[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 8
Label: Season Of Mist
Website: Link
Author: Achilles Pantogyios[/colored_box]

For a band which 3 years ago released back to back two colossal albums like “Static Tensions” and “Spiral Shadow” the expectations are always high. Were these expectations met in “Ultraviolet” and was this album worth the three year wait? Yes and yes! Kylesa is one of those bands that never let their fans down and “Ultraviolet” is a release that drives a reviewer to write something about each and every song because they all have something different to offer. In this release they don’t just take their sound to the next level. They reach the next level and then decided to move 3-4 levels higher, just for the thrill.

Don’t be alarmed though, all the familiar elements are here. The dirty, spiteful sludge riffs that make you want to head bang and simultaneously hate the world and all the human beings for no apparent reason (“Exhale”, “We’re taking this” , “Vulture’s Landing” are the perfect example of hate – filled sludge songs, with obvious progressive touches from times to times) are still here . The incredible, passionate drumming from both the drummers who don’t leave a second without making their presence noticed and convey the rhythm of the song in such a way that causes you to constantly tap you feet, your desk and everything inside the make- shift – drum kit – radius, is still here. The super hit songs that will not leave your thoughts until you have listened to them about 20 times each and hummed them till borderline paranoia, they are still here. “Unspoken” is “Ultraviolet’s” “Unknown Awareness”, if you catch my drift, and “What Does It Take” is hands down the BEST SONG of 2013 so far. The melody of this song blending with the power and the boldness of Kylesa’s haunting keyboards is just beyond me. Their distinctive keyboards are used in other songs as well but this track is so addicting it’s ridiculous.

However, amongst all these things we have grown to love about this band comes a breath of fresh air. Kylesa decide to adopt the cleanest production in their carrer so far and to instill post rock and alternative rock into their tracks and that is risk that didn’t backfire. They take the best out of those two genres and mix them skillfully with their own aura and perceptions on music, creating more delicate, more soothing and dreamy songs than the usual, whether we are talking about full songs in that style (“Low tide” and “Drifting” for example with the later sounding like a sludge lullaby, that’s the only way I can describe it), or parts of other songs (like the two final minutes of “Steady breakdown”).  What is more, this style seems to get the best out of Laura Pleasants, singer and guitarist of the band and one of the two remaining founders of the band. Using her voice excellently and blending it aptly with backing vocals wherever needed she manages to convey any emotions she feels appropriate at the time. Sadness, fear, hate, hope, sweet melancholy, a sensation of floating, relaxing and leaving all your problems behind, you name it, she delivers it. Just listen to “Steady Breakdown” or “Unspoken” or “Quicksand” and see for yourself how difficult it is to get her stunning voice out of your mind, for different reasons on all three songs.

So in the end, it seems Kylesa have gambled and they won. Answering to the question posed in the refrain of “Steady Breakdown“, “Did you really think that it could it last?”, yes we really thought that this band could last and here they are now, confirming our thoughts with their awesome,sixth studio album.

Track List Line Up
01. Exhale
02. Unspoken
03. Grounded
04. We’re taking this
05. Long gone
06. What does it take
07. Steady breakdown
08. Low tide
09. Vulture’s landing
10. Quicksand
11. Drifting
Phillip Cope – vocals, guitars
Laura Pleasants – vocals, guitars
Chase Rudeseal – bass
Eric Hernandez – drums, percussion
Carl McGinley – drums, percussion