Kylesa Spiral Shadow
Published Oct 23, 2010Kylesa are on a roll. The Georgia-based sludge/doom/experimental band released their best album to date, Static Tensions, in March of last year, and now they've gone and followed that up with what is, again, their best album to date. On this disc, their fifth full-length, the band have their double-drummer barrage fine-tuned to a subtle, sharp point ― right off the bat, "Tired Climb" proves that the skin beaters are dialled into each other in a big way. "Cheating Synergy" is what happens when iTunes craps out and starts playing your Iron Maiden and Neurosis songs at the same time, with spectacular results. "Don't Look Back" is the most melodic the band have ever been. "To Forget" showcases the band's haunting female vocals, percussive smarts and melodies that made make me think of Coverdale/Page occasionally, but still rock, regardless. And while the title track comes late in the album, it's Spiral Shadows' thematic centrepiece, ten-and-a-half minutes of what this band do best: tripped-up, exploratory doom, like a Neurosis you can actually just listen to at any point in the day. Amazingly, the song seems like it passes in a mere four minutes, a sure sign that this band have hit their sweet spot.
You've said you weren't listening to a lot of metal while writing this record.
Guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants: I wasn't listening to too much metal other than classic Slayer or Metallica. We're inspired by various kinds of music and I was listening to stuff that was all over the place stylistically. I've named off a few bands here and there that I may have been listening to at the time but I wouldn't say that one band in particular influenced the record or my songwriting. It's more of a collection of musical memories that inspire me or certain sounds or parts I may hear that subconsciously shine through.
So, is this Kylesa's non-metal album?
I don't really think Static Tensions was a total "metal" album, nor is this one.
Do you worry about experimenting too much and alienating older fans?
If you listen to our albums in chronological order, you'll hear the growth and progression of a band that have been together for almost ten years, and one that have always been open to experimentation. However, we do take our fans into consideration. There are folks who like our more straightforward side and those who like our more psychedelic, moody side; they know we have multiple personalities when it comes to some of our songs. At least, they should know by now. (Season of Mist)