Progressive metal band TesseracT recently released its first-ever live recording. The recording, Odyssey/Scala is an interesting effort from the UK-based band. The dual-disc recording gives audiences quite the treat right off the top in the fact that it offers not just one performance on two platforms but multiple performances on one disc (CD) and one complete hour-plus concert on the other (DVD). Interestingly enough despite that variety of concerts, the set list presented both on the set’s CD and DVD side is the same. It is also in the same order on both platforms. While the CD and DVD platform each present different aspects of TesseracT’s European and Russian 2014 tour, an examination of the shows’ production values still remains a must. For the most part, the production values are impressive on both platforms. Though, it can’t be denied that some of the concerts presented on the set’s CD side have some issues with their audio mixes. Luckily though, those issues aren’t enough to take away from the more positive audio elements presented on that side.The cinematography on the set’s DVD side is beyond exceptional. Coupled with the relatively impressive audio here, the combination of both elements solidifies it as a concert that any fan will enjoy. When the production values of both platforms are taken into consideration with the noted set lists and the fact that audiences get both a full concert on one platform and pieces of multiple shows on the other, Odyssey/Scala proves in the end to be a candidate to be one of this year’s best new live recordings overall.
Odyssey/Scala is a definite candidate for any critic’s list of this year’s best new live recordings overall. That is saying quite a bit being that it is TesseracT’s first-ever live recording. The main reason that it is deserving of such honor is the fact that over the course of the set’s two discs, audiences get both a complete hour-plus concert on the set’s DVD platform and a variety of performances from across the band’s 2014 Europe/Russia tour. That within itself is plenty of reason for Tesseract’s fans to pick up this recording. So in essence, audiences are getting not one performance but one full performance plus a large snapshot of the band’s tour overall as it made its way across Europe and Russia last year. This is something significant because in so many cases, bands that release multi-disc live recordings have a tendency to release the same performance on both platforms. That is not to say that there are not bands that do or have done what TesseracT has done here. But it would seem that the tendency is more towards bands doing the prior. So for TesseracT to do what it has done here means that it has gives its fans both a full audio/visual experience on one platform and a relatively solid audio experience across a multitude of performances from the same tour that gave audiences Scala. It also means that audiences have been given a wide picture of the band’s performance as it made its way across Europe and Russia last year. This makes for a solid foundation on which the rest of this recording rests and in turn serves to show in just one way why Odyssey/Scala should be in ny TesseracT fan’s collection and on any critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings overall.
The fact that Odyssey/Scala’s dual platform presentation gives audiences such a wide view of TesseracT’s live show is an important element of this recording. It serves as the presentation’s foundation. And the foundation established in this fact is strong to say the least. It’s just one part of the whole that makes Odyssey/Scala such an impressive first live effort from TesseracT, too. The set list that is presented on both platforms makes the recording just as impressive. Audiences will be interested to note that while the DVD presents one of TesseracT’s shows and the CD presents a wider array of performances, the set list still remains in tact through it all. That is especially interesting to note. It would have been easy for the band and those at Century Media to simply re-organize the tracks on the CD side. They opted not to do that, though opting instead to keep everything the same. As wild as it may seem, in keeping the set lis the same even being split up among a variety of concerts it actually makes even better the view of the band’s live show. Sure, mixing up the tracks would have still given its own view of the band’s live show in its own right. But having them in the same order even among the band’s different live shows as set against the band’s full live show on Scala makes the experience in whole all the richer and in turn enjoyable. that being the case, it shows once more why Odyssey/Scala belongs in any TesseracT fan’s music library and in any critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.
On related note, the set list that is featured across both of the set’s discs is especially interesting to note in that both lift liberally from the band’s current body of work. The band currently has two full-length records under its belt and two EPs (I.E. four total releases). The band lifted from each one of those releases for this recording. So even with the band still technically being a relatively young act, it is safe to say that the set list culled for Odyssey/Scala is a career-spanning set. That makes the set list even more important to the whole of this recording.
The set list and overall presentation of Odyssey/Scala are both integral in their own way to its success and enjoyment. While both are key to its success and enjoyment, an examination of the concerts’ production values is just as worth noting here, too. Audiences will especially appreciate the production values incorporated into Scala, the presentation’s DVD side. The audio mix was relatively well-balanced even with the concert having been recorded at what looks like a venue that did not look that large. The real star in terms of the production values here is its cinematography. Thanks to the work of the concert’s camera crew, the concert looks more like a top-notch music video than a live show. Even with the venue seemingly not being overly large, the camera crew managed to get into spaces that give a good view of the packed house and its rabid reaction to the band’s show as well as equally impressive views of the band itself. On another level, the combined efforts of the camera crew and director created shots and movements that served to heighten even more the emotion of the band’s performance. This is so important to the whole of the show because the band didn’t spend much time in the show interacting with the audience. Rather it let the music do the talking. And together with the work of the camera crew, the band speaks volumes. Their combined work makes Scala stand out brightly and proudly.
The production values incorporated into Scala make more than worth the watch by audiences including both the band’s fans and critics alike. On the other side of the set, the audio mix in Odyssey’s concerts is fairly impressive for the most part. Though it can’t be denied that it isn’t perfect. There are some points at which front man Daniel Tompkins gets drowned out by his band mates throughout the shows. It isn’t overwhelming in the grand scheme of things. But it is noticeable enough to be mentioned. And even so, when examined in comparison to the production values of the rest of Odyssey and those of Scala it is hardly enough to do any noticeable damage to the enjoyment of Odyssey/Scala. Because it doesn’t really take away too much from the whole of the set, Odyssey/Scala it can still be said that the overall production values incorporated into Odyssey/Scala as a whole play their own important role in the set’s overall enjoyment and success. When considered with both the package’s set list and the general presentation on CD and DVD, all three elements show collectively exactly why Odyssey/Scala is an impressive live debut for TesseracT and a piece that is deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings overall.
Odyssey/Scala proves itself in plenty of ways to be one of this year’s best new live recordings overall. It is just as impressive of a debut live recording for the UK-based prog-metal band. It proves this thanks to the overall presentation of its CD and DVD platform. The set list presented on both platforms is just as key to the package’s enjoyment and success. The production values incorporated into each of the presented shows roudns out the package’s positives. Each of the noted elements plays its own important role in the enjoyment and success of these presentations. Collectively, they show once again just how much there is to appreciate about this package. All things considered, Odyssey/Scala shows in the end to be a piece that every one of TesseracT’s fans should have in their own music libraries and a piece that deserves a place on any critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings overall. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from TesseracT’s online store at http://www.bandstores.co.uk/shop/tesseractstore/proddetail.php?prod=esm_Tesseract_liveDVD&cat=2292. More information on Odyssey/Scala is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:
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