Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Kylesa - 'Exhausting Fire' (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 02/10/2015
Label: Season of Mist



“Exhausting Fire” will no doubt disappoint some who will not be happy with the move away from the band’s traditional style. For many though, this will represent another bold step forward for Kylesa – a pioneering band, once again at the forefront of forward-thinking heavy music.


‘Exhausting Fire’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Crusher
02. Inward Debate
03. Moving Day
04. Lost and Confused
05. Shaping The Southern Sky
06. Falling
07. Night Drive
08. Blood Moon
09. Growing Roots
10. Out Of My Mind
11. Paranoid (bonus track)

Kylesa is:

Philip Cope | guitar, vocals
Laura Pleasants | guitar, vocals
Carl McGinley | drums

The Review :

The weight of expectation lies heavy on “Exhausting Fire”. Kylesa honed their unique brand of epic crusty sludge to perfection on 2009’s monumental “Static Tensions”. Since then the Savannah band have released two albums (“Spiral Shadow” and “Ultraviolet”) that would be judged awesome by most bands’ standards. However in comparison to earlier releases they felt strangely unsatisfying. Although both records featured forays into poppier territory and an expansion of their psychedelic horizons, the majority of the material felt like it was happy to retread past glories. “Exhausting Fire”, however, feels like the triumphant next step in Kylesa’s sonic evolution.

Aptly titled opener, “Crusher” displays all of the elements that make this record great. Speed is
sacrificed for a crunching mid pace chug acting as the perfect backdrop for Laura Pleasants’ powerful vocals. This is the crucial difference from the Kylesa of old – there are virtually no harsh vocals on this album. Instead, Pleasants’ stronger-than-ever singing voice dominates and Phillip Cope provides an array of styles from semi-spoken-word to a tuneful bark. He even manages to cover this entire range in the space of one track on the bizarrely brilliant “Night Drive”.

The other key difference here is the melding of heaviness and melody. In the past, songs have either been pummelling onslaughts or more subdued experiments into calmer territory, but “Exhausting Fire” takes the approach of exploring both styles in the space of single songs. “Inward Debate”, “Lost and Confused” and “Out of My Mind” all meld trademark crushing riffs to a swirling US indie rock sounds, reminiscent of the likes of Built to Spill, for maximum impact. The band also push further into areas hinted at on previous releases. “Shaping the Southern Sky” is a slab of stoner classic rock complete with a proper, traditional guitar solo while “Moving Day” is a soaring, sky-scraping thunderous pop ballad in the style of Torche at their most stirring. This is possibly the album’s highlight with the other competitor for this title being “Growing Roots”. Starting with a spiky, angular riff that could’ve come straight from Mastodon’sRemission”, the track builds into an anthemic refrain, ramping up the intensity until breaking point.

Exhausting Fire” will no doubt disappoint some who will not be happy with the move away from the band’s traditional style. For many though, this will represent another bold step forward for Kylesa – a pioneering band, once again at the forefront of forward-thinking heavy music.




‘Exhausting Fire’ is available here

Band info: facebook

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