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Kayo Dot - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.71 | 176 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Artistic, beautiful, terrifying, aggressively challenging ... "Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue" is the consumate avant-garde release, and will either leave you gushing with praise for its audaciousness, or lost in the vacuum of its enervating nihilism. You've been warned.

The tone of the opening track, "Gemini Becoming the Tripod" sets a dark and fragile tone for the album. Distorted, delicate guitar strums out tones giving way to a gradually building palette of slow-tempo intensity. Most listeners will be onboard for this introductory section, which is indicative of the "quite" sounds one will hear in this album; they are very beautiful, moody, and exceptionally well-played. When things explode, they do so in a big way, and most listeners will be immediately tempted to push STOP. The huge crescendo of percussive violence, anxiety inducing strings and guitar, and the non-stop wailing of bizarre vocals positively shatter the one's composure-- some will love it, others will be on the verge of a panic attack.

The second track slows things down, opening up the composition with airy textures and a variety of instrumental mood. The vocals shift to delicate melodies, almost etheric in quality with words becoming more notes than lyrics. Throughout the album these more moody moments shine, with moments of jazzy improvosation and intriguing use of minimalist playing. "Aura on the Asylum Wall" is probably the best example of this, with Driver's songwriting capitulating into giving us a few solos, although the savage bass close is a cool touch. The pattern continues, with the big, world-destroying intensity returning and giving way, closing the album with the wonderfully nuanced "Amarath the Peddler".

"Dowsing Anemone" is an incredibly difficult album to listen to, but it never felt like a chore... more like a challenge. Its tone is one of near psychosis, taking the listener on wild mood swings of fairy-tale beauty to nightmarish destruction. This music is not for everyone-- especially those who need something human to latch on to in their listener (like melodies or structure), but it rewards those up to the task with a genuine font of musical jewels to lose oneself in.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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