Do you djent? TesseracT sure do. Forming in 2003, the prog-metal group are known as one of the pioneering acts of the polyrhythmic, brutally distorted art form, with albums such as 2013's Altered State and 2015's Polaris cementing their name atop of the prog-metal pole. Powered by the dual guitar interplay of Acle Kahney and James Monteith and the awe-inspiring bass playing of Amos Williams, TesseracT's dark new LP Sonder made a splash at number 47 on the Australian charts upon release, and their success shows absolutely no signs of slowing. With an Australian tour set to kick off in Perth, wrap your head around the assortment of gear you can expect to see on stage when TesseracT touch down in September.
MAYONES REGIUS 7 STRING
Lead shredder Acle Kahney tends to favour a seven-string Mayones Regius from the manufacturer's Polish custom shop, featuring a swamp ash body with a beefy 27" scale and fitted with two Bareknuckle Aftermath pickups. However, it's unlikely you'll see this instrument on tour, with Kahney telling Metal Sucks in 2013, "I intend for this to be my recording guitar and I won't take it on the road once I have another guitar to take its place live."
For live shows, both Kahney and rhythm guitarist James Monteith play an Ibanez RDG2127Z, featuring a 26.5" scale and fitted out with Lundgren Model M7 pickups. In an interview with Guitar Player Magazine, Montieth noted that his and Kahney's RGD's are tuned to Bb, F, Bb, Eb, F, Bb, Eb - a filthy tuning for maximum djentability.
MAYONES SETIUS AK1 7
In 2017, Kahney was blessed with his own limited run of signature models from Mayones, based around their Setius model. Boasting a Monolith Black pored body with an American Ash Top, the Setius AK1 7 features two Bareknuckle Black Hawk pickups as well as a Piezo pickup near the bridge for a bright acoustic tone - check out how it sounds above.
In addition to his Ibanez RDG, Monteith also plays an Ibanez LAC, featuring a 27" scale, a fixed bridge and a swamp ash body. In a recent Instagram post, TesseracT teased that Montieth is soon to be receiving a Custom Shop version of his LAC, which we can expect to see some time this year.
KIESEL AW-5 VADER
Known for his remarkable manipulation of traditional slap technqiues to emphasise TesseracT's dark polyrhythmic tones, bassist Amos Williams plays a custom-made Kiesel AW-5 Vader, which he discussed with Rock'n'Roll Journalist last year: "I have been working with Jeff Kiesel on a prototype signature version of Kiesel’s much celebrated Vader series. I have chosen Ash as a body wood, a Musicman style pickup in a position that is slightly altered to normal position, and a neck wood that has sustain and rigidity. It has been a wonderful process to tweak each element and to road test each prototype over the past year."
You can check out William's signature style of playing on a prototype model of his AW-5 Vader above.
WARWICK THUMB 5
Prior to attaining his endorsement with Kiesel, Williams recorded and toured with Warwick Thumb 5 basses, which he deemed to be an essential part of the band's heavy sound.
As key names in the world of djent, it's unsuprising to hear that TesseracT eschew traditional amplifiers in favour of profiling technologies and rack units, allowing for a heavy yet noise-free sound on stage.
While Kahney and Monteith have previously used Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier amps, the pair used the coveted Axe-FX Ultra profiling rig for both amplifier tones and effects for a number of years.
However, with the release of their new album Sonder, the pair has switched to using Kemper profiling rigs, namely the 600 Watt PowerRack, with Kahney citing convenience as the reason behind the switch in an interview with MusicRadar. "The Kempers feel more natural, more like a real amp, and they're less forgiving than an Axe-FX... it's quicker and easier to get a usable, good-sounding tone out of the Kemper, compared to the Axe-FX where you're constantly tweaking buttons."
Taking a similar approach on the bass, Williams plays straight into the PA through an Avalon DI for live shows, letting his assortment of pedals do the tone tweaking.
Both Kahney and Monteith run their guitar effects through custom patches in their profiling rigs, relying on digital technologies to come through with the distorted goods.
On the other hand, Williams uses effects pedals extensively to find his place in the mix while playing live. In a video with Reverb, which you can view above, Williams discusses the impact his effects pedals have upon his playing, naming the Darkglass MicroTubes, Darkglass Super Symmetry, MXR 10 Band Graphic EQ, Darkglass Vintage Ultra and an MXR Smart Noise Gate amongst his favourite effects.
Feature image via Lukas Holt.