Kayo Dot is what it's members describe as the continuation of Maudlin of the Well. Despite their small following, Maudlin of the Well gained a reputation for being one of the most arty and original bands in modern metal. Kayo Dot's debut, Choirs of the Eye
quickly generated much respect from critics and fans while evolving majorly from the style of Maudlin of the Well.
Toby Driver - compositions, guitar, cello, bells, double-bass, keyboard
Greg Massi - guitar, voice
Mia Matsumiya - violin, viola
Ryan McGuire- bass guitar, double-bass, keyboard
Forbes Graham - trumpet, euphonium, guitar
John Carchia - guitar
Tom Malone - drums
All things considered, the tiny amount of success that Kayo Dot enjoys is really quite unfair. They are, after all, one of the most most forward thinking bands in modern music and unlike a great majority of bands in their genre (metal, if you can limit them to one), Kayo Dot aren't afraid to experiment, delve into other genres and just generally do what they want. However, taking Kayo Dot's music into account, it's really not surprising that their second album has been released on a record label run out of a small house and that they play to tiny audiences all over the US.
Like the band's last record, Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tounge
consists of five tracks of varying length. In this case, the longest is 18 minutes and the shortest comes just short of the 8 minute mark. The sheer amount of material contained in the hour that the album lasts for can take many listens to become familar with. Throughout the record, Kayo Dot switch effortlessly between doom metal, prog rock, modern classical, jazzy passages, ambient music and even grindcore. This genre blending isn't really as interesting as the way it seems to have been put together. Rather than writing such groundbreaking music for the sake of "pushing the boundaries", it feels much like Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tounge
is just what Toby Driver happened to have in his head at the time of writing the album.
An appealing aspect of Kayo Dot seems to be the fact that they are able to make just about anything sound interesting. The vast majority of the 18 minute "...On Limpid Form" consists feedback, droning ambience and the name noisy outbursts of heavy guitar. By the end of the song, the whole thing sounds like an eerie train squeaking and squealing with random hits of drums here and there. In a stark contrast, second track "Immortelle and Paper Caravelle" is a beautiful, soft and slow piece featuring brass, strings and Toby Driver's Jeff Buckley esque vocals. The album's opener, "Gemini Becoming The Tripod" sees Driver wailing in a way that Mike Patton or Trent Reznor would if they were on the verge of suicide. The track is nothing but an enormous 10 minute buildup with Driver's vocals becoming more and more desperate until the track reaches it's conclusion.
Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tounge
has established Kayo Dot as one of the most forward thinking bands in modern music and solidified their reputation as a band. A highly excellent release from one of the most interesting bands of recent times.
- Phenomenal musicianship and composition
- Genre blending
- Emotional intensity
- Listening to the whole album is a big effort
- Some long passages of noise and ambience will bore some listeners
Immortelle and Paper Caravelle
Aura on an Asylum Wall
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5