Since sludge metal became a popular music genre in the US, KYLESA interacted and experimented with the specific music genre, to create their unique psychedelic and heavy sludgy sound. Reaching 2015 and after ‘Ultraviolet’, the band returns with ‘Exhausting Fire’, a physical continuation of their previous record, both in sound as well as in philosophy of song writing.
In ‘Exhausting Fire’ the band aimed for a sludge metal mixture of ambient and post-doom rock. One can easily notice the heavy riffs, the ambient touches within the tracks and the duality of the vocal lines. The specific duality seems to keep the track’s quality in elevated levels and enforce pluralism. The songs themselves are kind of monotonous, due to the repeated ambient-doom riffs, which seem to recycle all over ‘Exhausting Fire’. The band still tries to experiment with many music genres in order to complete their identity, mixing crust, ambient or even shoegaze with doom and sludge.
In overall, the record seems to have dynamic bursts and many favored moments, however, it somehow fails to bring up KYLESA’s true self and talent. ‘Crusher’, for instance, is a lovely song, a heavy one, with sludgy, inspiring guitars and rhythm, but somehow it gets ugly with the changes and the vocal experimentation. All the songs have a trippy, psychedelic touch within doom changes and burst, but in songs like ‘Falling’, the band sounds uninspired, tiring. On the other hand, there are songs like ‘Lost and Confused’, a punk-rock song underlined with doom shades or ‘Shaping the southern Sky’, a song which reminds me of the BLACK SABBATH and their esthetic, which save the day. ‘Out of my Mind’ is also an excellent example of what KYLESA can do when they try to combine shoegaze and post-metal with rhythmic riffs and memorable vocals. In ‘Blood Moon’ or ‘Night Drive’, the band sounds like an unsuccessful jam, failing to amaze, with heedless vocal lines and incurious riffs. The record ends with a passable cover of ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath, but nothing to really dig into.
‘Exhausting Fire’ must be considered a tangled record, with many notable moments but also some bad too. The band just havent shown the dynamic of their crust influences, their sludge infantry or their unique talent in vocal duos. However, it is up for the fans to decide whether the record is a mediocre one or just another masterpiece for the band from Georgia, US. Personally speaking, I would return my attention to ‘Static Tensions’ again, fast enough.
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