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Kayo Dot - Choirs Of The Eye CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



4.21 | 402 ratings

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5 stars 5.0 Stars. The manifold masterpiece!

Choirs Of The Eye (COTE) is the debut album of Kayo Dot. The band formed from ex members of Maudlin of the Well and many of the trademark sounds transferred from this band (which is understandable as the writing of this album began while MOTW existed). However there are some significant changes that have occurred. The band have absorbed a lot of genres and have mastered the art of blending them together so well that the output is totally unique and fascinating to listen to.

MOTW have always been a band that enjoyed being unpredictable and combining hard and soft passages. This philosophy has not changed for COTE, but never before has their sound been so extreme and yet still feel like you are listening to one song. It works because of how they composed the quiet sections. The fusion of classical, jazz, post-rock etc. at the same time creates a tense and unsettled atmosphere where nothing you hear can be considered stable or long lasting. This justifies the band to occasionally unleash some devastating black metal inspired passages which even after multiple listens are still terrifying! So this is not a easy album, but if you are willing to go into their disturbed world then COTE will completely captivate you.

"Marathon" begins with blasts of noise followed by near silence. The extremes even themselves out and settles with some abstract jazz. The moment you think things are safe they explode with raw black metal furry until you are lost in a maelstrom of noise and tormented screams. After some crunchy riffs things settle down and they go into a steady ambient/post-rock rhythm. After several minutes more and more distorted and creepy effects are added in until it sounds almost as disturbing as the metal section. When you think they are about to hit you with metal they finish with a spoken poem (obviously!). What a opening!

"A Pitcher of Summer" is the most straightforward song here and the only reason COTTE does not a perfect rating (on my score system not PA), but it is still very good! It begins very gently with some relaxing and tranquil passages. However things get more and more distressed until they finish with some post-metal and screams.

"The Manifold Curiosity" is the highlight of the album and probably the best song they have ever made (in KD and MOTW). It begins with a beautiful and powerful jazz and post-rock hybrid. A steady guitar driven rhythm continues with Toby trying to sing with lots of emotion, but his voice is distorted so we cannot understand what he is saying. It's an unorthodox idea, but COTE is so out-there its just another fun twist. The intro theme returns with more force which is followed by a drawn out spacy/ambient/classical section. This gradually builds in drama until they deliver 4 min of the best metal I have ever heard. The intensity is overwhelming and by the end its hard not to feel physically exhausted. One of the best songs I've ever heard.

The band are very smart by making "Wayfarer" starts slowly so the listener can recover from the last song. There are some metal moments and several moments that threaten metal but surprise you with classical music instead. When the band are not teasing you they give some of the most beautiful moments of the album. I won't tell you where the metal is, you will have to find out for yourself!

"The Antique" begins with a relatively simple electric guitar tune. They repeat this tune over and over while gradually adding more elements. Its like waves getting closer to the shore as the tide comes in. But these waves of noise are fierce and so as they get closer they foretell some powerful metal, and that is what they deliver. Another metal overload is unleashed with primal screams for added power. They then quickly switch back and forth between quiet and black metal passages before calming down. The album finishes with slow and gentle jazz and more emotional but heavily distorted vocals.

COTE is one of the best albums I have ever heard and deserves nothing less than masterpiece status. Anyone who admires or wants to play light + heavy music needs to hear this album. I honestly can't think of a single album (which includes future KD releases) that comes close to this level of mastery in soft + hard music. It would take 10 years before they would produce a album that can be ranked along COTE, but that is for another time. 100 % essential.

LakeGlade12 | 5/5 |


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