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Kettlespider - Kettlespider CD (album) cover

KETTLESPIDER

Kettlespider

 

Heavy Prog

4.02 | 78 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Kettlespider have released a new 2017 album called "Kettlespider", a followup to their successful 2012 debut "Avadante". The album has eight tracks to make up the 8 legs of the estranged spider. The cover sat on the kitchen table for a while and scared my wife several times as she caught sight of the crouching spider. The packaging is effective enough, replete with a cool booklet with schematics on how to construct your own mechanical arachnid in 100 easy steps. The band make an attractive centrefold, but they keep their distance; that's personal space for you. They've also hidden their 4 wheel drive but the tyre tracks are still evident. The next page is the money shot of the band, then a shot of a scruffy dog, and the next pages show the band recording in shadows, looking for a light switch. Behind the CD is another spideriffic schematic.

It is a completely instrumental album from end to end with some heavy sounds juxtaposed by quiet reflective passages. The musicians are well accomplished, and a very tight unit, having played together for some time on other projects and Kettlespider adventures. The band play on this album like their life depended on it; Fyfe on keys and squiggly bits, Ashburn and Boyd-Gerny on axes, Andrews on boom bass, and Wood on drums and banging devices.

Kettlespider explode out of the blocks with a dynamic metal crunching blaster, "The Climber". It blows the gasket off the carboretter with a ton of staccato guitar punches and a relentless rhythm section. It is followed by the more complex "Circus" with soaring lead breaks and synth swirls. The jazz trumpet sounds augment the soundscape masterfully. "Samsara" flows along beautifully with acoustic guitar flourishes and infectious rhythms.

"Break the Safe Pt. 1" is a bone jarring keyboard workout with guitar blasts and thunderous drums. "Anubis" locks into hypnotic drum beats and a melodic lead guitar riff. It flows from heavy prog to a light refreshing mood, and swings into odd time signatures. Then it submerges into soft keyboards and glorious trumpets. The awesome lead fills and sporadic tempo shifts that keep the metronome swinging in crazy directions make this one of the best on the album.

"Life" blasts out of the speakers with hammered ferocity. There are compulsive percussion and bass lines to create a fractured rhythm, then a sweeping orchestral keyboard ignites the darkness. Time meter changes and galloping guitars competing with syncopated drums make this a definitive highlight.

"Rebirth" chugs along frenetically and breaks through the prog prison into wide open spaces of free form synth pads and bass. The wall of sound permeates the atmosphere. Then the bass gets impatient and starts its own rhythm, accompanied by sporadic guitar strumming, and a lead break with hammer-ons and pull-offs and sizzling string bends. A chilling high pitched synth whine screams in with another adrenaline pumping time sig. It is a fabulous track.

The eighth leg of the spider is "Break the Safe Pt.2" closing the album wonderfully with uptempo drums and guitar vibrations competing over the retro keyboard sound. It explodes into a paroxysm of keyboard wizardry and guitar excellence. It is a great way to cap off the album.

Overall, "Kettlespider" is adventurous prog with some heavy guitar replenished by orchestrated keyboards and a relentless rhythm section. Being an instrumental album it is up to the listener to engage in whatever way they seem fit. It could be a great album to throw on to kick back to after a heavy day, or could serve as a way to fire up the imagination as the music lifts the spirit and always comes across as exciting. The musicianship is excellent and innovative so vocals are not necessary. I can recommend this album from these Australian proggers without reservation. Take the Kettlespider test and taste for yourself.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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