Like fellow Aussie progsters Teramaze, Canberra’s Taliesin possess that rare talent of being able to combine world class chops with lush, earworm melodies almost at will. That’s not to say the two bands are soundalikes, because that’s not the case. But if you’ve developed a taste for the work of the better-known Melbourne metallers then I suggest you make your way to your local record n’tape exchange (do they still exist?) and familiarise yourself with Taliesin toot-sweet, as it were…

You can thank me later, but thank me you will, because tracks like God Damn Lies and Frustration are ball-busting epics of Premier League proportions, let me tell you. These guys actually provided Sentinel Daily with our top Australian album of 2022 in the shape of Faceless, but quite frankly Disciple is operating at another level; Blindfold, a quite sumptuous, piano-led ballad swathed in the sort of harmonies UK pomp rockers Cats In Space have made their own over the last five years, is spine tingling in it’s ambition and execution, funnelling the names of old Gods like John Miles and Sad Cafe through a mixer where they mingle with latter day prog to create something quite wonderful.

You can’t do this without a top drawer singer, and Dave Howe is just that; Operating on Blindfold in an easy-on-the-ear croon, he’s able to switch things up and copes just as well with the heavier material too, adding melody where it has no right to exist, always augmented by the very impressive guitar work of Richard Moseley and Reuben Durham. I’ve grown to dislike proggy shredding with a quiet intensity over the years, but there’s something about the way these two deploy their talent that makes it impossible not to just down tools whatever you’re doing and simply marvel at the playing. It’s flash, yes, but never ostentatious, and no note played on Discipline is wasted. A heavy metal version of Canada’s Saga? Yes please!

At just under an hour in duration, there’s a lot here to digest, but I promise you Disciple is absolutely an album that rewards effort on the listener’s part. Add it to your Christmas list today!

Disciple is out now