KAYO DOT — Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue (review)

KAYO DOT — Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue album cover Album · 2006 · Avant-garde Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Earendil
Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue shows a different, but related, facet of Kayo Dot as did Choirs of the Eye. As far as the band's music is describable in these terms, there are post-metal elements on the album, but Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue exhibits more atmospheric chamber tendencies than its predecessor.

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Gemini Becoming the Tripod is chaotic on a cosmic level and features some of Driver's most tortured, gripping vocals to date. It winds up like in a slow death march, building in tension one twist at a time, until the coil reaches its breaking point, and the listener is catapulted into a remote sector of the universe where the stars shine grey and copper. And then... silence. Song rating: 10/10

Immortelle and Paper Caravelle is one of Kayo Dot's most beautiful pieces, and my ears interpret it as an audio manifestation of the white "copper tongues" on the album cover. The music shimmers and waves back and forth like a fragile organism deep beneath the sea where little light reaches. It is peaceful there, as if a white blanket of multitudinous tongues envelope the listener with gentle metallic clanking. The piece ends with gentle waves of plucked violins which transition to layers of repetitive violin melodies before fading to silence. Song rating: 9/10

Aura on an Asylum Wall is a brooding, jazzy track which meanders along until its pace suddenly increases and without warning bursts into a violent noise section with static-y vocals. The song is strong, but it doesn't seems as well-developed as the two preceding pieces. Song rating: 8/10

___ On Limpid Form shows Kayo Dot succumbing to the fate that their music was always liable to fall victim to; it implodes on itself. The track begins and ends as a dark, spacious piece of music, but in between there is about 10 minutes of atmospheric meandering that adds nothing to the song or the album. There are successful moments in the song, and it certainly maintains a strong sense of its atmosphere, but it is too unfocused to succeed as a piece of music. I suppose something this atmospheric was a necessary centerpiece for the album, but the band takes it slightly too far. Song rating: 6/10

Amaranth the Peddler slowly drifts up to the water's surface and reveals a scene to the listener. The song opens with straight-forward (though restrained) vocals, but it slowly pans out to a monotonous, minimalistic musical landscape. Although there is a person in the scene, he is a dot against the twilight-lit sea. And all fades to silences as wind blows at the end of the song. Song rating: 8/10

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I initially gave Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue 8/10 because of its weak atmospheric piece, but I decided that was too harsh a rating. Despite its imperfection, the album stands as an incredible musical achievement, and I can't regard the album as a whole as anything other than a masterpiece.

Rating: 9/10
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