Boston, Massachusetts' eight-piece "avant metal" outfit Kayo Dot follow up their much-heralded 2003 debut (on John Zorn's Tzadik label) with their first Robotic Empire release, Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue. Comprised of male, female, white, black, and Asian members, including ex-members of progressive metal visionaries Maudlin Of The Well, Kayo Dot is one of the most unique musical forces on the scene today.
In five tracks (spanning 60+ minutes), Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue, delves into the myriad depths that heavy music can attain, but reaches far beyond into the vast realms of ambience. This isn't typical track-by-track genre-bending as much as it is a complete orchestral work, calling upon elements of jazz, metal, noise, and ambient music to guide the listener through haunting sonic landscapes and picturesque movements. Often bleak and at times quite unsettling, Kayo Dot further amazes by dismissing conventional structures, leading extreme music to places it's only imagined possible.
Described by All Music Guide as "crushing, epic soundtracks one minute and precious chamber music the next", Kayo Dot's spacious, sprawling compositions navigate through fragile, serene interludes and tortuous, dissonant swells. Crafted from a vast array of instrumentation, with violin, horns, and percussion occupying the same crucial role as guitar, bass, and drums, Kayo Dot's journeys in sound transcend expectation and traverse vast landscpaes of emotion.
Main vocalist Toby Driver's personal yet cryptic lyrics possess a Victorian flair; he delivers them in voices ranging from primal scream to hushed whisper, evoking agony, melancholia, and peace. A sample lyric reads: "Swept up by the downy wings of angels/ Made from a heaven-laden voice/ I float with all the weight of ether/ It pilots an aerie merchant's ship/ Across the phantasmagoric main."
There are hints of other artists' influence in Kayo Dot's amalgam of metal, jazz, noise, and ambient music -- Neurosis' tribal warfare, Sunn0)))'s icy doom, Sigur Ros' melodic other-worldliness, Coltrane's soulful complexities, Eno's ambient exploration -- yet the end result is such a wildly original creation, it bears no one's stamp but Kayo Dot's.
Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue was recorded at Zing Recording Studios (Killswitch Engage, Unearth), produced by Kayo Dot's own Toby Driver, and mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Every Time I Die).
released July 11, 2006
Performers on this album:
Toby Driver - guitar, piano, clarinet, percussion, voice
Greg Massi - guitar, voice
Mia Matsumiya - violin, percussion
Forbes Graham - trumpet, euphonium, percussion, voice
Ryan McGuire- bass, voice
John Carchia - guitar, voice
Tom Malone - drums, percussion