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Static Tensions

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Album Review

Since constant musician turnover has pretty much been the only "constant" aspect of Kylesa's career thus far, the Savannah, GA-based outfit's latest personnel department update (that being session bassist Javier Villegas) is duly noted, but glossed over so that we can focus on far more relevant issues such as the condition of the group's ever-evolving musical endeavors on album number four, 2009's Static Tensions. (Come to think of, it shouldn't that always be the case? Anyway...) Well, for starters, the band's refreshingly uncommon two-drummer, three-singer lineup continues to offer expanded possibilities for distinguishing their technically busy brand of post-progressive metal from contemporary competitors (and fellow Southerners) like Baroness and Mastodon. Along with the severely downtuned guitars of last-standing founding members Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants, those alternately shouted, crooned, or croaked "singing" styles provide all of the multiple personalities needed to flesh out the instrumental diversity of standouts like "Unknown Awareness," "Nature's Predators," and "Only One," whose mighty grooves boast elements of stoner rock, sludge rock, psych-rock, alternative rock (no "To Walk Alone"), and just plain ol' rock-rock (see "Almost Lost," in particular). And, OK, so some cynics may argue that a pair of "normal" drummers merely equates with one Brann Dailor (that's Mastodon's octopus-like percussionist), but not after hearing the devastating rhythmic propulsion that Kylesa's Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez bring to bear on whirling sound dervishes like "Insomnia for Months" and "Said and Done." At the end of the day, the best single word for describing Static Tensions is "unpredictable," and although this characteristic may demand a few more listens before the album's many amazing qualities can sink in properly, the ultimate payoff is very much worth the effort.

Customer Reviews

Progressive Sludge

"Unknown Awareness","Perception" and "To Walk Alone" are all worth the price of admission. If Baroness and Sonic Youth had a love child, it would likely sound a lot like Kylesa. Good stuff. Check out their new album. It's amazing!


Formed: 2001 in Savannah, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Savannah, Georgia-based Kylesa are, fundamentally, a metal group, but they are otherwise difficult to categorize: elements of hardcore punk, psychedelic stoner rock, technical speed metal, and good old-fashioned Black Sabbath sludge appear in their music. Also, with a front line consisting of three very different singers instead of a single focal point, Kylesa have a musical variety lacking from many of their more monochromatic peers. Kylesa formed in Savannah in 2001, taking their unusual...
Full bio
Static Tensions, Kylesa
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Customer Ratings