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


Kayo Dot



4.25 | 367 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Music shattered my spine of the steps outside.

As an album, truly captures the grand scope of modern invention; an endless symphony of shattering intricacy, violent ferocity, hopeless beauty and limitless rhapsody. Few albums such as this have truly horrified, interested, saddened and interested me as much as this one has. What we have here is 5 truly unique and brilliant pieces of music; a combination of jazz, metal, classical and avant are at the forefront of this journey and present a truly perspective changing adventure. I must admit, on my first listen to this, I thought it was literally noise - I could see no musical value to it. After consequent listens I began to understand, feel and respect the grand scape of this disc of pure perfection and true wonder. As such a grand musical concoction, it is hard to define, describe or discuss this epiphany of mystic brilliance using words. The five compositions here are all incredibly different beasts, but are all quite literally perfect in a truly divine sense. A collection like no other.

Barely 3 seconds into this adventure, your ears will be bombarded with the sound of intense and piercing guitar, which will retreat and return with underpinning vocals and chaotic drumming. The insane vocals and slamming instrumentation is like no other; true insanity transposed into sound. It is clear moments in this is no standard deviation into several schools of music, but rather an incredibly successful experiment on a grand scale. The spoken word outro is both chilling and beautiful, and calming in nature.

Marathon's follow-up, the short (and we're talking Kayo Dot short here, people) A Pitcher Of Summer is a much more... Directly musical masterpiece. Achingly beautiful and slow guitar open this piece and continue into a lead vocal line, and as this track picks up momentum, a slow transition from one kind of beauty to another begins. This transition is complete with the shattering Line 'While... Snow.'. This is the musical equivalent of reading in one's house and waking up in a burning forest, the adventure so intense, the travelling so obvious yet completely hidden and wonderful and perfect.

The Manifold Curiosity is just that; a true curiosity in what we call music. The perfectly balanced guitar and drums are quite chilling and, yet again, incredibly beautiful. The soothing muffled vocals and the slow acoustic work, the exploding guitar and the soaring clarinet solo - there is nothing other than ethereal beauty to be found here, and it is equally painful and wonderful. The textures and atmosphere are truly uncharted, and remain just as wonderful on subsequent listens. As with the two previous compositions, the transition here is slow, unsuspecting and futile. There is nothing other than the purest form of beauty represented here, and it is truly wonderful to here such a piece of music. The slow, chilling violin and spoken word, the perfect journey from emotion to emotion, texture to texture, atmosphere to atmosphere, movement to movement, it is truly something that needs to be experienced. The thumping bass it at its best throughout this track, and is simply perfect. The last section of this piece is perhaps the most truly brilliant slice of music, a painfully heavy, jarring and shattering explosion. The vocals are one of the most interestingly placed, written and performed vocal sections I've ever heard, and represent true progress in modern art as much as they do the captured creativity of 9 of the most creative musicians in modern music.

It all sings beautifully; With all your strength, believe this. But I know you can't understand... Why I threw myself from the glass again.

The chillingly shrieked outro is immensely wonderful, and the punishingly heavy outro guitar riff is a heaven-made match for such ferocious screams. This is a track best enjoyed alone in the dark, at a tortuously loud volume.

Wayfarer is my personal favourite and pick for track of the century so far, even after the fan favourite. The slow violin and incredibly poetic lyrics are, once again, a perfect match, and create such a dense and cutting atmosphere. The screamed 'Wayfarer' and slamming guitar has yet to be matched, or even challenged by another moment in music for me. It is quite literally the most beautiful, intense, truly heavy and indifferently perfected section in any song I have ever heard. The vocals are at their most prominent here, a chilling layer of sound transposed and made beautiful in their contextual perfection. The whispered beats, the clarinet and violin interplay, it's all there and it's all so flawlessly done. The last shimmering minute is like watching glass explode in slow motion, a build up so intensely perfected it becomes inhumanly brilliant. It is truly hard to believe an ensemble of 9 masters were able to do what they've done here.

The Antique is perhaps the darkest piece in this black hole, and is quite definitely and decidedly extreme in nature and practice. It has the most typically metal sound, but it is not made in any typically metal way. The slow build up is frightfully intense and transcendently dark. The unsuspecting listener's ears are nuked with an immensely slow and atonal build up. The squealing guitars on top of the pounding drums and 6-string explosions are so intense that the tension is nearly visible. When the vocals make their true entrance, the transmutation to true brutality is complete with a scarily heavy music all round. The guitar technicality is truly wonderfully done, and in such an artistic matter. Its nice to hear technicality used to create an atmosphere, an art, rather than to turn music into a masturbatory sport. The riff, chugging at times, is amongst my top 10 ever. The vocal squeals over the top of the growls cut and penetrate the brutal walls like an arrow. The insanity reaches a peak with several small breaks and even impossibly heavier music, and then Kayo Dot's masterpiece, Choirs Of The Eye, comes full circle with the piano, trumpet and jazzy drum outro. The muffled vocals of The Manifold Curiosity return here in a nearly anesthetizing effect with spiralling background noise and hissing snare. It is amazing to be broken by such ferocity then soothed by such beauty, but amazing when so flawlessly performed.

The ensemble outro perfectly closes the album, and the truly perfected musical journey. This stands out as one of the most unique musical discoveries of all time, and one that truly needs to be heard to be understood, respected or appreciated. This stands out as a progressive, musical and artistic landmark, and is one of the must have albums from any genre, any time and for any music listener. This is an album which will blow you away time and time again, which will knock you over and stomp on your throat whilst you try to squirm, and then tenderly massage your bruises whilst poisoning you. The diversity and creativity is so uniquely crafted in this near-hour of music, that any number of listens will never be enough to truly get, respect or to 'know' this album. It is THAT stunningly good.

An easy 5* album, if that isn't obvious enough already.

progkidjoel | 5/5 |


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