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


Kayo Dot



3.70 | 167 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Kayo Dot, a reformed Maudlin of the Well, took the avant-garde music world by storm with their debut Choirs of the Eye. When it came time for a follow up, it was met with high expectations, but mixed reviews. Many claim this is useless noise, utterly without direction, and entirely hollow. Others rave that it inspires emotion, provokes thought, forms atmospheres, and has really transformed the face of avant-garde music. It's a matter of taste, really. The majority of non-avant-garde fans detest this thoroughly, but most of us who like this precisely experimental, authentically unique music love it.

The strength of Choirs of the Eye lies in its unfathomable, cloud-like compositions - the free-form, jazzy, experimental space the band created, accented by a sharp metal edge. On this album, things are taken further, and the vaporous compositions are reduced/augmented to pure vapor. The creativity, originality, uniqueness is in healthy supply, and the haunting, spacious textures are quite as provoking and quite as resonating, though way too overdone, and way too long. Many dislike that. I tend to love minimalism - and this album shares much with that style. The forlorn brilliance of Choirs of the Eye is slightly less plentiful here, though the aggressive, maddened fury of the first is perfected. Happily, the "spoken word" style vocals of the debut are completely ditched, and the provocative lyrics have suffered none.

Yet, despite the ranting, vaporous metal jams/ramblings, the ambient, minimal, repetitive, avant-garde mush that many deem to be directionless and meaningless, I love it. This is modern, metal versions of experimental minimal classical music - and it is very haunting, and very special. The many layers come gradually, and make the dissonant, sinister, malevolent, ultimately evil atmospheres complete. Heavy percussion, endless supply of intense guitars, and the beautiful classical instruments balance each other to make a furiously aggressive, and yet beautifully melancholic ride.

Kayo Dot think of themselves as "avant-garde metal" and have been labeled "post-metal" before. But their music goes so far beyond that. Truly, it's John Cage, Phillip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Brian Eno, Klaus Schulze in the form of a metal band. The vocals, entirely unique and completely unlike the aforementioned artists, are very, very emotional, and very, very - strangely - touching. Toby Driver's voice sinks sinuously within my chest, squeezes all the juices out of my heart (or wherever it is a human's emotions are stored and experienced), and fills it with his own emotions, the driving aggression of Gemini Becoming The Tripod, I can feel his emotion as well as I can feel my own. There's something really special about music that can do that; something really touching.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |


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