Kayo Dot


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Kayo Dot Blue Lambency Downward album cover
3.53 | 83 ratings | 23 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blue Lambency Downward (9:58)
2. Clelia Walking (5:29)
3. Right Hand is the One I Want (6:53)
4. The Sow Submits (4:02)
5. The Awkward Wind Wheel (3:29)
6. The Useless Ladder (2:40)
7. Symmetrical Arizona (10:49)

Total time 43:20


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Toby Driver / acoustic, electric, 12-string, baritone, and bass guitars, soprano clarinet, voice, piano, organ, gamelan instruments, analog synth, laptop mellotron
- Mia Matsumiya / violin, voice

Guest musicians:
- Charlie Zeleny (Behold... the Arctopus) / drumset
- Skerik / tenor and baritone sax, vibraphone
- Hans Teuber / soprano and bass clarinets, alto sax, flute
- Dave Abramson (Diminished Men) / gamelan instruments & additional percussion
- B.R.A.D. (ASVA, Master Musicians of Bukkake) / additional vocals
- Randall Dunn / sound effects and synth design

Thanks to hybreda for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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Choirs of the EyeChoirs of the Eye
Tzadik 2003
Audio CD$9.60
$8.49 (used)
Kayo Dot - Hubardo (2CDS) [Japan LTD CD] DYMC-218Kayo Dot - Hubardo (2CDS) [Japan LTD CD] DYMC-218
Indies Japan
Audio CD$39.68
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Dowsing Anemone with Copper TongueDowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue
Robotic Empire 2006
Audio CD$44.86
$11.39 (used)
Coffins on IoCoffins on Io
Flenser 2014
Audio CD$15.98
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Limited Edition
Antithetic 2012
$22.23 (used)
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Limited Edition
Antithetic 2012
$22.23 (used)
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Audio CD$8.98
$7.99 (used)
Blue Lambency DownwardBlue Lambency Downward
Hydra Head Records 2008
Audio CD$7.38
$6.23 (used)
DIW Records (JAPAN)
Audio CD$35.25
$25.37 (used)
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KAYO DOT Blue Lambency Downward ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KAYO DOT Blue Lambency Downward reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With the 2008 offering "Blue Lambency Downward", Kayo Dot reaffirms its status as a major force in the current USA's avant-garde rock scene. While compatriot band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum defined new boundaries and strategies for their particular way to deconstruct rock in their 2007 release "In Glorious Times", Kayo Dot strays more definitely from what we can usually call rock, digging deeper and deeper into the realms of chamber-rock and, also, into most the most abstract corners of what is usually labeled as post-rock. To my ears, this album is an example of experimental modern music that incorporates rock instruments, not an experimental rock album. Fog, mystery and nocturnality: these three qualities pretty much encapsulate the recurrent moods in the album. The departure of 75% of the previous line-up was a metaphor of what the remnant duo of Toby Driver and Mia Matsumiya had in store for all Kayo Dot connoisseurs - an introspective shift in the band's musical direction. The namesake opener brings languid textures with an ethereal, almost mystical vibe, very related to Tortoise and A Silver Mt. Zion, albeit with a more robust sense of tension. 'Clelia Walking' bears a very similar cadence and an enhanced tension: the creepiness created in the climatic passages fits the standards of chamber-rock (the Francophone trend led by Univers Zero and Present). In comparison with the first two pieces, 'Right Hand Is the One I Want' appears more lyrical, which is convenient as an ambience for Driver's melancholic, whispering singing. 'The Sow Summits' brings back the magnificent darkness of chamber-rock, serving as a chaotic prelude to 'The Awkward Wind Wheel'. This one is a definitive highlight of the album, and undoubtedly, the most extroverted piece in the tracklist. The rhythm section's bizarre dynamics, the agile guitar riffing and the magical violin lines elaborate a colorful sonic display that doesn't contradict the overall mysterious aura. The extroverted nature of the aforesaid track is perfectly complemented by the rougher approach delivered in the follower 'The Useless Ladder'. In turn, 'The Useless Ladder' sets the threshold of the closing piece 'Symmetrical Arizona'. Its 10+ time span and well-ordained majesty makes it an excellent closure, as well as the final highlight for the album. The elegant dialogues between violin and clarinet are intersected by soft, jazzy sax washes; then, we find those concise guitar arpeggios subtly adorned by a vibraphone that rains like dewdrops. This piece flows by as if time didn't exist for it: I personally feel like wanting some more once the last clarinet lines have closed the album's door. This is how every album should end, leaving the listener pleased with what they have heard and wishing it lasted a bit more. General balance: "Blue Lambency Downward" is the testimony of a band that has wisely led itself through a reconstruction phase, reformulating its taste for energy and neurosis in a way that had partially been anticipated in the crucial "Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue" album. 2 members, 6 or 7. Kayo Dot rules.


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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#171966) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2008

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I better do some explaining here.

One year ago I wrote one of my longest, and most thoughtful reviews when I gave my opinion on the 2006 album of the year, KAYO DOT's "Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue" (from now on, DAICT). I had to let my position be known. I had to speak my mind freely abut what I thought was the worst album to ever receive so much praise and acclaim. One year has passed, and the band has released new material, the album titled "Blue Lambency Downward" (from now on, BLD). While my opinion on Dowsing Anemone is still the same, I'm happy to say this time around, Driver has delivered music that is actually valuable.

To be fair with a band (or man, really) I really bashed (and, in my view, deservedly so) the last time around, let me first make a brief list of my major problems with DAICT and then I'll present my view regarding whether those issues have been solved or not.

- Vocals. Let's start with the less important. I just couldn't tolerate Driver's obnoxious, ear-crushing emotional whining that permeated DAICT. In BLD, Driver has finally decided to sing. His maybe is not the best voice ever but is a tremendous improvement, as it allows the music to become more melodic, more purposeful, less annoying, more musical. Also, it doesn't sound like a poor-man's Thom Yorke now, and he finally has a voice of his own, easy to identify, easy to understand, not-a-torture to follow.

- One-tempo only. DAICT was an excruciating experience to endure as it seemed like Driver decided to record songs with one rule in common: all of them had to be played in the same slow, dragging tempo. The whole album was the same. Now, in BLD, we are presented with a collection of tracks of more varied flavor, mood and, yes, dynamics and speed. Of course, most of them are played in a similar tempo, but now it feels like a natural thing for the album, as it flows from one song into the other and moods change and evolve.

- Lack of melody. DAICT had a lot of notes (well, sort of) but not one good melody. BLD is not really the ultimate expression of melody nor will I call Driver the new Mozart or something like that, but it's clear that it's much easier here to detect themes and ideas, musical phrases and some melodic passages of, yes, beauty. That's not a typo, I said it right. I will explain later when I talk about the songs.

- Lack of structure. DAICT was a complete chaos with no coherence and no discernable song structures. While BLD is not textbook verse-chorus-verse music, (it's quite difficult to find something resembling a chorus here), songs are shorter, more concise, and work so much better even in their own shapeless way. It takes a few hearings but you actually can find a map, a blueprint of what goes on here.

- Jamming nature. DAICT felt like a few musicians, heavily stoned, jamming in a room. It didn't seem like thought-of music. It didn't feel like composed music. The matter has been solved in BLD as I never got the idea that I was listening to a recording of a drug-induced jamming session. This feels like an album, music that was given thought, that was given time to develop, that was created with a purpose.

- Lack of purpose. I've seen comments regarding DAICT apparent smoothly flowing narrative. I just can't understand those. The same cannot be said about BLD. The albums flows perfectly from beginning to end, and the way the songs and the big scheme of the idea are presented, it actually feels like a cohesive work, that starts in point A and ends in point B for a reason. The album is quite a success in that.

- Silence. DAICT had such a big amount of silences that we could've easily created an epic song made out of just that, silence. In the baroque years, a musician would've been laughed at if he incorporated almost ANY silence into his music. In more recent days, silence is a tool not to be exaggerated with, and Driver seems to have finally understood that, as BLD has just the necessary amount of no-sound moments to enhance the effects his music is trying to achieve and not to bore the listener.

- Boring. the big problem with DAICT was that it was utterly boring. BLD isn't. That has a lot to do with the purpose factor I just talked about but mostly, and for sure my most famous complaint about the 2006's album of the year, the following point.

- Repetition. Finally, Driver has had mercy on us (at least on me) and decided to record songs with the normal amount of repetition of ideas and themes, leaving out the dreadful, atrocious tendency to end his two longest songs with more than 25 minutes altogether of constant repetition of a same poor, miserable, uncreative idea (or riff). That caused DAICT to become a 1-star album instead of the 2-star affair it could have been. But now in BLD, I applaud on my feet, standing up, Driver's decision not to repeat that experiment again.

With that monster of a problem out of the way, KAYO DOT could've released an exact album to DAICT and it would've still gotten a better review from me. But no. To be fair, is not only what is not here what I'm applauding, but especially, what IS here.

There were a few good things in DAICT: the musicians were capable, the harmonic treatment was interesting, and the whole thing seemed like a good project just killed in the process. What has happened with those three elements?

- Musicians. Well, it's almost Mr. Driver all by himself here, and he's, without a doubt, really talented in every instrument he touches. The rest of the musicians do their job perfectly, especially Skerirk and Teuber, who play wonderful, warm, jazzy saxophones and clarinets that give this album a distinct intellectual-yet-human, avant-garde-yet-traditional, enigmatic flavor.

- Harmony. BLD is a masterpiece of textures and harmonies. All in all, that's what the album really is about. Creating textures, landscapes of long and distant notes, eerie forests with naked branches that fall to the ground in a palette of colors and images. What Driver has accomplished here is truly remarkable: an album that seems to transcend its genre (more on this later) and move beyond description to the outer realm of art. He's not limited by the rules of conventional harmony and creates his own highly dissonant and at times atonal music. This is NOT the experimental waste of DAICT, this is the real thing.

- As said above, the weak idea in DAICT has finally grown up and matured into a brilliant body of work in BLD. The whole album seems like the culmination of a process initiated, probably, with the still- unheard (by me) "Choirs in the Eye". I will not say much about this theory but let me say that, after DAICT, BLD appears, feels like the natural realization of a developing process, like the birth of a new creature after the trial-and-error mistakes of the past. Driver has found his voice, and it's here.

Before I say a few words about the songs, let me just mention some additional elements worthy of praise.

- Recording. The recording is crystal clear here. We have several instruments here, many in the higher registers, and we can hear them all. The sound is pristine but never overproduced. The drums, I may say, have been recorded in that empty sound so typical of post-metal bands (more on the style later; this is NOT post-metal) as NEUROSIS. In fact, the drums sound very similar to those of that band: raw, empty, big, opaque, lifeless. But it adds to the experience. It helps create the atmosphere that finally permeates the album, and I can live with that.

- The style. What is KAYO DOT? I remember one year ago I called them post metal and many were outraged at the idea. I still maintain that DAICT sounds like the mix of a post-rock album with metal, with all the problems mentioned above. In the end, it had jazz and avant-garde elements but it all seemed pasted incoherently together. In BLD, the band finally reaches maturity as it can no longer be described in any terms but as KAYO DOT. The metal element has all but disappeared here, and we no longer feel any connection (other than the sound of the drums) between this music and that of NEUROSIS or PELICAN. Or that of any metal band for that matter. This is NOT metal. But this is also NOT rock or post-rock. There are a lot of jazz influences here, a lot of 20th-century-classical music influences also, but we can't say this is neither jazz nor academic music. This is KAYO DOT. Experimental music, avant-garde music. And good one at that.

Last year I dissected every little second of DAICT's tracks. I don't review albums that way anymore, but to be fair, let me return once again, though briefly, to that style of reviewing.

Blue Lambency Downward (10/10) The track starts like a menacing storm that is ready to explode, but at the same time, that would never hurt nobody, and that would actually heal souls in the process. Almost immediately voices sound, voices in chorus, soft, tenderly, creating the image in my mind of little mighty creatures or spirits in the deserted forest. The music remains at the same slow pace but the tension continually grows. At about the 2:44 minute mark the chaotic drums make their appearance, as if to destroy the dead peace that existed. Winds and psychedelic guitars intertwined creating an atmosphere of despair, loneliness and uncertainty. The drums finally play a steady rhythm, very jazzy and restless at that, providing the song with coherence and effect. This dance of sounds and colors in this narcotic forest subsides when the voice reappears underlined by an acoustic guitar, breaking into the noise with a declamation of utter desperation. The music reaches beauty (yes, it's not a typo) when the voice sings a depressing, hopeless melody with drums trying to survive the storm in the back. This is the mood of the remainder of this, the first-ever (for me) absolutely satisfying track by KAYO DOT.

Clelia Walking (10/10) A lonely guitar and a joyful distracted clarinet talk in a dialogue that seems to go nowhere, as the guitar is pensive and the wind is playful, yet it starts to get darker and sadder with every minute that passes. Heavy accents in the drums announce a new theme, in one of the few sections here that still sounds like post-metal. Then a violin stops the violence and only adds to the ambiguous, uncertain mood that was before. A keyboard makes a brief appearance and the chaos ensues once again. Calm again, the violin is the only living creature in this barren land. Suddenly a voice that seems to come from the 60's (?!) sings a very seductive (?!) yet dangerous melody. A fantastic nostalgic magical track. Best ever by KAYO DOT and deserving the quite unbelievable (for me) rating I'm giving it.

Right Hand is the One I Want (7/10) Piano, atmospheric old-fashioned voices, drums played with brushes, all adds to the atmosphere of a weird psychedelic bar of times gone by. The effect here is of a sort of jazz-meets-LSD that is very interesting though hardly optimist. Until right now, the only flaw we're starting to feel with BLD is that the mood of the record continues in the same narcotic-depressing vein, and we could very well use a faster, more dynamic moment here. The songs wanders a little aimlessly for a few minutes, bringing back just a few short memories of nightmares of the past, but unlike DAICT, it still feels as a part-of-something rather than a musical abortion. The weakest track here.

The Sow Submits (7.5/10) Finally, the mood seems to change. The same psychedelic, hallucinating atmosphere but with more decision, with more strength, with more of a drive. The drums don't know what to do while the winds, strings and guitar fight for domination. The drums give up, only to try again to no avail. Melody isn't really happening here, but the textures make up for its absence. The eternal fight between the instruments is, absurdly, won by the bass, the last instrument to be heard in this enigmatic track.

The Awkward Wind Wheel (9/10) Another explosion of colors leads to the fastest section in the album, a necessary change in mood and speed. Suddenly, the voices appear; we are in a pretty standard grunge-sounding song (?!) with hints of MR BUNGLE. Driver (or whoever it is) actually sings like a rocker (?!) for a few moments, and the track continues to go in the same way, reaching points of weird (in this album and band) traditionalism, sounding like normal rock music (?!) Of course the relentless chaotic drums have to have the final word at the end, but the track is pretty normal for KAYO DOT's standards. Maybe not the greatest track ever, but positioned as it is in the album, it works wonders.

The Useless Ladder (8/10) We're back in the land of phantoms and illusions. We won't be here long, as this track is really short. Only voices singing over a soft cloth made of little sounds. Too short, but effective, again, in the whole process of BLD.

Symmetrical Arizona (9.5/10) The winds start this one up with doubts, as if insecure of where to go, like covering a labyrinth or fog and death trying to aim for the light. This is not non-sense noise as in DAICT. We hear short-lived precious melodies here. The guitar finally appears with a sense of importance and decisiveness that makes its weight felt in the track. The guitar plays a very atmospheric, melancholic solo for a few minutes, and we feel like the song is actually going somewhere, it's like something is about to happen. After a few minutes of this, the bass brings all to a conclusion and the strings appear, pizzicato at times, to start to build the final tension. The drums come back in all their glory with the final triumphant moment in the album, where the voice sings its lasts chants of despair before the mighty machine of nature and circumstances kills it. Another steady, up-tempo (for KAYO DOT at least) section closes the album in ambiguity, like a rock album that wasn't meant to be or a jazz jam gone wrong or an avant-garde experiment that actually has its feet on the ground for once. The music recedes. The album ends. We're satisfied.

As I said before, what the album has most going for it is the fact that it flows perfectly like a musical story, with a beginning, a middle section made of shorter tracks, and an end of epic proportions. I can't understand why some people say the shorter tracks damage the experience. For me, here I have balance, I have coherence, I have a PLAN and not just a pretentious over-indulgent jamming session as in the long, 18-minute disasters of DAICT.

Of course, as I stated when I started my review of that fatidic album, It's obvious that the word music doesn't have the same meaning for everybody. For some people, music was what they got in DAICT.

For me, it's what I get in this album.

The big battle of instruments that Blue Lambency Downwards is leaves me a final question. What is the rating I should give it? And if I give it a real high one, is it really that different from 2006's Dowsing Anemone to deserve it?

Yes, the album is THAT different. I heard the 2006 beast just a day before listening to this album for the first time. All that was wrong in that record has been solved in the newer one. All the elements that made that experience such a pain to endure are a thing of the past.

Also, yes, there are still some issues with this music that makes it not apt for it to be my every-day thing. I probably won't hear it all the time as I do with my favorite music. But it's obvious that I will listen to it much more than its predecessor, and, more importantly, I will enjoy it million times more, as this is an album I can digest, I can analyze, I can tolerate, and ultimately, I can even praise, and applaud. For this one is a work of art.

So, let's do the same that I did before. Not an average of songs but a rating of the whole experience. Subjectively, the album would get a 4 by me. In my mind, this is as avant-garde as I can go, (I don't like extremely modern music) and, logically, at the apex of that style for me, it reaches a 5. A rating of 4.5 is unavailable. So I will extend to KAYO DOT the same courtesy I extend to my favorite bands, and go UP for the final rating.

Mr. Toby is finally in the Driver seat with me (awful pun intended).


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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#172057) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 23, 2008

Review by OpethGuitarist
5 stars A poem written in threes over four.

Welp, here we have another outstanding record by a band, really just Toby and Mia, who refuse to compromise musical integrity. I must say that it is truly astounding how remarkable a creation this group continues to put forth record after record. I can not think of another band that has continuously strung together such a set of albums to listen to in awe. There is little in common with the previous record but still so much in common as to the style that is Kayo Dot. While the wandering has been somewhat concised, one still feels as if floating in the wind and directed purely by the harmonies of the band. I really can not say enough about the title track, which has quickly become one of my favorite recorded moments, with such passion, emotion, and feeling encapsulated in such a minuscule amount of time and space.

What makes this even more remarkable is the doom to be found in the middle of the second track, which is one of the best sequences of chords these ears have heard, expounding the listener to cast out any other thoughts and focus solely on the message at hand. We are truly embraced and surrounded by the music at hand. Few albums will startle us as much as the passages found in Clelia Walking, rendering a quality that is eternal and majestic as this.

Perhaps what makes this album most special is the longevity which can be provided by it because of its continual surprises and pleasures which not only challenge the listener but bless him with sounds that few could conceive or conjure. I am continually in awe of the direction and scope of this band and this set of musicians who continue to broaden the horizon of music and what we view it as. This would also serve as the most accessible Kayo Dot album from a non-metallic standpoint, as far as most traces from Maudlin of the Well are completely gone, but to say it is accessible is almost laughable, for this album is truly only for those with the most open and specific of musical taste. Still, an absolute masterpiece has been constructed.


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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#172768) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 01, 2008

Review by Dim
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.


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Posted Thursday, July 03, 2008

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars About as easy to ingest as the title

Kayo Dot has been the subject to a lot of praise recently, all of their albums usually seen as the bringers of the new dawn of progressive music with their off beat avant gard post metal sound. What's important to understand about this band is that - yes, they're very creative, - yes, they're very original and - yes, they have a certain amount of structure to their music. It's also important to understand that if you fancy yourself a prog fan who enjoys the sweeping melodies and grandeurs of the epics and concepts then you will not, and I repeat not enjoy this album. Of course by now the masses are screaming, ''but have an open mind! Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean it's not good!''. Well having listened to this album as many times as I would give any album that I am more inclined to like (perhaps more) I can say that I've formulated an opinion on this disc. There's lots of things about this album that makes for a frustrating listen, so let's get into them.

This album is difficult to enjoy. Okay, sure, not much prog rock is an easy listen the first time you hear it, but it usually has at least one melody, one hook, one something to make you come back to the album. The first time I heard this album I could not tell you a thing about it afterwards other than it was devoid of melody and mostly drums with some plucking of guitar strings along the way. Determined to understand what makes this band one of the Holy Cows of modern prog I listened to it more and more to the point where I was forcing myself to listen to it. That's not usually the mark of a good album. Sure, a good prog album finds its way under your skin and you find yourself liking it without knowing what the hell just happened, you wake up one day and say, ''wow! This really is something!''. Well, unless you're going to cut open your arm and put this album inside this one is not going to make it under your skin. Right off the start this album is a let down. The 10-minute long title cut makes for a long and boring retread of very little going on. After hearing a lot of post/experimental prog metal you might be thinking to yourself, ''and it explodes into motion.... now!!'' and it doesn't, ''NOW!!!'' still nothing. Then you get frustrated and beat your head against the wall wondering why this song has wasted 10 minutes of your life. A very samey voice drags you through an overly under ambitious drum section with guitar plucking a string now and again, the bass lazily drifting along for the ride. While songs like this usually build up to an emotional and cataclysmic climax this one just doesn't! If you had to draw this song in some sort of portrait it would likely be one strait line. Moving into the second track Clelia Walking we're greated with some heavier stuff and a string section near the middle. Instead of immersing us in a sea of evil as so many post metal bands do this one attacks with quick bursts, and that can often be effective. Here it is not. There's once again no buildup to make any emotions bubble and this one too quickly falls flat.

Honestly, put this album on and put the playhead anywhere, you'll hear pretty much the same thing. A string section lazily drifting on a boring bass line resonating from the last time it was plucked three minutes ago, a heavy riff followed by silence or the voice which is as uninspiringly monotonous as just about anything I've ever heard. Right Hand Is The One I Want carries on the lack of emotional tension and repetitive hits of the same themes... and the cereal box would read ''now with more string section!''. Right on. 21 minutes into the record and I'm bored to tears. When will it end? The Sow Submits is a lazy instrumental section capturing the 'essence' of the first three songs. An almost emotional moment near the end when the drums start going mad. Some wind sections in here also lazily drift along. Still not convinced.

Okay, whoa! Here we go! The Awkward Wind Wheel starts with a heavy bass, frantic drums and launches into a powerful piece led by a creepy voice and a well instructed guitar riff that does everything the album wanted to do all along! The voice is frantic, panicking, shrieking to the audience! The string section comes in and sometime between the last time we heard it and now it became interesting! The winds come in to increase tension and the strings bring it up even more the drumming becomes more frantic and everything goes into an enjoyable chaotic frenzy. But it's over all too soon.

Yes, yes that's right, were back into nothingness. The Useless Ladder is just that - a questionable song that really doesn't do anything but cause one to raise an eyebrow. Almost entirely a-Capella with some subtle instrumentation in the background this one is plain bizarre... which is acceptable and not. Really, if this album was filled with killer tracks this one would probably work well to introduce the closing song. As it is it really just amplifies the fact that hey, so far there's only been one enjoyable song on the bill. The final song on the album works a lot like the opener except, hey, this one actually goes somewhere. This one has a build that a lot of the other songs have been missing and it actually has emotion behind it! Wow, they actually woke up! Too bad the album is just about over. Still chaotic, Symmetrical Arizona may not be a powerhouse like The Awkward Wind Wheel but it's trying. It's trying oh so hard. Some King Crimson like moments coming into the end almost make for a calling of 'retro' applicable to the style with the multi-instruments layered on top on a malevolent ambiance. Then it's over. It's finally over.

Right then, if you haven't already burned me at the stake in your mind for this... This one has to get 1.5 awkward wind wheels out of 5. Rounded up because I'm sure there's an audience out there for people who really hate to listen to anything slightly conventional. If you hate melody and love dissonance you'll likely get a kick and a half out of this album. The word pretentious comes to mind when I think about what to call it in general, but we in the prog scene are used to that term enough. Some may like to sit on Toby Driver's high horse and say that anything that doesn't attempt to traverse the norm is garbage, but there's some parts of the norm that have always worked for a reason. Kudos for being experimental, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.


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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#177390) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 20, 2008

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Kayo Dot - 'Blue Lambency Downward' 3 stars

Not Kayo Dot.

While this is another bold musical statement, I feel like Kayo Dot left something important behind. The album is a lot more jazzy and avant, but lacks the metal and anger that really establishes mood in the songs on previous albums. What is really astonishing about the record is that I find the shorter, least progressive songs to be the best. The longer tracks just make me lose attention, quite rapidly. The title track is a perfect example of my accusation. The beginning just sounds endless and tiring, with little going on and sadly nothing going on till it is over. While none of the songs are 'terrible', I find none of them to really stand out except 'The Awkward Wind Wheel'.

A short review, I know, but this music is once again indescribable and useless to even try. I can assure the reader that Kayo Dot's two previous outputs are well above this album. There is a certain lack of what makes Kayo Dot. Kayo Dot.


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Posted Thursday, August 07, 2008

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars I've got only one word to describe this: emptiness.

Not that blackened draining emptiness, like some Experimental/Post-bands are able to create. Not that sophisticated emptiness minimalists are loved for. Not that evil emptiness Black Metal is known for. No, just emptiness which borders nothingness and senselessness. This is utterly pointless and uninspired record - I hate to express my thoughts that way but I've got no better words, seriously. Some blasts, some predictable free-jazz meanderings, some pseudo-metal stuff (less prominent than usually), some unmemorable melodic lines (less than usually), everything is over-too-chaotic and careless. If this is Avant nowadays, then I'd better check some Indie-Pop. Sorry


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Posted Monday, September 22, 2008

Review by sleeper
5 stars And the leviathan moves on..... Kayo Dot have gained a very strong cult following here on PA, largely due to the fact that they blend together multiple styles in thoroughly unique and avant garde way that has successfully worked its way under the skin of many listeners. But, its also fair to say that the fact that all three of their current albums are completely different from each other and bring something new to the table each time.

This time out, Kayo Dot are emphatically NOT a Metal band with Avant Garde tendencies, as some may have seen them, or even an Avant Garde band with metal tendencies. Here, the metal aspect of their music is gone, dropped, removed from existence, and replaced with a much more jazzy feel helped along by the hugely increased use of various wind instruments, notably the clarinet. Its important to note that these days, Kayo Dot are effectively a two piece band consisting of Mia Matsumia (violin and voice) and the multitalented genius (a word I don't bandy around too often) of Toby Driver, the rest of the previous two line ups have now gone. This means the music is very much under their control and as a result feels far more cohesive and , well, controlled than the previous output, the sprawling Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue.

One thing about this album that impresses me is the flow of the songs, they are all put together in a way that works brilliantly. The album starts with menacing ambience of the title track and builds through the wonderfully chaotic Clelia Walking and Right Hand is the One I Want before launching into the more Jazz Rock oriented songs of The Sow Submits and The Awkward Windwheel. From there there is a brief respite in the calmer The Useless Ladder before launching into the grand closer, Symmetrical Arizona. Its an album that feels perfectly crafted, as if it couldn't work any other way.

Though there is a lot of aspects of the bands music from the previous albums missing here, they have been replaced by new moods and styles whilst still retaining an unmistakably Kayo Dot sound to them. This is most emphatically not easy music to just dive into unless Avant Garde tends to be your bread and butter of music listening, but with time and patience you will find many strong melodies and quirks that create a memorable experience, and this is the hallmark of any truly great album, of which I am convinced Blue Lambency Downward is. In short, its almost the equal of the now legendary debut, Choirs of the Eye, and certainly my album of the year. 5 stars without question.


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Send comments to sleeper (BETA) | Report this review (#186578) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars A very interesting album to say the least. It's one of those records that requires the listener to work and have some patience. In other words to listen to this casually or as background music will probably bring some irritation and maybe even some frustration into your world. I have had this same experience with some of the Chamber Rock bands out there like UNIVERS ZERO. The reward is equal to the effort you put into it. That's not to say this is for everyone because it certainly isn't. To me this album seems like a solo record from Toby since his whole band left after the last recording except for Mia. This is completely different from the first two albums, hence the huge division of opinions from KAYO DOT fans about this album. It would seem the majority of fans prefer the first two albums by a substantial margin. The Metal, the Post Rock build ups, contrasts and rage are all but gone on this one. This is minimalistic, experimental, Avant-garde music with a strong jazzy flavour. I really didn't think too much of this album after listening to it at work all week, but when I gave it my full attention as I took the long drive home through the country, I started to understand. Someone described this album as a mix of TALK TALK's Spirit Of Eden and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and while that's not totally accurate it does make some sense.

"Blue Lambency Downward" opens with a dark mood as the guitar plays slowly and sleigh bell-like sounds can be heard. Reserved vocals before a minute.It starts to get a little experimental 3 minutes in as outbreaks of sound come and go until the soundscape becomes fairly steady. Vocals are back before 6 minutes as it settles then builds slowly to the end where it calms right down. "Clelia Walking" is dark and experimental as the clarinet slowly dances around. Heaviness comes barging in after a minute, it's almost doom-like. Organ then violin follow. The clarinet is back. Explosive outbursts are followed by violin again. Vocals before 4 minutes to the end. "Right Hand Is The One I Want" is a little brighter with piano, light drums and vocals. It's jazzy a minute in with horns. Violin after 4 minutes and it becomes prominant 6 minutes in to end it.

"The Sow Submits" has a great intro that I like then there's a brief calm before horns come in. This is contrasted with dark, intense and dissonant outbreaks the rest of the way. Nice. "The Awkward Wind Wheel" is uptempo as vocals join the pounding drums and other sounds. The drumming is prominant throughout. "The Useless Ladder" is more about creating a mood. Lots of atmposphere in this one. Vocals with eerie violin before a minute. "Symmetrical Arizona" is slow and melancholic with sax and clarinet interplay early. The guitar takes over from the wind instruments 2 minutes in. Violin 5 1/2 minutes in. Drums and vocals a minute later as a full sound comes in to the end. I really like this section.

I applaud Toby for making this record, it will be interesting to see if this was a "one off" or if he continues in this style. In the liner notes he says "Deep, heartfelt thanks to the aformentioned individuals and to all others who have gone out of their way to offer support and encouragement throughout this process. May 2006 through November 2007".


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#192221) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 07, 2008

Review by el böthy
4 stars One of the two most important and best Avant-garde bands at the moment (the other being Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) continues it´s path into unconventional territory, this time mixing some jazz into the already non-formulatic formula of their music; Blue Lambency Downward is not only a step into all directions (forward is just not enough), but a departure of what Toby & co. had been doing so far with their previous albums. And that´s not to say they needed that departure, which makes this shift ever so more interesting, at least in this reviewer´s opinion. Well could they have made Choirs of the eye part II and I don´t think many would have argued with the results, yet instead they don´t look back, which, funny enough, does bring some questioning from some. And how wouldn´t it? Blue Lambency Downward is just as hard to swallow as their previous efforts where, but this time the Dots changed a bit ...too much? Maybe. Is that bad? Fuck no! It is in this reviewer´s opinion that the Kayo Dot have never sounded better; if I liked their music before with this album I´ve grown lo love it.

Gone are the long songs (although both the opener and closer strech into 10 min) and bombastic metal outbursts, and introducing: short pieces of music (I´m afraid the term "songs" is pidgeonholding). But although the great majority of the album consists of short pieces, these seem to be episodes of a whole, for you see, there is a unity of entity thru out the album that, if not taken track of when one "movement" ends and the other begins, one could almost think of it as a single 40-something min piece of music. Yet, stand outs do appear here. The self titled opener is one, with it´s introductory guitars and soft, bittersweat vocals and so is it´s closer, Symmetrical Arizona, maybe the only track that has anything to do with their former albums. But maybe the best song, or at least this reviewer´s personal favorite (oh, how important and pretentious I feel speaking in the third person) is The awkward wind wheel, with it´s Sleepytime-esque intro it quickly falls into avant-jazz territory which could almost be considered to have a slide resemblence to rock music... but those thoughts are quickly thrown away by the middle of the song... yes, this one could qualify as one!

Although it might not surpass Choirs of the eye, it is however a brilliant, fresh, sophisticated, at times intimate and (yes) awkward album from a band (or should I say a man?) not interested in looking anywhere but within their own self impossed incapability to reastrin themself to boundaries.

A line from Clelia walking might best express them than what I tried to: "I don´t want to be the melody". Sure thing, they are much more.


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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#200847) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Review by horsewithteeth11
4 stars Unlike most people, I started exploring Kayo Dot with this album, and not with the masterpiece that is Choirs of the Eye. Although I can definitely say I wasn't disappointed. I was initially shocked that this album had no traces of metal on it and made me wonder what the band was doing in Experimental/Post Metal, but their other two albums so far have cleared that up for me. The most noticeable aspect of this album is how strikingly beautiful and melodic it is despite it being anything but accessible music. I remember playing this for the first time, and after hearing Symmetrical Arizona, I put Itunes on repeat and listened to that song another 4-5 times in a row. The utter beauty of this album is really hard to describe. Toby Driver's very dark singing really adds a lot of atmosphere to this gloomy music. And yet at the same time, his voice sounds very comforting. It's not one of the strongest or best voices ever, but it fits the music well. It's also amazing how many of the instrumental duties he takes on in this album, as well as all of his works. The guy really knows his stuff and creates dark music that's very eclectic while retaining avant-garde inspirations. Actually, this really isn't so much a Kayo Dot album as it is a Toby Drive-Mia Matsumiya project under the Kayo Dot name with several guest musicians on board. The use of odd noises and unusual percussion also stands out here, but again, most of that is simply to add to the atmosphere. Saying this is a multi-layered album might be simplifying it.

I'm not sure why so many people feel this is a weak Kayo Dot album. I enjoy it quite a bit and think it's simply the band's take on a new direction for their music. It gets 4 stars from me, although it might as well be 4.5. It's not a masterpiece in my ears, but it's pretty close. Recommended for those who enjoy melodic music with plenty of dissonance and inaccessibility. This applies in particular to fans of avant-garde or chamber music, and possibly some symphonic prog fans who fit some or all of the previously mentioned criteria. This is an album that will require plenty of active listening and repeated listens.


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Send comments to horsewithteeth11 (BETA) | Report this review (#221594) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review by Negoba
1 stars Indulgent Free Time Snore Fest

Kayo Dot's BLUE LAMBENCY DOWNWARD was actually the first Toby Driver album I purchased, not long after joining ProgArchives. Immediately I heard a certain talent contained in the music, but the album was just very difficult to get into. I've tried over and over to capture the vibe of that magic I detected. Sadly, aside from some fleeting passages here and there, it's just not here. In the meantime I've gotten a few Maudlin of the Well albums, and here the talent finally reveals itself. I can respect that Driver is trying to push himself further and further, but by this album, he has his head so far into his navel that I feel like he doesn't even care that I, the listener, am even here.

The majority of the album is a kind of free time, dissonant, avant rock/jazz hybrid. The guitars are quite subdued through most of the album, and various horns are used in an almost Univers Zero styled warped chamber music. But there is extremely little structure here, with the instruments hanging on dissonant chords for extended periods, playing contrapuntal lines that have very little relation to each other, and Driver's nasal vocals drifting in and out acting more as another (a)melodic instrument than a lyric lead. What's more, everything is slooowww and dragging, occasionally making it up to midtempo before limping back to ambling snail.

Though Driver dominates all of his projects, this might as well be a solo album, as the only other band member credited is Mia Matsumiya on violin and vocals. There are various guest musicians, but Driver plays all the various guitars, keys, some clarinet, and obviously wrote all the music. The sound of the album is exactly that, an isolated genius recording alone in his lair, virtually oblivious to the world around him. The length of the songs is simply indulgent. It's as if Driver is challenging the listener to dislike the album just so he can say "Well you just don't get it." Well I'm calling the bluff. This is drivel. And I do get it, because I've heard him use the exact same elements to better effect on other albums.

Some critics of the album bemoan the lack of heaviness here. Well MotW's PART THE SECOND doesn't have many heavy elements either, and it's brilliant. The difference? The most important was probably that Driver actually had to work directly with others throughout the process. But there's just more melody, rhythm and interest than on this album. And everything that is remotely beautiful on BLD is even more beautiful on PTS. Another good comparison is early Weather Report. Also very free form, the jazz masters still are able to keep a bit of interest and movement in their music despite being extremely challenging.

To be fair, after the cacophonous catastrophe that is the opening title track, the album improves somewhat. Track 2, "Clelia Walking," sounds like the soundtrack to a modern art- horror flick. Bassoon and violin are haunting, and the sounds Driver employs are a bit more varied and interesting. What's more, the song gets its point across in five and half minutes. Interestingly, the song has a line that characterizes the whole album, "I don't want to be the melody, I prefer the choking sow." Umm, ok, mission accomplished. Track 3 returns us to atonal snooze land. Track 4, the ironically titled "The Sow Submits," is a bit more orchestral, veering somewhat into RIO territory, and actually makes some bit of musical sense. It's still among the most avant-garde pieces of music you'll hear, but at least it has something to say. There are actually some ebbs and flow in mood and intensity, some meaningful interaction between the instruments. Subsequent tracks are mixed bags, with some promising sections but also extended periods of essentially nothing happening.

For lovers of really avant, atonal music, this may have some interest. Even then, it may still bore you to tears. I certainly take notice that some think this is a work of genius. It may be the work of A genius, but this one goes way too far into introseptive territory. It's trying too hard to be arty, trying too hard to push the boundaries, and not just letting it flow nearly enough. Again, there are moments, but it is actually painful for me to sit through some of this music to get to those moments.

I intended to give this album 2 stars when I started, but I think this one actually rates a 1. It's actively unpleasant and all too often boring. Off to listen to HERESIE to cheer me up.


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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#263056) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
1 stars I knew this was going to happen. I knew that Kayo Dot would have exceeded with experimentation, and they would have become boring. After a sublime, beautiful and breathtaking masterpiece debut, and the great follow up "Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue", the band reaches a lower point: the songs are almost all boring and for a moment, it seemed like Driver had nothing else to express that was interesting. Luckily, the 2010 release "Coyote" brought the band's level back to the origins. This is just a low point.

Despite my first, negative impression about it, there are some nice moments: the title track has some, as well as "Symmetrical Arizona", the longest and most successful song of the album generally speaking. Even in parts in "The Sow Submits" and "The Awkward Wind Wheel" are good, but honestly I can't find anything else.

As a conclusion, a disappointment, a weak moment for a great innovating band that will rise once again two years later this release with an album like "Coyote". But "Blue Lambency Downward" is just a fans only album. Too bad.


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Posted Thursday, July 15, 2010

Review by CCVP
4 stars Blue Lamben. .cy . .Downward ? . . . . WHAT? Wasn't it easier to call it Cold Blue Light Glowing and Facing the Ground?

Blue Lambency Downward marks a point of no return for Toby Driver and his projects. Up untill this point in time his albums were maked by an interesting and completelly innovative mixture or death metal, experimental jazz, folk music, clasical music, etc, etc, etc. However from this album onwards, the heavy metal metal influeces will be continuosly shrunk untill being just a trace of influence for the Boston group and the jazz influences will become increasingly prominent.

Blue Lambency Downward is right in the middle of that transition, what caused some noticable issues. The most nocieable one is regarding the music: the compositions, in spite of not being bad at all, are not as focused, diverse or well balanced as both some of his previous and future releases, such as Choirs Of The Eye and Coyote.

Those downsides, however, do not make the album void with actual content, boring or lost amidst the band's experimentation (that do lack some direction to some extent) as some other reviewers have pointed. Sure, this album is far from being perfect, but it is quite good. In all honesty, I think that their biggest problem was actually lacking experimentation.

The kind of experimentation that I refer to is the one they did in previous albums and in the times of Maudlin of the Well, mixing some of the most improbable things ever. Mixing music genres you would never expect to see together in an album, let alone in a single song. Although Blue Lambency Downward is still quite experimental, the whole album still sits quite confortably on its jazzy tunes. Despite that, the jazz they present here is still a killer.

Another problem that do weights negatively here is the lack of balance of the album. Instead of being smoothly developed through its 43 minutes, Blue lambency Downward clearly has two songs that literally hold the album together: the opener (title track) and the closer (Symmetrical Arizona). Maybe if it wasn't so polarized, the final product could be better much better that it is now.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Blue Lambency Downward is, overall, an excellet album. The problems it has don't keep it from still being an enjoyable and fun album to listen to. Sit confortably, get a glass of whine and enjoy yet another interesting and intriguing release by this great Boston band.


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Posted Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Review by Any Colour You Like
4 stars Kayo Dot's third full length release has polarised opinion on this site, and I can see why. What we have here is essentially a nightmarish lucid dream, projected through the astral plane in a sonic form. Therefore, Blue Lambency Downward is not an album for the faint of heart, of that I can assure you.

The fusion of experimental rock and free jazz is one that is sure to provide a challenging listen. The album flows rather well, despite the somewhat aimless nature of the track progression. The dreamlike soundscapes are accented by crisp, jazzy drumming and stark explosions of neo-classical instrumentation. Among many instruments, the clarinet and violin feature heavily here, adding to the bizarre melee of sounds throughout the soundscape. Lyrically, the album makes little sense, but in the overall aesthetical concept, the psychedelic nonsensical nature of the lyrics compliments the full presentation. Toby Driver's sparse vocals are largely dreamlike, and mark the gradual descent into madness. Bursts of instrumental dissonance often counteract the dreamlike soundscapes, however this is something which creates a wholly unique atmosphere. Indeed, if you want a description of how this album sounds, take a look at the psychedelic cover. Two movements stand out in particular for me, and they are 'The Awkward Wind Wheel', a truly chaotic piece featuring a drumming freak-out and a dissonant yet upbeat progression. The other is 'Celia Walking', a piece that fuses crashing dissonance with an interesting minimalist orchestration.

The power of this album is in the way it can manipulate the listener into a dreamy state. It is not especially heavy, technical or complexly composed, but relies upon the formation of a unique and somewhat bizarre atmosphere. I honestly can't think of any other album that sounds like this - Blue Lambency Downward is about as unique as it gets. And that alone is something to applaud in this day and age.


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Posted Friday, October 08, 2010

Review by Anthony H.
4 stars Kayo Dot: Blue Lambency Downward [2008]

Rating: 8/10

Blue Lambency Downward is the third album from American avant-rock band Kayo Dot. This album marks a shift from Kayo Dot's first two releases; while Choirs of the Eye and Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue were eclectic amalgamations of post-metal, avant-jazz, chamber music and ambient, Blue Lambency Downward features a consistent style throughout. The first and most apparent change here is the elimination of metal from the band's sound. I have always considered Kayo Dot to be an avant-garde group first and foremost; the first two albums' metal influences constituted only a small portion of the overall creation. Blue Lambency Downward shows them eliminating almost all metal in favor of RIO-tinged chamber-rock. Univers Zero would be the most obvious comparison, but Kayo Dot do a lot to distinguish themselves from that legendary Belgian band. Toby Driver's vocals have an enormous presence here, even more so than on previous albums. Toby may not be the greatest singer in terms of technicality, but his voice is almost undeniably passionate and compelling. His vocal strengths brightly shine here.

The title track is one of my favorites from Kayo Dot. Most of it is vocally dominated, and Toby's vocals manage to be both understated and intense. His vocal mantras are hypnotizing, causing the track to seem shorter than it actually is. "Clelia Walking" is an interesting combination of space-rock and chamber music. Toby's vocals and guitar are both ethereal. "Right Hand is the One I Want" features more great vocals. The free-jazzy drumming and discordant violin create a distinct atmosphere. "The Sow Submits" sounds like a lost Univers Zero track due to the disharmonious strings and the crushing rhythm section. "The Awkward Wind Wheel" is an absolutely stunning piece of hard-hitting chamber-rock. The vocal work continues to shine, and the climax is invigorating. "Symmetrical Arizona" is a minimalistic epic that ends the album in a suitably grandiose and emotive manner.

While Blue Lambency Downward is a flawed album that doesn't quite reach the heights of some of Toby Driver's best material, it is still a triumphant piece of modern avant-rock with no shortage of masterful moments. A few sections tend to meander slightly, but most of these moments are promptly corrected. The instrumentation is extraordinarily varied; clarinets, gamelans, vibraphones, and flute all show up without bringing any sense of disorganization to the music. Blue Lambency Downward is a largely transitional album, but this doesn't stop it from being original and captivating. This is not a perfect record by any stretch of the imagination, but it is an excellent release that most avant-garde music aficionados should be able to appreciate.


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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#613494) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars I love the album "Choirs of the Eye" and when I saw this album in the store on maroon vinyl, I just had to buy it because I knew I would never see it on vinyl again. It was worth the price I paid for it. The artwork is beautiful and the lyrics are printed in the gatefold so that you can sing a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1002674) | Posted by TCat | Sunday, July 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Kayo Dot steps forth from the mist in which he is saturated. Kayo Dot strides forward as the shadows shift around him. He breathes the morning air and the limitless potential captive inside its rush. He meanders throughout a rocky waste, dancing, weaving fabric of his thoughts through evenings an ... (read more)

Report this review (#566433) | Posted by Earendil | Friday, November 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I would agree with reviews stating that this isn't really a KAYO DOT album. I mean, it is technically, and certain sonic elements are still present. In fact, for the uninitiated, I doubt a significant difference would be detectable. But it comes in the fine details: There used to be a kind of den ... (read more)

Report this review (#409033) | Posted by Gorloche | Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars WARNING! having an open mind is recommended to give this album a listen. To fully enjoy the album you must understand the band, the music. Some people will think it's just some noisy jam others will think toby driver is a genius. Sadly I'm neither. Toby Driver certainly reached and broke some ... (read more)

Report this review (#221585) | Posted by OceanTree | Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward Kayo Dot's third studio album, entitled "Blue Lambency Downward", is nothing short of great, another fantastic niche in the belt of Toby Driver and his oft-changing line of companions (how come avant-garde bands can't hold on to band members?). Instead of the t ... (read more)

Report this review (#171422) | Posted by Figglesnout | Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward Kayo Dot returns with their third album, and it shows to be both a natural progression but also a dynamic shift in the music of this group. Toby Driver's composition has moved slowly away from the extreme metal of Maudlin, into a more jazz and minimalist influe ... (read more)

Report this review (#170603) | Posted by mellors99 | Sunday, May 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rating: B+ This is not a Kayo Dot album. Oh, certainly, Kayo Dot wrote it, recorded it, released it, and the music certainly sounds like Kayo Dot, but, on the whole, Blue Lambency Downward doesn't hit like a Kayo Dot record. That's not to say it's bad (it's very good), but whereas Kayo Dot's f ... (read more)

Report this review (#168723) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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