Van Halen, ELP and Hella never knew they had that much in common -- that is, until Darediablo. The Gotham trio of drummer Chad Royce, keyboardist Matt Holford and guitarist/bassist Jake Garcia have been kicking up an instrumental din for six years now, jabbing shards of metal and jazz sideways into dense, epic prog-rock constructions. The group's breakthrough album, 2003's Feeding Frenzy, reveled in an almost garage-level penchant for scuffed textures and grooves, but its new disc, Twenty Paces, is a chiseled edifice of precision riffs that showcases Holford's Keith-Emerson-in-a-hockey-rink keyboard style. Not to be outdone is Garcia's labyrinthine noodling, a Miami Vice-worthy workout of teeming melody and knuckle-knotting solos. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine David Lee Roth splitting his pants trying to keep up with Darediablo's dizzying virtuosity -- but even without a vocalist, the group's sparse, kinetic setup sings.
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