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

CHOIRS OF THE EYE

Kayo Dot

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.26 | 277 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
4 stars Kayo Dot's Choirs of the Eye is proving to be one of the most difficult albums to rate. At times this is childish chaotic nonsense with very little substance and revolting screaming vocals. At other times, it is brilliantly composed classical ambient music that moves the listening and buries him deep in swampy atmospheres. It was a long time before I realized that the chaotic segments of this album were all parts of the puzzle, and when assembled, the picture is obscure and dark, but the pieces fit surprisingly.

Musicianship is not a high point on this album, but neither is it a low one. It's not a point at all. The compositions are so dramatically unique that it hardly requires any musicianship to be played - and the result is not at all disappointing. The result is a post-rock album, with very little traces of metal.

Kayo Dot unleashes their stunningly large arsenal of instruments (and abstract sounds), each creating its own layer. The sum of these layers is a gloomy, foreboding, thundering, sinister, and (in all honesty) moving album. Chaos can be turned into something genuinely unique, and this album is proof. It's touching, yet scary. Kayo Dot managed to invent an emotion.

One of the few problems I have with this album is the vocals. I've already mentioned that the screaming vocals are only a layer in the brief chaotic segments (and don't appear elsewhere), but there are some vocals that are simply spoken word. They work well on Marathon until the instruments drop out. The way the words are said is very, dare I say, emo. I hate the word, I recognize that it is not being used in proper context, but there is no other way I can describe them with an attached meaning. (You can see what I mean by listening to the sample track "The Manifold of Curiosity" on progarchives.) Thankfully, this form of vocals only appear on Marathon and (very briefly) on The Manifold of Curiosity.

A Pitcher of Summer is a very nice song, but not devoid of chaos. It's the closest thing that Choirs of the Eye comes to being pop or rock. And it's very good pop/rock, and still does have the Kayo Dot touch: odd layers, ambient soundscapes, and a pinch of chaos. Wayfarer, my personal favourite track, is the song that flows smoothest from meditative, contemplative classical music, to chaotic instrumental dissonance. All the tracks are distinguishable - which is something not too common with music like this. This is just more evidence of why this album is fantastic.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |

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