Xenograft/Kettlespider/Bear the Mammoth – Split (EP)


Album

Split (EP)

Label

Self-released

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Dream Theater - T.R.A.M - Scale the Summit

Summary

Instrumental split from local trio.

Rating

65 / 100

Instrumental bands ask a bit more of the casual listener. It’s not so much an issue of over-stepping the welcome by forcing the fan to pay more attention, but it does take more to get accustomed.

However, acknowledging this is to also acknowledge this musical flavour is in vogue at the moment. Think Animals As Leaders and Scale the Summit.

It’s a pretty simple proposition here – a trio of local prog-influenced bands coming together to create a new three-way split release.

Xenograft’s opening contribution, ‘Victimentia’ sounds like the b-side of T.R.A.M’s impressive ‘Lingua Franca’. Odd metre compositions, saxophones and a strong tempo. The strength is the variety. The track transitions and sustains – almost a reflection of a group of individuals who spent a considered amount of time jamming to Rush in their bedrooms.

Kettlespider, on the back of last year’s debut ‘Avadante’, again channel their obvious Dream Theater fondness. ‘The Transcent’ is distinctively and suitably contrasting in comparison to Xenograft’s creation. The keys take early prominence, with a mid-tempo pulse greeting the ears. It’s well paced if nothing else. For a style that by essence is harder to grasp, Kettlespider have a certain accessibility to them. The half time, early-to-middle section allows for the listener to get involved.

Bear the Mammoth’s ‘Sea Caesar’ is more alternative in tone. A moody construct, the track cascades based on feel. It’s rhythmic, with the drums and bass lines working in clear unison.

The subsequent remixes are a quirky little extra that add a bit of additional touch to the release. However, as a general statement don’t really have much importance overall.

Let’s face it, split release are a gamble, if not a risk. Much like group assignments at uni, if one person (or rather, band in this case) fails to deliver, it reflects badly on the collective. The charm is that each band presents something different from the next, but in terms of delivery and production it all stands on an equal plane.
 

Conclusion

DIY in approach, this three way split is honest and clear cut. The absence of vocals isn’t a deterrent. Worth a look in for fans of instrumental music.

Tracklisting

1. Xenograft – Victimentia 
2. Kettlespider – The Transcent
3. Bear the Mammoth – Sea Caesar 
4. Xenograft – Algebraic (Victimentia Glasfrosch Remix) 
5. Kettlespider – The Transcent (Dreyfus Remix) 
6. Bear the Mammoth – Sea Caesar (FM Surgeon Remix)

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