Kylesa, ‘From the Vaults Vol. 1′ – Album Review
Records consisting only of B-sides, rarities and demos are usually geared only to a band’s established fanbase – often strung together with no real creative goal in mind. Sometimes acts even release efforts like this solely to fulfill contractual obligations without having to write a new album. But in the case of Kylesa‘s ‘From the Vaults, Vol. 1,’ the band has issued a truly meaningful collection, both rich in quality and addictive in substance.
‘From the Vaults Vol. 1′ is home to a total of 12 tracks. Kylesa present one new song, ‘End Truth,’ eight previously unreleased or ‘limited availability’ tracks and three alternate versions of the already known songs, ‘A 110 Degree Heat Index,’ ‘Between Silence and Sound,’ and ‘Bottom Line.’
Kylesa guitarist and vocalist Laura Pleasants has called the album unique in style and rich in personality; claims that are backed up immediately as ‘Inverse’ hits the ears of the listener. This is an album that instantly plunges in its hooks and paralyzes the mind as Kylesa’s music drags the listener downward into a pool of quicksand — in a good way. The dual vocal attack and dual drumming attack of Kylesa lends a great deal of power to ‘From the Vaults. Vol 1,’ as the overwhelming sludge produced by the band is capped off by a disgustingly thick bass tone.
‘End Truth’ is another unique addition to Kylesa’s wealth of material, and it certainly stands out as the album’s only 100 percent new track, but what makes ‘Vol 1.’ so refreshing is that surrounding tracks such as the infectious ‘Paranoid Tempo’ and the raucous ‘Bottom Line II,’ are both equally captivating as the new hymn.
Metal music of this breed could only come from one place; and that’s the modern sludge metal mothership known as Georgia. Having birthed the careers of sludge innovators such as Mastodon, Baroness and Black Tusk, Georgia offers a slime similar to that of New Orleans, but with an extra layer of molasses poured over the top. If the purity of Georgian sludge could be measured like gold, Kylesa and ‘From the Vaults Vol. 1′ would register at 24 carats.
There are two beautiful aspects of this album: it feels and flows like a brand new record instead of just a hastily put together contractual obligation, and ‘Vol. 1′ boasts the promise of yet another compilation of lost and rare gems. Grab the most powerful speakers you can find, turn up the bass and let ‘From the Vaults Vol. 1′ pull you into pure density.