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Kettlespider - Kettlespider CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.92 | 92 ratings

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4 stars It's been a long time coming, but Melbourne Australia-based prog outfit Kettlespider have released their second full length album, aptly self-titled.

While "Avadante", their 2012 first album, was immensely enjoyable, KS have really hit their stride with this newest release. Production quality is through the roof, and is a real testament to how the industry has evolved in the past 10 years in allowing artists to self-record/produce their products to an extremely high standard. The drums are tight, punchy, and sit comfortably in the mix; both the trained musicians' and average punters' ear can easily pick out everything going on rhythmically. I've always been enamoured with this bands choice of tones for their guitars/bass, from their more focused, djent like riffs, crunchy beefy chords, to their softer clean tones. This, coupled with a fat bass tone that reminds me of early Karnivool releases, keep the rhythm sections of the songs fat but tight and nuanced enough to hear all the overtones going on. With the addition of some choice snyth/keyboard lines accompanying everything, it really builds a massive foundation for the lead lines to sit comfortably over. Expanding their instrumentation to include horns in certain parts of songs really helped add a new layer to what was already an impressive expression of what an instrumental band can do without a singer. In a world of countless 7, 8, 9 string wielding prog bands, these guys have produced a crushingly heavy album that would give bands like Periphery a run for their money.

While I would already give this album more than a passing grade just from the production and soundscape alone, it's the bands songwriting that really it home for me. As with a lot of instrumental acts, it mostly falls down to the melody, in my opinion, to keep a listener interested in a song without a vocalist. KS have an exceptional talent at coming up with catchy melodies and themes that keep me coming back for more. They'll establish a theme, and go to town on it. Whether it's a subtle shift in timing, or two songs down the listing, they'll bring the theme back in a different way, but in a way that aids the song/album as a whole. Influences from bands like Opeth for their almost dream-like landscape clean parts, or Dream Theater's tight, complex timing and rhythm sections, shine through in their virtuosic playing throughout the album. Coupled with some choice, beautiful piano parts, some absolute ripping guitar solos, and a few tasty jazz-fusion style horn solos, KS have really nailed down their sound that they started out with in "Avadante". That said, I would have loved to hear a few more piano leads in the songs, as the melodies are mostly dominated by the guitars/horns; I think the album would have benefited from a few more keyboard-led lead lines.

Complex, catchy, and most importantly just fun to listen to. Kettlespider have released something really special. The album easily sits as my favourite release for 2017.

Must hears: Circus Anubis Rebirth (dat goddamn lead line, my god that's catchy)

proggybeev | 4/5 |


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