Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Static Tensions

I can't lie to you, it took me seeing them in a live setting to fully appreciate and enjoy the music of Kylesa. I took a chance and decided to see a live show and was hooked instantaneously with their massive sound and high energy, both of which I felt were missing from their records. Not that their first three releases were bad, I just never could quite grasp what they were trying to do. I liked what I was hearing, but it never floored me and I always thought that it could easily be so much better with just a little tweaking. With their fourth and newest album, Static Tensions, this Savannah, Georgia five piece have remedied this, evoking the gods of thunder with one of the best releases for 2009 thus far and is right on par with what they deliver live.

As with their previous material, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint what kind of music Kylesa can be categorized as. Part experimental, part sludge, part psychedelic stoner metal; they are big, loud, and full of piss and vinegar. It is heavy music at its finest, with massive amounts of percussion(having two, yes two stellar drummers), heavy guitar work, and brutal vocals from two very distinct vocalists. The album gets things started out just right with "Scapegoat", with a thunderous groove established by drummers, Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez. Now is a great time to praise to these hitters of the skins, who provide the driving force behind the entire album, with effective poly-rhythmic play and tribal unison sessions which makes this album one of the best by far in terms of percussive work. Guitarist/vocalist and founder Phillip Cope lay down a heavy pallet of fuzzy guitar noise and chunky riffage that thickens the stew and adds more to the overall power of the album itself. Guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants puts most men in the metal world to shame with her guitar work, perfect tone choices, and lead lines that pour out of her Les Paul GoldTop and snake through the thick, meaty wall of heaviness that is barreling out of control, full-throttle for the majority of the album. Laura's vocals range from full-on growls to clean tonal vocals that are treated almost like another instrument in the mix. Cope's vocals are a bit more one dimensional and gruff, providing a great contrast with the others on the record. Like a lot of great heavy albums, all of the tracks bleed into one another and listens better as a whole than broken up into parts. Highlights include "Said and Done" and "Unknown Awareness" with a lead guitar line that will worm its way through your ear and ring in your head for days after.

If you like heavy music, you will like this record. Something for everyone, from speed freaks to lovers of psychedelic post rock. Kylesa has truly found itself with Static Tensions, therefore things are looking great for their future. -Andrew Bryant

you can purchase the album here

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