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Kayo Dot - Gamma Knife CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.59 | 67 ratings

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The Neck Romancer
4 stars The opener, Lethe, named after a mythological river in Hades that erases the memory of those who drink its water, begins with mellotron bells. After a few bars, Mia Matsumiya's kick in. Driver sings his lyrics in pairs of syllables, accompanied by the two saxophones. Towards the end of the song, the reverbering voice takes a chant-like form. This track reminds me a lot of Arvo Pärt's chamber music and choral work.

Rite of Goetic Evocation: If I were to describe this song, I'd say Deathspell Omega hired two session musicians for the brass and decided to cover an unreleased motW song. The lyrics, written by long-time Toby Driver collaborator Jason Byron, sound straight out of an obscure 17th century grimoire.

The two other "heavy tracks", Mirror Water, Lightning Night and Ocellated God are a bit similar to Rite.... Toby's voice on Ocellated God is amazing; his screams are goosebump-inducing here.

The title track is a wonderful, dreamy composition featuring the bandleader on guitar, piano and voice. The well-woven counterpoint showcases Driver's talent as a composer; his singing is pretty fine here as well.

It is worth noting that tracks 1 and 5 were not recorded at a studio and the middle three were recorded live with 4 microphones, as the band was on a very tight budget. Also, the audience had been directed to sing in tracks 2 and 4.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

The Neck Romancer | 4/5 |


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