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Kayo Dot


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Kayo Dot Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike album cover
4.01 | 44 ratings | 4 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Knight Errant (8:21)
2. Brethren of the Cross (8:20)
3. Void in Virgo (The Nature of Sacrifice) (9:10)
4. Spectrum of One Colour (4:57)
5. Get Out of the Tower (7:06)
6. The Necklace (8:10)
7. Epipsychidion (13:13)

Total Time 59:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Toby Driver / everything

- Greg Massi / guitar solos

- Exact instrumentation could not be verified at this time. If you have information, please contact the site.

Releases information

CD Prophecy Productions - PRO 320 (2021, Worldwide)
2LP Prophecy Productions - PRO 320 LP (2021, Worldwide)

Release date October 29, 2021

Thanks to TCat for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KAYO DOT Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

KAYO DOT Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Reuniting some of the cast from previous Maudlin of The Well albums, Toby has stepped back into relativity with this, at times, stunning album.

1. "The Knight Errant" (8:21) a fascinating ride: high energy, yet, on cruise control the whole way--and narrated by an angry man with something to say. Could have used a little more variation in tempo and themes. (17.5/20)

2. "Brethren of the Cross" (8:20) engaging both musically and lyrically, the key and tempo changes are fresh and unpredictable--which makes me want to come back to it more. The instrumental seventh and eight minutes are awesome as the music slowly deconstructs. (18.5/20)

3. "Void in Virgo (The Nature of Sacrifice)" (9:10) definitely has a moTW feel to it despite its more modern/recent Depeche Mode-like synth wash treatments. The lead guitar work is my favorite element but the chord and key changes are also awesome. From the opening with Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins)-like rolling bass play and the guitar's melodic foundational chord progression, I am into this one. The sensitively sung lyrics and interjection of 80s synth sounds are wonderful. As a matter of fact, it's an extraordinary vocal performance--one of my favorites by Toby Driver in a long time. Great lead guitar play by Greg Massi--even as the walls of sound thicken. Awesome song! Great ending! (19.5/20)

4. "Spectrum of One Colour" (4:57) uptempo and fast-moving, this one sounds like a Billy Idol song. Interesting how Toby's dominant bass and the guitar's chord play weave around each other. I'm thankful to be able to understand the scream vocals, however, since I have trouble (or an innate lack of interest in) hearing words, the deep impact of the song is lost upon me. Love the oscillating synth work in the final section. (8.5/10)

5. "Get Out of the Tower" (7:06) that murky, echo bass of recent KD albums anchors a more moTW music structure-- even more emphasized by Toby's screaming vocals. (I think he's actually angry, folks!) The "angry" Robin Guthrie guitar play is another great aspect. While I like this song, I'm not as enamored of Toby's fairly untreated vocal--it's too thin and weak (except when he gets into the growling in the second half)--this despite the fact that I can appreciate the target of his anger. The full soundscape of the second half is much better than the spacious opening three minutes. (13.25/15)

6. "The Necklace" (8:10) a song based over the field-filling drumming! Floating, droning synth-guitar wall-scapes and screamed vocals help give it its other shape and identity--with great, slow-transitioning sustained chords--but the real attention-grabber here is the drumming--especially in the first half. Cool song! (14.25/15)

7. "Epipsychidion" (13:13) the walls of cacophony--despite the use of Edge Evans' guitar tone from the early 1980s-- coupled with the scream vocals throughout the first half of this song irritate me to no end. The song improves in the sixth minute as the walls of noise are taken down and Toby sings in a human voice (sounding drained and exhausted--a reflection of the planet and it's homo sapiens?) The second half, with it's experimental sound explorations, is highly entertaining and even enjoyable. Still, I simply can't reward those first five minutes too highly. (25.5/30)

Total Time 59:17

I don't know how Toby & Company manage to release album after album in which they challenge the existing norms of what is practiced--of what is acceptable--in progressive rock music, but they do--and here, with Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike, they've done it as well as they ever have. Definitely the most stunning display of the combination of frustrated aggression, instrumental virtuosity, and melody I've heard in 2021. In spite of this praise and recognition, I feel as if, once again, I'm faced with rating an album from this year whose song output ranges quite drastically from extremes of "pleasing" to "irritating." Were it not for the weak aspects (the growl/scream vocals and occasional lack of change or development), this might be one of my favorite albums of the year--and certainly the best experimental/post metal album. As it is, I can only go with the metrics. B/four stars; a very interesting and polarizing album to listen to (for me). I do not, however, hesitate to urge you to try it for yourselves.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars In the on again / off again world of KAYO DOT in regards to being an avant-garde metal band, Toby Driver has shifted gears once again away from the Gothic rock / electronica menageries of his post "Hubardo" period and once again jumped back into the heavier realms of music complete with death growls. While some may call KAYO DOT's tenth studio album MOSS GREW ON THE SWORDS AND PLOWSHARES ALIKE a return to form, it would be more accurate to call this album an interesting album length compendium of everything Driver has conjured up in his past works and thrown onto the work table for the ultimate mix of all the previous styles in one listening experience.

One thing is for sure and that is that KAYO DOT remains in its own little world, utterly unclassifiable although the list of ingredients that include avant-garde metal, gothic rock, doom metal and progressive rock do give a hint of what to expect. With some rather bloated projects in the past with huge rosters of guest musicians, MOSS GREW is basically the Toby Driver show where he plays all the instruments with the only exception being guitar solos performed by Greg Massi. Jason Byron, the long term collaborator continues to provide the lyrics for Driver's unique atmospheric knotty prog to latch onto.

Clocking in at close to an hour, MOSS GREW ON THE SWORDS AND PLOWSHARES ALIKE displays a triumphant return to those missed metal accoutrements that decorate Driver's musical palette like no other. "The Knight Errant" unapologetically breaks down the door announcing that the series of non-metal albums has ceased and a new chapter of the KAYO DOT experience has begun. With dramatic synth stabs, howling atmospheric keyboard fuzz and off-kilter percussive outbursts, Driver re-introduces his growly metal vocal angst yet without the aqcompanienmt of heavy guitar distortion but rather jagged angular keyboard runs, jazzy drumming dopamine inducers and crazy roller coaster ride time signature changes and proggy workouts. Some heavier guitars do make their appearance but always play second fiddle to the untamed and oft unhinged synth madness.

It becomes quite clear with the second track "Brethren Of The Cross" that Driver did not completely abandon his avant-goth leanings of the previous albums but in fact has melded them with his prior avant-metal and Maudlin of the Well sensibilities. The juxtaposition of elements provides a turbulent stormy ride like chartering a sailboat over the Drake's passage to Antarctica. This atmospheric jungle mixed with the more aggressive metal leanings is exactly what the doctor ordered and offerings the much needed contrast that has been missing on Driver's non-metal offerings. The result is an abstract soundscape in the vein of MotW's "Bath" and "Leaving Your Body Map" as well as the earliest KAYO DOT offerings all kept in the more accessible realms of Driver's more recent jaunts into the easier on the ears soundscapes of Goth electronic mood enhancers.

The diversity factor has been turned up on MOSS GREW and that is what makes it such a welcome return to past glories! While recent albums sorta got stuck in a one-trick pony groove, this one really isn't afraid to let each track drift to wherever feels right. "The Necklace" is a particular standout as erratic percussive drive accompanies a chilled out synth soaring sequence with Driver screaming from beneath the mix. Another standout is the closing 13-minute plus "Epipsychidion" which delivers what one could only deem as atmospheric death metal. Thick ambient cloud covers suffocate heavy drumming and growly vocals with weirder than weird meandering compositional fortitude that reminds as to why Toby Driver is considered one of the most inventive artists in today's prog and metal realms.

MOSS GREW ON THE SWORDS AND PLOWSHARES ALIKE comes as an unexpected surprise as the previous album "Blasphemy" really made me think that Driver had peaked and was destined to no longer compose music that i can't really resonate with. If anything this album reminds me that Driver is always on the lookout for something new to latch onto but also has his pulse on the whims of the fanbase and returned to a more familiar comfort zone in the nick of time for those on the fence. Overall, MOSS GREW is not only a dramatic and welcome return to his metal roots but really does capture the essence of everything Driver has tackled up to this point. It's sort of a recap in musical form of all those "leaving your body map" musical projections. What really makes this one work is the abstract fuzziness of it all, as if it is the soundtrack to a dream. Just enough melodic progressions to latch onto yet one of the most surreal KAYO DOT experiences to behold in a very long time.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Kayo Dot are back with their tenth full-length release two years after the totally-okay Blasphemy. That album continued the band's recent trend away from metal and toward Gothic rock with some experimental leanings. Kayo Dot has always been difficult to nail down with precise genre descriptors, freq ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904533) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5.0 Stars. maudlin of the Well + Kayo Dot = Astral Hubardo Kayo Dot have been on a strong run for a while now. Ever since their landmark Hubardo album back in 2013 they have been delivering a diverse but consistent string of albums for the rest of the decade. They had tuned down the pure Avant c ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636053) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Monday, November 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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