"Exhausting Fire" (Season of Mist; 2015)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Kylesa are sludge metal. This is their seventh full-length disc. I dig sludge metal because it's dirty and fuzzy and it usually has smooth solos over a sloppy background of brooding noise and, I must note, I think this is the first sludge metal band that has a female lead on vocals (please correct me if I'm wrong). These guys have been churning out sludge since 2002. They've done some split albums and have a solid following because they combine prog and sludge to create a muddled mess of amazing.

There are two voices from Kylesa, the female and the male. It's not a duo or a duel, it's a speaker tweaker. You get two edges instead of two sides. I think it bodes the band well, besides diversity is what gets you noticed. "Exhausting Fire" isn't just chill out music; they've got some hard and heavy tricks up their sleeves. You can feel the mood changes with the riffs and upbeat tracks. The music moves in a wave so you can ride it out and surf it back in.

They do have an alternative side as well. It might seem like stoner metal but it's got a cool flow and the guitar really moves the music instead of dragging the songs along. The bass is low and slow on a few cuts, that's when the trippy slithers in. You can feel a psych vibe on high when this happens. Kylesa cover the Black Sabbath classic, "Paranoid," probably because it fits their vibe.

Kylesa - Laura Pleasants - vocals, guitar; Philip Cope - vocals, guitar, bass, keys; Carl McGinley - drums.

To check out the band beyond the review: and on their Facebook page:

"Static Tensions" (Prosthetic; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The latest release from Savannah, Georgia's Kylesa is one those albums that is chock full of sounds and energy. They don't tease their listeners with much build-up and they certainly don't waste time.

Kylesa might very well get lumped into the doom metal pile for lack of a better label. That's not entirely accurate, however, because their music is heavier and thicker than your typical doom outfit (but, yes, the pace is slow and dripping with gobs of sludge).

One of the best aspects of this band are the spine-rattling heavy beats that flow throughout. I suppose that's easier to produce when you have two drummers going at it. The guitar has more layers of fuzz and distortion rapped around their sound. This undoubtedly adds texture and gives the music a dark and brooding feel at times. However, there are times where I found myself adjusting the setting on my stereo because the vocals were being covered by the guitars and some tracks were not as distinct as they could have been.

Kylesa are fairly aggressive in their approach and that comes through naturally. I did get the feeling that some of songs were too similar in their sound. That might also go along with my above point about the lack of distinction on some songs, yet Kylesa still bring a lot to this release. They go at it strong and are not afraid to hold back.

Not every song works, but Kylesa have developed their own sound and that's very important. Even though I had some minor problems with it I think this disc will appeal to a fairly broad audience and it might be the breakthrough release for this band.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2015 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2023 21:35:58 -0400 .