queen territory, that even starts up a mosh pit! What a fabulously talented band.



TesseracT open with ‘Luminary’ from the new album ‘Sonder’, sounding the best this reviewer has ever heard them. The sound is absolutely massive, with vocalist Daniel Tompkins completely in command of the Garage audience. The venue is completely packed, with an audience that really appreciates the energy and creativity that TesseracT brings to their music.

Watching the audience, and their amazing response to the band, is testament to the emotional impact and connection of the band’s songs, that speak to the heart, and have a striking anthemic quality.  Touchingly during the set, Daniel helps a crowd surfer safely over the crush barrier, which tells you all you need to know about the respect and esteem that TesseracT hold their fans in.

‘Survival’ from the ‘Polaris’ album has a lovely acoustic beginning played by James Monteith, and over its mesmerising beat, Daniel’s voice just gathers flight and rises and swoops over the audience. The band pushes the intensity of the song to the absolute limit, with some powerful rhythmic playing. The crowd reaction seems to almost raise the roof on the Garage!

‘Smile’ from ‘Sonder’, has some exciting growling guitar work, and Led Zeppelin like riffing, that seems to ignite the playing on stage, and Daniel’s screamed vocal sections fit perfectly. There can be no doubt that Daniel Tompkins has one of the best voices in metal. From falsetto to screamed, it’s a voice you just have to hear live!

‘King’ also from ‘Sonder’, has a full on metal attack, followed by a section with exquisite bell ringing like guitars, and a beautiful choir-like vocal. Applause even breaks out during the songs gentle coda …amazing!

A fabulous performance by a well-loved band.

Photographs by Lewis Allen

About the Author

A committed metal head with a love of jazz, soul, and folk. Living in Central Scotland and attending gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with it's really amazing venues. My iconic moment... being invited on stage at the Glasgow Garage, by DevilDriver's Dez Fafara!

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