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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.53 | 109 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The steady decline...

Kayo Dot, a genius group, a phenomenal group, one of the most innovative and creative groups to exist. One of the few groups to write a masterpiece in which all other masterpieces must put into retrospect: Choirs of the eye. I bet you're wondering, why then am I giving this album three stars? Does it stand up to Choirs of the eye? No. Does it stand up to Dowsing the Anemone with the copper tongue? No. It's simply Kayo Dots weakest album yet.

As many of you may know Toby Driver was the founder and leader of the avant Garde prog metal band Maudlin of the Well (second best band of all time), and after line up, and label changes the band changed their sound, and name to Kayo Dot. Since then their music has been progressively becoming less metal, more jazzy, and more minimalistic, until this album, where there is virtually no metal, no harsh vocals, and only one distorted guitar section. I'm not close minded, this is not the reason I gave this album three stars. I love the fact that they are changing and becoming weirder, and less heavy, but bottom line is is that Toby Driver has been playing metal professionally since 1998, and while his side projects have succeeded in being completely non metal, his major group, Kayo Dot seems to be limping with the lack of it.

The music is simple, dark, sublime, with Toby's haunting voice gently guiding you through the songs, and his guitar at the forefront almost the whole time. Vocals are much more prominent on this album than the previous two, and with very little meandering, improv sections, or lengthy songs, this gives the album a much more accessible edge (that doesnt make it accessible at all though). Horns are almost as frontal as the electric guitar on this one as well, with the whole middle section of Blue Lambency downwards being mostly songs for horns. As you move towards the end of the album, the vocals become more and more common, and eventually you hit the song Useless ladder, which to me is just a singer songwriter song (but a very good one). Then you hit the last song, Symmetrical Arizona, one of Kayo Dots crowning achievements, with an excellent Driver/Mia dual solo that occupies a good portion of the ten minute song. This goes on to end the album with a very energetic, sing songy finish.

So, did you notice something missing in my review? I didn't emphasize any of the glowing moments, no groundbreaking, tear jerking, bone crushing, mind blowing moments that you will hear me say about any other Kayo Dot or Maudlin of the Well review. The album is good, but nothing more. There is no kick in the face part that makes you say Ah Driver, you've done it again, there even seems to be a lick of dynamics that this group tends to be so good at, and why I love this band so much. The atmosphere is a murky sullen one, that almost never changes. No feeling of OH MY GOD, THIS MUSIC WILL BE PLAYED WITH THE APACOLYPSE, or OH MY GOD, THIS MUSIC IS GRABBING MY HEART AND SQUEEZING THE EMOTION JUICES ALL OVER MY BODY. The album just doesnt produce the results of the last two, that's why it gets a three star rating form me.

Dim | 3/5 |


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