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Kettlespider - Avadante CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.90 | 94 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars Recently a number of bands have emerged that fuse a 'light' progressive metal tone with an overtly hard rock styling with neo-progish overtones to create an incredible dense, lush sound. Bands like Haken, Sylvan, and Disperse have been gathering large followings due to their potent tone, infectious use of potent melody, and a creative use of classic progressive rock stylings mixed with modern technique. A new face to come to this scene is the Aussie group Kettlespider, who utilize many of the same approach to craft their debut album Avadante. The album, while short, contains numerous moments of wonderfully crafted melodies, deep and dense instrumentation, and enjoyable compositions.

Avadante is truly an epic album, although more in the style of its music than the length of the album or breadth in scope. The instrumentation is designed in a complex, thick, and almost lush way, mixing heavy guitar riffs with viscous synth tones to make an incredibly powerful medley of sound. However, the band not only masters the mélange of heavy and thick but also the harmony of dual guitars playing a slightly gentler melodic riff over lighter keyboard lines. The album is full of memorable melodies played effectively by the band's five instrumentalists that make this album shine with musical light.

Instrumentally, the band scores yet again. Each of the guys quite obviously knows what they're doing, as every part is played to its full potential so that the entire arrangement expresses its best qualities. The intense, heavy sections have their necessary degree of punch; the gentle sections have their tender need for emotion; the airy moments have their required space. To top it off, the production of the album is perfect for every song that's presented on the album: clean, transparent, and natural to give each song room to explore its sonic ability rather than confining a song's potential due to technical difficulties.

However, while the album is obviously full of great musical moments, excellent musicianship, well-crafted compositions and more, I feel like something is missing from the otherwise complete album. Other than the fact that I think it's quite a short album, I feel that either vocals or a similar texture such as a wind instrument would have added a supreme color to the otherwise wonderful aural painting. Another aspect is the fact that the lack of lyrical value leaves a lack of creative expression for the album, especially because the album is in fact a concept album. While the journey of our nameless protagonist can be seen through the excellent progression of musical themes - there is a clear, although it sounds cliché, beginning, middle, and end - I feel as though a vocal exploration of themes would add a fantastic new element to be considered to this album and leaves a bit of a gap in the album's whole.

Overall, though, this album leaves little to be desired. The album has what most fans of heavy progressive rock want - great riffs, an excellent utilization of melody, strong keyboards, and great musicianship. While the compositions can border on 'standard' or, dare I say, cheesy at a few brief moments during the album and the album lacks a vocal element, the album still is incredibly strong in its musical direction, execution, and creativity. The album is a must for those who like either like their progressive metal to be on the light side or their progressive rock to be on the heavy side, as it's a great rendezvous in the middle ground of the two. The band shows quite clearly they have an incredible ability to make great music, and this album shows that they have the potential to do even greater work, and I look forward to it. 4- stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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