KAYO DOT — Choirs Of The Eye

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KAYO DOT - Choirs Of The Eye cover
4.25 | 54 ratings | 10 reviews
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Album · 2003

Tracklist

1. Marathon (10:13)
2. A Pitcher of Summer (5:47)
3. The Manifold Curiosity (14:26)
4. Wayfarer (10:39)
5. The Antique (14:38)

Total Time: 55:46

Line-up/Musicians

- Toby Driver / guitar, vocals, cello
- Sam Gutterman / drums
- Nicholas Kyte / bass, vocals
- Greg Massi / guitar, vocals
- Mia Matsumiya / violin, viola
- Terran Olson / clarinet, flute, piano, keyboards, saxophone
- Benjie Messer / trumpet
- Sam Minnich / french horn
- Adam Scott / trumpet

About this release

CD Tzadik #7092 (2003)

Thanks to progkidjoel, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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KAYO DOT CHOIRS OF THE EYE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

bartosso
Kayo Dotted

I hate reviewing albums older than 10 years, critically acclaimed, or albums unique to the point where any comparison to other stuff is nonsensical. Guess what, Choirs of the Eye matches every single of these criteria. I've been postponing this for far too long, though. No more silence! No more running. Let's do it! Kayo Dot, the veterans of all things experimental, extreme and eclectic, can't wait to hear me singing their praises. Oh, and I shall... even though I lied, they don't give a shit.

Choirs of the Eye's the first album from Kayo Dot but by no means should it be considered a debut. Toby Driver and his crew were already seasoned musicians back than in 2003, having released three maudlin of the Well albums and some other stuff on the side. Now, this album can't be perceived as metal, or even experimental rock for the very structure of it follows modern classical/chamber music standards. And yes, the pace may remind you of doom metal, some themes draw heavily on black and death metal and soothing presence of post-rock sound is undeniable. Still, the core of this record is the modern classical background of Toby Driver. Unlike many modern composers, however, Toby focuses on the emotional impact and artistic expression rather than form and pure experimentation. And that's exactly what makes this album a deep and thrilling experience.

Kayo Dot is one of those bands that you just shouldn't overlook. If you do, you miss an opportunity to experience something unique and deeply moving. Kayo Dot prove that pushing the envelope can result in something more than a mash up of genres. And if avant-garde experimentation not only with sound but with the very form too doesn't repel you, give it a go. It truly is postmodern music at its finest.
siLLy puPPy
The first album from KAYO DOT after the end of Toby Driver and company's other unique creation Maudlin Of The Well. Unlike that band this is a lot more experimental and well... strange. It's less about juxtoposing diverse genres side by side and more about mangling them up into an appropriate fusion. The result is something that I like better as it sounds more refined. Not sure what the influences are here but to me it sounds like a fusion of Krautrock, black metal, abstract classical and some freak folk with occasional avant-jazzy horns. Basically a complex and highly layered atmospheric experience that sounds like nothing else i've heard.

This is one of those albums that you have to be in the right mood for. If you're not then it's jarring and irritating. There have been times I tried to listen to this and had to take it off immediately. If you are in the right frame of mind, this is a satisfying listen. The music is so airy and free that it's like a ride on the ethers. In fact i feel kinda like a little dandelion seed that has been whisked away from the parent plant and aimlessly directed in the gentle wind with intermittant violent eddies taking me on a different course. I can't say I like to listen to this very often but when I have the urge to take a musical journey of the avant-garde then this is one that can take me down the rabbit hole.
Warthur
Kayo Dot are a splinter faction formed after the breakup of maudlin of the Well. Whereas their predecessor band made pretentious claims of using lucid dreaming to acquire music composed by ghosts in the astral plane, Kayo Dot disavowed this compositional method, and indeed the compositions do seem to be a bit more cohesive than on Bath/Leaving Your Body Map. However, their mixture of quiet and loud parts - the standard post-rock formula, really - doesn't quite work for me, mainly because I just can't bring myself to like the quiet parts, which seem rather bland and uninteresting. Still, it seems to work for some, so it might be worth giving a try - just don't feel bad if it turns out they're not to your tastes, because you're not alone.
Conor Fynes
'Choirs Of The Eye' - Kayo Dot (10/10)

For one reason or another, multi-instrumentalist and composer Toby Driver's flagship band maudlin of the Well fell apart, and from its ashes came its new incarnation, Kayo Dot. Although many of maudlin of the Well's familiar quirks tranlsated onto this new name, there was a decided change in the sound; a move towards a more experimental and avant-garde sound. To me, maudlin of the Well's sound was very curious and dreamy, like a nostalgic childhood summer. Of course, childhood does not last forever, and enter Kayo Dot, leading Toby Driver's music out of the proverbial childhood nostalgia and into a much darker and challenging adolescence, one that is much more ambiguous and even frightening. Kayo Dot's first album 'Choirs Of The Eye' therefore is something of a transition album for Toby Driver and company, featuring elements of both the carefree innocence of his earlier band, and the avant darkness of his future material with Kayo Dot. The result is a multi-faceted album that may very well be Driver's greatest achievement, but one of my favourite progressive albums ever.

Unlike maudlin of the Well- which featured comparatively accessible songwriting and a clear sense of direction- Kayo Dot's 'Choirs Of The Eye' changes the approach, leading to many moments that could feel aimless to someone who is not paying close attention the the ever-changing textures and build up. While some have described this album as post-metal, the majority of 'Choirs Of The Eye' relies on quietness rather than heaviness to get the mood across. This is an album which hits that sweet spot between variety and cohesion. There is a dreamy, otherwordly vibe to all of the music here, but the tone and dynamic is always changing. Each track encapsulates a variety of emotions. For example, the closing number 'The Antique' goes from crushingly heavy, sludgy metal to jazzy piano and muffled vocals that could have easily been plucked out of a Radiohead album. There are plenty of surprises here, and until the very end, like some sort of quiet, intellectual action movie, the listener is kept on their toes.

These compositions do not have the same cohesive feeling to them that maudlin of the Well's music had, so really besides the potential single 'A Pitcher Of Summer', these will not be tracks that get stuck in your head. Instead, you will probably find yourself getting hooked onto certain parts of each song, and it will only be after many intent listens where a listener is able to predict each of the twists and turns in this masterpiece. 'Choirs Of The Eye' can get very heavy, but these spurts of metal are usually only momentary; much of the album instead leans towards mellw tones and textures; perhaps I may use the term 'avant-post rock'? The guitars are filled with echoes and reverb to rattle around in the listener's head, but the joys of the performance here are really about the non-typical instrumentation. Above all, violinist Mia Matsumiya's performance here is jaw-dropping, taking any violin arrangement here and making the strings sing with beauty. Another fairly strange aspect of Kayo Dot's sound is Toby Driver's voice, specifically his wide range of styles that he employs. Throughout the album, a listener will hear him go from mellow, mid-register singing, spoken word poetry, and soft falsetto, to choatic howls and screams. Often, all of this will be heard within the course of one song. In his work with maudlin of the Well, I was unsure whether or not I considered him to be a good or bad singer, but Kayo Dot has set me straight on the matter; although his voice does not have a great technical skill to it, he is able to express himself with great diversity, and pulls off most of what he tries quite impressively.

'Choirs Of The Eye' is one of those albums that listeners will take alot of time to wrap their heads around, although some of those coming off of a maudlin of the Well binge may be initially put off by the change in pace and style. After giving this many nights of engaged listening and awe, I could safely say that 'Choirs Of The Eye' is the most impressive, exciting thing that Toby Driver and co. have done to date; a sweeping epic that soothes, excites, and challenges. A masterpiece.
Triceratopsoil
The glorious first offering by Toby Driver's post-maudlin band Kayo Dot, Choirs of the Eye is a largely emotional and powerful album. Driver evokes feelings of despair, hatred, and insanity (especially insanity) via both the lyrics and music. There is a mixture of calm, beautiful soft parts, angry heavy parts, and straight-up insane noise which seems to lack any structure at all. The songs are simultaneously distinct and lacking boundaries. Toby Driver's compositions reach beyond the mind into the very depths of the soul, if one believes in such a thing.

An entirely flawless piece of perfection, and one of the best albums of all time, in any genre.
Sleepwalker
“I was swept away when the choirs in your eyes cast little drops of water on everything”

Already mentioned in the lyrics of a song on Maudlin Of The Well’s debut album, Choirs Of The Eye is the title the first release of Kayo Dot, another project of Toby Driver rising from the ashes of Maudlin Of The Well. The music on Choirs Of The Eye is more avant-garde than that of Maudlin Of The Well, and the modern classical music influences seem to play a bigger role here as well. This can be seen in the line-up of the band, which features a bigger amount of woodwind and brass players than Maudlin Of The Well did. Also notable in this line-up is violinist Mia Matsumiya, who would remain a consistent member of the band up to date.

In a striking way “Marathon”, a very typical Kayo Dot piece, opens the album. The already mentioned modern classical music influences are very evident here, as a melancholic trumpet creates a beautiful soundscape, which is a typical case of the emotional instrumentalism of Kayo Dot. This beauty doesn’t last too long however, as monstrous growls and crushing distorted guitars change the setting. These changes between beauty and beast make frequent appearances in the music and play a very important role in the progression of the pieces. Most notable here perhaps is “The Manifold Curiosity”, probably the most impressive and mind-blowing piece on the album. Starting out quite softly, it gradually turns into some of the most fierce and intense music I’ve ever heard, with high-pitched screams and ferocious riffs included.

These intense and heavy parts of the music often serve as climaxes of their respective piece. However, the softer and more benign parts of the album can easily be just as impressive. A good example is “Wayfarer”, a song driven by acoustic guitar, beautiful vocals and a delicate, melancholic violin. Though roufh distorted guitars also make their appearance in this piece every now and then, they serve a much less dominant role. Pretty much the same goes for “A Pitcher Of Summer”, which is probably the most lightweight song on the album with its feeling of solace.

Another thing that is evident on some of the pieces on Choirs Of the Eye is a droning ambience. This means for example a couple of minutes of dreamy atmosphere, or an acoustic guitar gently strummed for some time with spoken words over it. The longest piece on the album and also its closer is “The Antique”, which features more droning music than perhaps any of the other pieces on Choirs Of The Eye. The first 6 minutes or so feature a constantly repeating riff gradually growing heavier, to become what probably is the most dark and gloomy piece on the album. Doom metal influences, which also were present in Maudlin Of The Well’s music, clearly can be heard here.

The broad range of musical styles integrated in their sound basically makes Kayo Dot unclassifiable. Nevertheless, they certainly have created a consistent and solid sound on Choirs Of The Eye, which is probably an even more impressive one than that of Maudlin Of The Well. Choirs Of The Eye to me feels like one marvelous journey driven by melancholy and somberness, either beautiful or ferocious, with every now and then a feeling of modest delight or relief.
Phonebook Eater
8/10

"Choirs Of The Eye" is a perfect mix between Avant-Garde and Post-Rock, with some Metal.

Post metal at its finest. After I fell in love with maudlin of the well, i wanted to give Kayo Dot a try, but I thought it was going to sound a lot like classic motw. And boy I was Wrong. Choirs of the Eye sounded like something I've never heard before, an excellent mixture between post rock and avant-garde metal; put also some jazz and baroque elements and you have this, a near perfect masterpiece that will hopefully go down in history. The first track, " Marathon" is probably the best song of the album, starting kind of heavy and being mellow and creepy at the same time afterwards. I would like to remind you that these aren't just normal songs, but pieces almost without any melody, based on long, atmospheric, dense themes. The second track " A Pitcher of Summer" is the shortest song and, other than being the most melodic, it's the least complex song. Still beautiful though. The third Track " The Manifold Curiosity", is not as good as the other songs, but still maintains a high level. The fourth track " Wayfarer" has a similar structure of Marathon, even though there are more vocals and it's less creepy. The Fifth track " The Antique" is 14 minutes long and it's, along with the first track , the best piece of the album. It is mainly played with guitar, and has a riff that haunts all over the song, which is kind of scary sounding, but great.

In conclusion, I must say this is one of the best albums I've heard in months, so enjoy it!

Members reviews

Earendil
I've gone through phases with this album over the course of the last few years, listening to one track a dozen times and then another a few months later, and I currently just finished my most recent listen to The Antique, and if someone were to argue to me that The Antique is the most sublime, beautiful, transcendent, ecstatic thing ever composed, I don't think I would be able to argue with him. This is the type of album that you must listen to with full attention many times times in order to have any sort of grasp on it, and even then, you'll listen and feel amazed that anyone could have orchestrated such an intense amount of pure chaotic energy into an hour of music as coherent as Choirs of the Eye. This one will grow on you.

Rating: 10/10
NecronCommander
Decidedly un-motW.

Choirs of the Eye is the first album from Toby Driver's new band Kayo Dot, formed out of the ashes of Boston avant-garde metal band maudlin of the Well. Several lineup changes have been made and a total shift in attitude towards songwriting, and the result is something that is totally incomparable to any other musical experience you've ever experienced.

One thing that is on everyone's minds (well, everyone who's ever listened to a Toby Driver project before) is how this band compares to aforementioned maudlin of the Well, so I'll make sure to point out the most important similarities and differences during this review.

Choirs of the Eye is the closest Kayo Dot release stylistically to maudlin of the Well, but there is a serious shift in focus in terms of the songwriting. Whereas motW was ultimately a metal band with avant-garde tendencies, Kayo Dot (at least for this album) are much more of an avant-garde band with metal tendencies. Here, the album is much more composition- oriented than its predecessors; of the 5 songs, only one is below ten minutes in length, and even then there are two songs just short of 15 minutes. Choirs is definitely a test of endurance as it pulls you through its dark passages.

Again, the band's style on this album is wholly unique and unlike anything I'd heard of at the time. Whereas maudlin of the Well's principle claim in their songwriting was astral projection (for those unfamiliar with motW's claims, astral projection is the supposed separation of one's spirit from the physical plane of existence through a process called lucid dreaming. The band claimed that they were merely vessels for the music, which already existed in a vast cosmic library in the astral plane, and that this music was merely interpreted.), in Kayo Dot, Toby completely denounces such methods and prefers to work on normal compositional terms, yet stating that Kayo Dot are an evolution or natural progression of maudlin of the Well. Atmospherically, Choirs of the Eye doesn't have the same sort of spacey undertones that past motW albums have had, but at times it does have both a pleasant, earthly atmosphere to it, and at other times it takes on a scary and dark, but worldly semblance.

Avant-metal is a rather limiting way to describe the music found on this album. While the album is more avant-garde than it is metal, certain sections reach such a crushing heaviness that it cannot be classified otherwise. Much of it relies on new-age abstract and it has a lot of minimalist elements, yet it also has equal doses of avant-metal, 20th century classical, avant-jazz, chamber rock, goth rock, and the like. At times it can be pleasantly bright, then go to oddly discordant, to frighteningly dark, atmospherically heavy, all without warning, given the incredible avant-garde nature of the album. An amazing amount of work is done with layering all the parts of the music, vocally and instrumentally, and at parts when all of the instruments are playing, each seemingly trying to one-up the other's part, it turns into a wildly insane yet surprisingly calculated chaos in sound architecture. These massive spots of sonic density are incredibly remarkable to behold, and are excellently contrasted by the equally well-done abstract minimalism that permeates the structure of this album. When Kayo Dot wants to hit hard, they hit you like an expressionist baseball bat to the face.

A greater range of instruments are used here than in maudlin of the Well's compositions. In addition to the traditional guitars, bass, keys, and drums, instruments like the violin and clarinet get especially big parts. Also to be found on the album are flute, saxophone, cello, horn, trumpet, trombone, and bell parts. They're all balanced excellently and rarely are pretentious or overincumbent in the composition. Toby Driver returns doing guitars and vocals and is given the predominant vocal role this time around. His vocals are also much more varied on this album than with maudlin of the Well; here, he does all forms of soft vocals, harsh growls, high-pitched screams, and at times even flat speaking or whispering, and all parts are performed marvelously. Former maudlin of the Well instrumentalists Greg Massi (guitars), Sam Gutterman (drums), Nicholas Kyte (bass), and Terran Olson (woodwinds) make an appearance on this album and are complimented by 8 other contributing artists. In particular, violinist Mia Matsumiya leaves the greatest impression with some excellent violin parts. All the other instruments are used in moderation and are excellently structured into the framework of the music, though the clarinet suffers from a mild case of being overused, it's not terribly distracting, and works well more often than not.

Jason Byron, formerly responsible for the lyrics and growled vocals in maudlin of the Well, returns to compose the poetry for this album. I say poetry as compared to lyrics because unlike motW, where the lyrics were merely poetic, as often as not in Choirs of the Eye, the lyrics are actual poetry, occasionally even spoken instead of sung. They're rather beautiful sounding and at times even better than the lyrics found in motW's music. While they don't follow an overarching theme or story, they're all very surrealist and suited to fit the mood of the song.

The album opens with "Marathon" in a clashing of percussion and arrhythmic guitars. Some jazzy trumpet adds to the ambiance of minimalist guitars and a sorrowful flute while a distorted voice reads poetry over what sounds like an intercom. It eventually breaks into a dark section with crushing guitars, free-jazz drumming, Toby alternating his high falsetto scream and gut-wrenching vocals, while a whimsical flute and ghostly piano adds to the dark whirlwind of sonic density. Some slow, heavy, chugging riffs give way to a delicate guitar section with some strange, oscillating guitar soundscapes and eerie sounding keys. This confusingly dark passage twists and turns, guided by occasional electronic noise and a soft jazzy drumming. Towards the end a distant voice starts reciting cheerful poetry in a soft, raspy, speaking tone. Eventually the music fades out to nothing as the voice continues reading, conjuring up some strong images. This track is an interestingly inaccessible way of starting off the album and is definitely a piece that needs to be listened to multiple times to really be appreciated.

The dark menace of "Marathon" is surprisingly followed by the cheery bliss of "A Pitcher of Summer". Clocking in at just under six minutes, this is the shortest and most accessible piece on the album. It opens with some soft, bright guitar work and some very light percussion. Toby's voice kicks in shortly and his high pitch gives it a very happy tone. Indeed, the lyrics conjure up warm, fuzzy images of a bright, pleasant summer day at a cottage deep in the woods, nature at harmony with the peaceful structure. Even when the distortion and heavy drumming kicks in, the piece keeps its bright and happy tone while Toby wistfully sings along. Once this section ends the piece slows down considerably and adds more distortion and some horns, though Toby's voice takes on much more of a wailing tone as the piece picks up in density. An intense buildup culminates in two loud, screaming notes. Even when compared to the complexity of the other pieces on this album, this song remains one of my favorite pieces.

"The Manifold Curiosity" is a piece of truly epic proportions at the midway point of this album. It starts out with some soft guitar and some interesting layering while a clarinet plays a sorrowful lead. This section swirls with a sort of swaying sadness before stopping suddenly and going to a simple acoustic guitar strumming for a good period of time. The sound of a person appears as he takes a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket, unfolds it, and timidly reads the track title. The soft acoustic continues with some guitar effects layering and two vocal tracks sing: one in Toby's crisp mid-level voice, one unintelligible under some odd static effects. This section comes to a close for a few seconds before a short fingerpicking bridge that slowly escalates in sound before the entire band erupts into a thundering chorus of heavy guitars and drumming, and a clarinet solo that I'm sure is supposed to be absolutely gut-wrenching but unfortunately almost doesn't work. It does improve shortly after the initial shock, when the guitar chimes in on the melody, and then the piece slowly goes into a post- mid album climax. Some floaty guitars emerge from the remains of the previous section, and very slowly start to build up, both in number and slight increase in noise. After a short while, voices start to chant more poetry, and even these become layered as up to three or four voices speak in an intentionally slight-off manner. Some excellent violins also add to the increasingly unsettling nature of the piece before some odd guitar whines lead into the melody being repeated in heavy distortion. Whiny guitars wail left and right, starting off slowly, guided by an interestingly strong bass. They slowly increase in intensity as the tempo starts to increase, going from a slow trot to a sturdy gallop over the course of nearly a minute. One guitar keeps adding to another, and yet another, and violins join the fray before Toby's wailing voice takes center stage for a brief spell, and all the flailing and moaning pauses with a short, slow three notes, only to be picked up in intensity again, with an increase in tempo. Every chaotic part builds up into a tremendous whirlwind of dense musical aggressiveness, and it peaks in one ridiculously fast torrential downpour of incomprehensible chaos with Toby screaming his lungs out in a way that almost reminds me of Jacob Bannon's voice (of Converge), and then it all comes crashing down with one quick drum roll and a super sludgy bass melody that starts an awesome, upbeat, motW-esque metal section, all ending in seven staccato notes. It's incredible how many twists and turns this titanic piece takes before its startling conclusion.

"Wayfarer" begins with some soft acoustic guitar chords and some awkward keys and then shortly adds a weeping violin. Much of the song up to the first moment when vocals come in has some odd chordwork where the chords are played unevenly or in an odd progression. Toby's vocals come in as soft and high-pitched with some of the prettier lyrics on the album. Some unsettling acoustic guitars pick up pace with the violin before some rolling drums bring the song to a big vocal section at a mid-song climax, some sad clarinets tagging along as Toby sing-speaks some interesting poetical verses before the piece starts over with some soft minimalist material, starting a new buildup, this one taking on a much more peaceful vibe than the one before it. It picks up slack very quickly as some beautiful violins add to the vocal harmonies. Then, all of a sudden, a switch is thrown and the metal turns on, though it's admittedly very bright and happy sounding, with an excellent short solo that dies on a screeching note. The last section ends with harp-like guitars and excellent violin work as Toby wishes a sad but hopeful goodbye to the starry wayfarer.

"The Antique" is another epic and probably the most abstract piece on the album. The first three minutes consist of some empty-sounding, rather chilling abstract minimalist guitar. Eventually some ghostly guitar effects and chilling keys give the already dark piece some added unease. Distortion slowly builds until it becomes a very slow-moving metal piece. Once the song hits the six minute mark the atmosphere becomes very dense and some alternating growling death metal and high pitched screams bring the song to a maddeningly dark level, the screams escalating in intensity every stanza before some haunting keys and whiny guitars escalate this section to a faster tempo. The change of pace brings some unsteady, back and forth chuggy riffing with some deliciously dark and malicious harsh vocals. A brief clean guitar spell gives way to a stanza of roaring metal with blast beats and ferocious screaming that then turns into an absolutely amazing, head-bangable chugging riff section at a huge climax. It returns to the clean guitar spell heard before as the drums begin to increase in speed as though leading up to something, and after a few quick heavy notes it drowns out to nothing but an echoic organ note. The last four minutes of the song consist of some beautiful, foreboding piano melodies, a stern horn solo, and some heavily distorted vocals. This creepy ambiance continues at a steady pace for some time before escalating into one grand note quickly at the end, leaving just the solitary organ note to linger quickly before cutting out to the end of the album.

Thus it ends. Choirs of the Eye is definitely a grower, especially for fans of maudlin of the Well previously unaccustomed to Kayo Dot. I was repulsed by the album after the first listen and it took me a good few months and seven more listens before the album really hit me as the incredible and unmatched musical composition that it really is. My suggestion: go in with as open of a mind as possible and try not to compare it to anything else. Let this dark, twisted piece of avant-garde brilliance drag you through its deep chasms and enjoy the tumultuous and schizophrenic soundscape at every turn.

5 stars, highly recommended for anyone looking for challenging and unique music.

Standout tracks: "A Pitcher of Summer", "The Manifold Curiosity", "The Antique".
Sleeper
By 2003 it had become clear to Toby Driver that the premise of maudlin of the Well, creating music through Astral Projection, had been pushed as far as it could go and further albums would only serve to cover the same musical ground. So maudlin of the Well was dissolved and Toby Driver lead half the band on to form this group, Kayo Dot. Some people have said that Kayo Dot is a logical progression of maudlin of the Well's music but I don't see that as the case, maudlin of the Well were a metal band with avant guard tendencies, but still primarily rooted in metal, but here on Choirs of the Eye a large leap of faith has been made by the band to produce an avant guard album that blends metal with jazz, classical and the odd hint of post-rock/metal (though nowhere near as much as some people would have you believe) and incorporated that into a framework that's both composed but also feels part improvised, dissonant but making plentiful use of harmony.

The opening song, Marathon, demonstrates this perfectly, with a crashing, dissonant intro that signals the beginning of something special in no uncertain terms. This assaults you for a few minuets before dissolving back into a much more gentle tune that leads out the song. A Pitcher of Summer seems to work in the opposite way, starting off very quite with just the acoustic guitars and Toby's singing before quickly building into a musical crash of brilliant proportions. Its amazing how much can be shoe-horned into such a short song and have it all work so very well. The centre piece of the album, The Manifold Curiosity, ranks as one of my all time favourite compositions from any band, and still holds as my favourite Kayo Dot piece. The reason? It flows magnificently reaching three climaxes in its 14:30 minutes through different routs, first having all the band playing a very melodic, fairly heavy tune that grows in strength before its culmination and falling away to become a sole acoustic guitar, this time building up much slower and adding a touch of the dissonance that has been very prominent so far on the album. After this second climax the violin of Mia Matsumiya leads the final build, joined by the as usual excellent guitar work of Toby Driver and Greg Massi, and the band works to just increase the raw power exponentially creating an almighty ending. It actually reminds me of King Crimsons Starless with the way it just builds up for 4-5 minutes but with a far more effective explosion at the end, and the last time the Death metal semblance will come into Kayo Dot. By now, more than half way through the album, it has become clear that their is another distinction between maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot, the complete lack of the characteristic jaw dropping solo's of Greg Massi, though that's not to say this album is devoid of solo's, their just more subtle than before. This will come as a big surprise to anyone finding Kayo Dot after maudlin of the Well, as I did, but you quickly get over it in finding that the band use their technical expertise in a different way, to build textures and harmonies similar to the post-rock/metal bands but coming at it from a very different angle. I could go on rambling about the last two songs on here but I don't want to add another 1000 words to this review so I'll just say that Wayfarer and The Antique use the first techniques and styles as the first three songs but arrange them unique ways, to create five unique compositions that have helped to build up an amazing album. This is at once compositionally more complex and experimental than Bath/Leaving Your Body Map but doesn't get their by forsaking melody and harmony, despite a penchant for dissonance, and maintains a distinct level of emotion to the music that is at once noticeable. An absolute must have album and one of the best I have ever hear.

Ratings only

  • tempest_77
  • aglasshouse
  • focusedon
  • Xenoflux
  • Unitron
  • starlessabstract
  • StargazerSlave
  • Ozark Soundscape
  • powermetal2000
  • shadowoffadream
  • Pekka
  • ElGordoPopochas
  • Polymorphia
  • Bosh66
  • Colt
  • TheTalbotHound
  • Amplifier Worship
  • DreamInSong
  • Wilytank
  • zorn1
  • trickster B
  • Gi
  • barchios
  • Coracin
  • Anster
  • cannon
  • Xaxaar
  • luanpedi
  • The Angry Scotsman
  • Zargus
  • Paperbag
  • harmonium.ro
  • Urs Blank
  • Tlön
  • bratus
  • Fernandi
  • snowman1980
  • Any Colour You Like
  • A Person
  • sauromat
  • Jake Kobrin
  • JRuined
  • justametalfan
  • cold103

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