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Kettlespider: Avadante

Hailing from the land down under in Melbourne, Australia, comes Heavy Prog/Prog Metal band Kettlespider. Kettlespider was formed in 2011, and released their instrumental debut, Avadante, in 2012. This album adds a light touch to the Progressive Metal riffs, giving it an almost Neo Prog feel, and as a result has (in my opinion) a lot of crossover appeal for fans of both the lighter and heavier forms of Prog. I would describe the style to be a bit like Liquid Tension Experiment but with the "riffage" factor turned down, which may disappoint those who are fans of insanely fast and tight riffs, but attract others who are turned off by the "over-complicated-ness" of bands like LTE. There is a sense of accessibility to this album, without being simplistic I think it boils down to being a sort of subtle complexity. One of the things I loved about this album was how the band showed off more than one side of themselves, artistically speaking: the first few tracks were a bit heavier, more on the side of what you might expect from an instrumental band labeled by some as Progressive Metal, and then they turned it way down for "Comatose". This track was more ambient and peaceful, with the piano playing a big role. Mixing this track in with the others in this way added to the overall beauty of the album in a big way. Each of the instrumentalists shows skill and competency, and the arrangements show maturity with good contrasts between light and heavy, good timing, good buildups to climactic moments, and enough technicality to keep the listener interested and engaged. My one critique would be that I do feel like the band could use a more present melodic element, whether that be coming from a singer, or perhaps the addition of another instrument, say a flute, violin, or saxophone (to name a few possibilities). But the band has shown an excellent sense of compositional structure and thoughtfulness in this album, and I look forward to seeing what they produce next.

Track listing:
1. Introduction
2. Discovery
3. Avadante
4. Comatose
5. Revelations
6. New Eyes
7. Reflections

Added: September 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Geoff Glenister
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2476
Language: english

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Kettlespider: Avadante
Posted by Jordan Blum, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-09-03 13:11:45
My Score:

With a diverse range of influences, including Karnivool, Devin Townsend, Dream Theater, Animals as Leaders, Symphony X, Camel, and BTBAM, Australian quintet Kettlespider has a lot to live up to on its debut, Avadante. Fortunately, the group more than satisfies expectations, as the record is a wonderfully intricate yet accessible and melodic collection of instrumentals. You'll have no trouble becoming lost in the engaging rhythms and affective progressions.

The ominous brevity of "Introduction" provides the ideal segue for "Discovery," which is Avadante's true first track. Although it features your standard progressive metal construction (guitar riff patterns, wild syncopation, complex counterpoints), the timbres and focus on appeal over virtuosity makes it quite pleasant. The title track ventures into more frantic territory without ever losing its focus, while "Comatose" is certainly among the most emotional and soothing pieces here. It contains some beautiful passages and luscious piano work. As for "Revelations," it feels the most generic out of everything here, but it's still worthwhile, and the final two tracks, "New Eyes" and "Reflections," conclude Avadante with more touching density.

Avadante doesn't contain anything too new; rather, it reimagines familiar tropes in exciting ways, and the way it all flows together is nice. Kettlespider deserves all the praise it has gotten thus far, and most of their contemporaries could learn a few things about allowing mood and delicacy to come before showmanship. I for one can't wait to hear what these guys do next.

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