Kettlespider: Avadante

Assured Aussie prog debut: wot no vocals?

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Creating a lush, heavy prog that avoids the temptation to rope in an unwarranted metallic frame, this debut from Melbourne’s Kettlespider is mightily inspired. They’re a a purely instrumental act, and that puts pressure on the musicianship: it simply has to be outstanding or the listener loses interest. Fortunately, Kettlespider are more than accomplished at producing the sort of memorable hooks that the genre requires, and they perform it with cocky self-assurance.

Crucially, while they have an abundance of technical ability, they resist the temptation to show off. Instead, the music is thoughtfully constructed and has a clear direction.

That’s not to say that it’s an instantly gratifying album. At times it’s a demanding listen, but invest time to fully absorb the intricacies of Avadante and you’ll comprehend just what they have achieved.

Discovery has the thumping bombast and stadium aura of Muse, the bravely titled Comatose is a placid, mournful track that oozes class, and New Eyes possesses a colossal wave of sound becoming of more seasoned bands. The only concern is what a such a high-calibre band can realistically achieve without a vocalist centre-stage.