Kettlespider - Avadante
- Prog - Instrumental
- For Fans Of.
- Scale the Summit - Dream Theater - Sydonia
- On the right track.
While the convenient and perhaps simplistic musical habits dictate that listening to tried and true sounds is the safe option, sometimes it's beneficial to open the eyes (or rather ears) and immerse yourself in something new.
It's not a question of what's right or wrong, or even diminishing traditional playlists. But, there's no denying that stepping away from the same tastes, which exist within a vacuum of one another, and trying something new is often a good thing.
Call it unassuming or call it a pleasant surprise, 'Avadante' is a charming, albeit subtle release.
Chances are you've never heard of Kettlespider. That's fine, no harm done. It just means the expectation is going to be low but the potential for enjoyment much higher. It's poor to assume just because you haven't heard of a group then there's no need to listen. Every band has to start somewhere and work their way up and in its own way this is an affirming thought.
Instrumental prog is a niche genre even within an already niche market. Yep, it's hit and miss. But it also has a certain appeal to it. Debut studio album 'Avadante' from these Bayside upstarts sustains the interest. Sure it is raw and a bit rough in patches but the overall feel is there.
In the absence of vocal hooks, it's the melodic, harmony lines that need to carry the sound. Otherwise, it just becomes some boring, wank fest, with extended passages and no substance. Thankfully, Kettlespider have an apparent insight into composition. Think Scale the Summit's instrumental template mixed with an adolescent fondness for Dream Theater.
Opener, 'Discovery' is a proggy dose of prominent keyboards, upbeat tempos and inter-changing rhythmic phases. While, in contrast the album's title track is a little moodier. There are certain moments that pace instead of captivate, but every little lapse is immediately replaced by a determined instrumental hook. 'Comatose' is very tranquil, while closer 'Reflections' is one of the better moments.
We're aren't going to heap praise here in some veiled re-worded press release-type review, but instead acknowledge where the album hits its marks and perhaps where it needs work too. It's a debut studio album. The full-length is not going to be flawless and it's ridiculous to even think it may be a masterpiece. What 'Avadante' is instead is honest, impassioned and the culmination of obvious individual and collective hard work.
There is still a long way to go, but if you were peaking after release one there would be something wrong. File this under the 'ones to watch' category.
Sometimes the unknown is compelling. Take away the blinkers, remove any narrow pre-determined judgements and give 'Avadante' a listen. There will be no expectations going into a first-up playing but the impact should ensure an engaging level interest.
6. New Eyes