21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Static Tensions (Audio CD)
I can safely say, right off the bat, that Kylesa have knocked out one of the albums of the year with Static Tensions. It's a fairly bold statement considering we're only a quarter of the way through 2009 but this album really is a stormer.
Kylesa's sound is pretty hard to pin down - they use elements of stoner rock, doom, hardcore, metal and good old fashioned psychedelic rock to paint a Jackson Pollock-esque musical landscape. At first Kylesa's music seems messy as it jumps around all over the place, they have two vocalists (three on past albums) and their songs do seem to blur together somewhat. If you give them the time to sink in, you realise everything is so finely crafted and considered it forms a bigger, more textural and elaborate picture.
Kylesa employ two drummers, which may seem a tad overindulgent but they lock together in time so well that often it seems there's only one. What would the point be you ask of having two drummers that sound like one drummer? If you've ever seen a band with two drummers live, then you'll not be asking that question.
Static Tensions is most definitely the peak of Kylesa's career so far. Their previous two albums were both great but lacked something. Without doubt, Static Tensions has this - the elusive aspect of melody. A wee bit of a taboo when discussing a metal band - I'm not talking about a Disney theme amount of melody here - but just the right amount to offset the riffs and stampede of drums; and most of all - so every single track locks iteslf into your mind in some form or another.
Every track has a recognisable vocal hook of some kind - a catchy bridge riff or breakdown or intro - there's always something going on. The two drum kits are split left and right and pretty much everything else runs through the centre of the mix. Everything is tight and clear enough for Static Tensions to be forceful and heavy without being sludgy.
One of the key factors of this being a brilliant record is the complete lack of throw-away material. I'll be honest - as I've mentioned, the tracks to blur together a bit because they jump around stylistically so often, but when every track is this good, who cares?
The only band they can really be compared to is Mastodon. They aren't as obsessed with virtuoso prowess as Mastodon and have a much darker Neurosis-like tension. Whereas Mastodon are losing focus as they mature - Kylesa are getting better and better. A perfect example where the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.
Hopefully Static Tensions will garner the attention and respect Kylesa deserve, they've definitely earned it.
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Initial post: 22 Jun 2012 20:42:17 BDT
Great review. I think Kylesa use two drummers in the same way that The Allman Bros. Band used them. It adds a different facet to their sound that works so well.
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