Dual vocalists Laura Pleasants and Phil Cope are a formidable duo on their guitars as well. They go from a slow and muddy approach like album opener “Exhale,” or they can create a beautiful soundscape such as “Low Tide” and slower portions of “Unspoken” before the guitar attack comes at you full force. Bass heavy song “Quicksand” is very reminiscent of earlier works by Baroness and showcases Pleasants’ great voice.
Dual drummers may at certain times seem a bit like a hamfisted attribute to simply separate bands from the rest of the pack, yet Kylesa uses this fact to not only separate themselves, but also to change the pace of the songs that feature this prominently and the syncopation is marvelous.
Perhaps the most powerful song from start to finish is “Vulture’s Landing,” which flies out of the gate and then cuts to sections where riffs are the featured heavily. A stellar guitar solo punctuates the middle section of the song as Kyles really leave no stone unturned when it comes to sheer variety.
The album clocks in at a lean 39 minutes so the journey is over very quickly after it begins; yet on repeated listens this album reveals itself more fully. For past fans this album feels a lot more like Static Tensions than it does Spiral Shadow. Kylesa has seemingly released their best full length to date, with ample room to grow even stronger.
(released May 28, 2013 on Season Of Mist)