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Kylesa, ‘Ultraviolet’ – Album Review

Kylesa, 'Ultraviolet'
Season of Mist

For a good chunk of time now, America’s most innovative and entrancing metal has wafted up from the South, as the great state of Georgia has birthed the likes of Mastodon, Baroness and Black Tusk. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those acts are the fully baked sludge merchants of Kylesa, who’ve just unleashed their latest must-hear album, ‘Ultraviolet.’ 

With Kylesa, there is never any BS. The album’s opening track, ‘Exhale,’ pulls you into the core of Kylesa immediately, waiving any sort of dramatic introduction in favor of representing their signature sound from the very first second. Kylesa’s auditory swamp continues to lure the listener in further with the hypnotic and hauntingly beautiful ‘Unspoken,’ which oozes the essence of guitarist / vocalist Laura Pleasants as she trades vocal lines with an ominous harmonic chant.

Beginning to wander through heavy metal territory, the band showcases an absolutely massive riff which kicks off ‘Grounded,’ a track which emulates both the groove and doom styles of Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi. The humidity level keeps rising throughout ‘Ultraviolet’ as Kylesa offer standout tracks ‘We’re Taking This’ and ‘Quicksand.’ Meanwhile, the exhausting atmosphere produced by Kylesa is accompanied by ‘Vulture’s Landing,’ a piece that sweats the hallucination of a desert-wandering mirage.

By the time a listener makes it all the way to ‘Drifting,’ they’ve gone through a drenching experience, and the final track of ‘Ultraviolet’ can either feel like a sip of chilled water or the few moments which come before a leering heat-death … depending on your personal interpretation. Regardless of where ‘Ultraviolet’ takes you, it’s obvious from beginning to end that Kylesa have created a career-defining disc packed with experimentation and personality. Start driving South, because an album like ‘Ultraviolet’ is certain to inspire rich efforts from metal’s current generation.

4 Stars

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