Release Date: Oct 26, 2010
Record label: Season of Mist
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
It's hard to believe that Savannah's Kylesa have reached their fifth studio release already It’s hard to believe that Savannah’s Kylesa have reached their fifth studio release already, but when you’re a bunch of prolific songwriters like this five-strong musical machine, writing top notch material comes as naturally as the tides. And from the opening mariachi-dipped bars of ‘Tired Climb’ it’s clear that this mob have raised the bar yet again in their follow-up to 09’s ‘Static Tensions’. We love a track that catches you off guard and ‘Tired Climb’ certainly does just that, from the almost laidback intro that lulls you into a false sense of serenity, it’s as if terra firma crumbles as Kylesa drop you into a swirling sonic abyss loaded with swathes of wah and a full battery of fire and brimstone drums.
With 2009's astonishingly tight and fearsomely heavy don't-call-it-a-crossover crossover album, Static Tensions, still ringing in fans' ears, Kylesa burst back immediately with a "psychedelic" record that trashes everything you might expect from the genre in the 21st century, whether that means whimsical hippie folk or too-drugged-to-boogie sludge. A metal band to the bone, Kylesa stomp the clichés right out of psych-rock on Spiral Shadow. The Georgia band's new album, their fifth in less than a decade, is the next step in a pretty seamless evolution that's hidden increasingly complex (and catchy!) music behind an attack that still hits with the in-the-red rawness of hardcore.
It has only been a year since the Savannah metal quintet Kylesa unleashed its breakthrough album, Static Tensions, to the unsuspecting world. The band's last gap between records was the three years that separated 2006’s Time Will Fuse Its Worth from Static. Therefore, it’s initially a little hard to consider Spiral Shadow, Kylesa's fifth album, without noting that it’s being released barely outside of Static’s considerable shadow.
Right before Kylesa’s breakthrough fourth album Static Tensions was released, guitarist Phillip Cope was already thinking ahead. Although he and his bandmates had every right to rest on their laurels thanks to a record that was far and away the best thing the Savannah, Georgia band had ever put out, Cope was already preoccupied with ideas of how he could top that album. The fact was, after an extended formative period in which Kylesa had slowly found its own sound, Static Tensions hinted that the band was on the cusp of a significant creative streak, something which was not lost on the musicians.
Crackling with jam band elasticity, Kylesa's 2009 Prosthetic disc Static Tensions broke from these Savannah, Ga., marauders' more staid metal past. Spiral Shadow assimilates both paradigms as if Jane's Addiction and Kyuss shared leathers. Poster Children's indie chants underlie "Cheating Synergy," but the snake-charming slide guitar a minute and a half into "Crowded Road" plants a flag here raised again in the canyon cry of "Distance Closing In." The title track's siren riff loosens seismic depth charges.