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Kayo Dot - Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.71 | 182 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Halfway between Progressive Metal and RIO/Avant-guarde, this will never be a consensual album, especially after being brought into the limelight with its choice as "ProgArchives Collaborator's Top Prog Album Of 2006".

Listening to this album, I cannot cease to recall "In the Court of the Crimson King". Some of you might say that this comparisson is beyond logical thought, or even discard it as complete gibberish. However, bear with me on this point.

Like "ITCOTCK", this is an album that stirred mixed emotions and was received in various manners. It's lack of compliance with the "general Prog picture" (how sad is it that some people consider Prog to have patterns and rules?), just like King Crimson had "escaped" their contemporary rock trends, had many stand on guard.

Similarities don't end here. I find the album structure slightly similar. Both albums feature 5 tracks, beggining with one considerably "heavier" and darker than the others. "Gemini Becoming The Tripod" is nothing but Kayo Dot's "21st Century Schizoid Man", the faster paced, more avant-garde track.

Like "ITCOTCK", what follows are two considerably softer tracks (even though both are quite longer and heavier that KC's "I talk to the wind" and "Epitaph" - a sign of the times). This is undeniable, even if third track "Aura On An Asylum Wall" gets rougher and hand harder towards the end.

OK, I reckon that so far this comparisson might have been a bit forced so far. But c'mon, guys, don't tell me "Moonchild" doesn't come to mind once you have finished hearing track 4, "___ On Limpid Form"? Granted, it is quite longer, but the structure is basicly the same: it starts of with a great tune, something that might actually be called a "song" (and is probably my favorite moment in the entire album), before turning (almost 13 minutes left till its end) into a great-senseless-improv-instrument-tuning- session - just like Moonchild.

And here the similarities end. While on "ITCOTCK", once "Moonchild" is over you get to hear the amazing title track, on Kayo Dot's "Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue" you get to hear... more "Moonchild", in the form of 14-minute "Amaranth The Peddler", featuring just a couple minutes of vocals. I'm sure that both "Moonchild" and these two final "Dowsing Anemone" tracks apease a lot of prog-fans. But it is a fact that the oposite occurs to many other. And when you get almost 30 minutes of noodling in an hour long record, then it is quite obvious this will not be an experience to rememeber. It sure as hell ruined it for me.

However, I quite enjoyed the first half of the album, and find it quite well-done. I have no problem in quit listening to this album 5-6 minutes into "___ On Limpid Form" - did not some of the great albums of the 70's clock at just over half an hour? For that, I will give it a 3,5. It is not essencial to my small collection, but it's an excellent addition if you're a true Prog afficionado, and a great sample of Prog's vitality in the new millenium.

Like James Joyce's "Ulysses" or Velázquez's "Las Meninas", this is a piece of art, one on which you may never find the sense, or just what makes it so great in all its intricacy, but that you definitly aknowledge that there is something "special" about it.

Kotro | 4/5 |


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