Releases information:CD Tzadik #7092 (2003)Kayo Dot. One of those new prog bands out there today, but alot more different... Out with the repetitions. Out with retro prog and thier clones and say hello to the unique world that is Avant-garde music. Strange, dark, beautiful, wierd and abstract are the words I mostly use when I talk about Kayo Dot and at times it isn't enough. It's kind of hard to explain in words, but that's why I'm here and that's what I'll be trying to do in the next few minutes.
First of all, let me start by saying that even if they are in the Prog metal genre they clearly are more Avant-garde than other prog metal bands. Led by some maudlin of the Well members and other more people along the way. Toby Driver has clearly becomed more matured in his songwritting since maudlin of the Well disbanded, but it still carries some resemblance to maudlin of the Well.
The first time I heard them I was left with my mouth open and very disoriented. I didn't knew what to think. Was it bad? was it good? Did they ever repeated a single rift? Man, this is hard stuff to swallow. The second time I heard them I became more interested in their music, but still didn't feel like I understood completly what they were trying to do and I still thought that they never repeated a single rift! After some more listens and getting more used to their sound I actually liked the abstract feel to their sound and the mix between metal and post-rock and yet not sounding clearly like both was a very interesting thing for me. I've heard previous Avant-garde bands and I appreciated them far more easily than this one even if we're talking about one of the hardest genres to get into.
Indeed this is an aquired taste and clearly not for casual prog listeners. This band can make dissonant sounds into art. They can go from ambient like post-rock to full blown distortion guitar, screaming vocals and just plain noisy and done with such a finess that its mindbogling. They use every instrument they play very well and it all makes part of the strange heavy, dark and gentle atmosphere. The vocal parts doesn't have chorus or hooks you can sing to. There are other parts that are poems and Toby Driver recites them in a very soft voice like in The Manifold Curiosity.
Overall, this is a masterpiece of progressive music from start to finish. Not ment to be for everyone for the complex and very difficult nature of the music, but if you're willing to give this album a try, be sure to pay a lot of attention to it and don't give up if the first, second or third listen is too much or too hard for you.
And thus I'll leave you with a frase that helped me alot in understanding Kayo Dots music, I'm sure it'll be helpful for others too: It's not about "getting it" ; it's more about "feeling it"
5/5 A masterpiece of progressive music.(Ruben Dario)
Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it.