Nothing says progressive better than twisting musical narratives and sudden turns off easy street and down the road less travelled. The Custodian understand that it’s this ride and not the end destination, that yields the most reward for the listener.
To this end they pile a multitude of influences into their debut album, from electronics reminiscent of A Natural Disaster-era Anathema (Stop Talking) to zig-zagging Eastern guitar lines (Other People’s Lives) and splashes of jarring organ to bolster otherwise silky riffs.
Tying this together is a remarkable ear for melody nurtured during vocalist, drummer and guitarist Richard Thomson’s stint at the head of UK metal outfit Xerath. Stretches of this album are left to the band, as they pick their way back to a hook used minutes ago, one they’d nestled somewhere among tinkling acoustic guitars and warm sprouts of synth.
At times this does become a little meandering and the lyrics are sometimes too vague to really latch onto (voyeurism, religion and technology all feature). However, The Custodian’s feel for a tune is almost unrivalled among newly formed progressive acts.
Time wasted? Maybe. Necessary? Oh, absolutely.