Released: 2006, Prosthetic Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Georgia’s Kylesa have a good angle to work with three vocalists (one being female) and two drummers in their corner. Now before anyone starts getting thoughts of Slipknot, Kylesa’s style of sludgy stoner metal is far removed from what the masked Iowans are doing but it does make a person sit up and take notice when presented with such a unique lineup. On album number three, TIME WILL FUSE ITS WORTH, the band continues to soldier onward with dirty riffs and a doom-like, fuzzed-out atmosphere of noise that is nothing if not engaging. Comparisons to everyone from Mastodon and High On Fire to Neurosis and The Sword are relevant here as Kylesa bridges several genres of heavy music but what is certain is that the tunes on TIME WILL FUSE ITS WORTH are heavy, driving and thoroughly crusty.
Like a punked-up fusion of Neurosis and Mastodon, “What Becomes An End” thunders along with a bashing, crashing assault of drums and hazy guitar tones. “Hollow Severer” saws away with a bouncy groove and riffs that evoke memories of the splendorous Kyuss but the middle section is reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s experimental work during the VOL.4/SABBATH, BLOODY SABBATH period. Sublime atmospherics open “Where The Horizon Unfolds” but a harshness quickly overpowers everything with a barrage of pained vocal growls and wails that are multi-dimensional and highly effective. “Between Silence and Sound” is a slow, dirge-like exercise in hallucinogenic distortion where Corey Barhost, Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants all take a turn at wreaking vocal havoc. While Pleasants hardly brings a siren-like soprano to the table, her dynamic is clearly felt and acts as a welcome twist. “Ignoring Anger,” possibly the heaviest track here, is deceptively serene at first but later explodes with the churning guitars of Cope and Pleasants that embroil themselves in a feedback-soaked wall of sound.
While the twin drum attack of Jeff Porter and Carl McGinley looks good on paper, there really isn’t a dramatic feel—or need—for the pair on TIME WILL FUSE ITS WORTH. The instrumental closer, “Outro,” is essentially a snazzy drum solo but elsewhere, the crushing power that should come out of having two able skinsmen fight for dominance to the death seems lost. Granted, the rhythm section of Porter/McGinley and Barhost unleash a beating like a dozen corrupt cops but I was expecting more. The album is masterfully produced by Phillip Cope and the result is one of the most intense, weighty albums of the year but for all the hoopla surrounding the presence of two drummers, the whole issue seems moot.
TIME WILL FUSE ITS WORTH is a brilliant underdog of an album that will take many by surprise. Kylesa clearly wants to dissociate itself from any genre tags or comparisons but like it or not, the inevitable parallels can be drawn to Mastodon, High On Fire, The Sword and Neurosis—bands themselves that often stretch genre boundaries. How “metal” Kylesa wants to be may come into question but the outright heaviness of an album like TIME WILL FUSE ITS WORTH is undeniable.
KILLER KUTS: “What Becomes An End,” “Hollow Severer,” “Where The Horizon Unfolds,” “Between Silence and Sound,” “Ignoring Anger”