Label: Season of Mist
Release date: November 20, 2012
Georgia’s sludgy-psyche-doom demon, Kylesa has dipped into its vast (would you say I have a plethora?) cave to unearth some treats for fans awaiting next year’s follow-up to the band’s 2010 beast, Spiral Shadow.
From the Vaults Vol. 1 is everything a fan could hope for; a combination of rare, unreleased, and remixed material, along with one new track and a couple of covers.
From the aptly titled “Intro” Kylesa swarms the senses and draws you straight into the heavy crunch of “Inverse” with its angry vocals, courtesy of guitarist Laura Pleasants, and guest, Chris Bickel.
The muddied distortion of “111 Degrees on the Heat Index” vibrates the ear like an aural buzzsaw. The screaming guitar leads attack like a violent blade to the soul. This is a remake of an older tune no longer readily available.
“Between Silence and Sound II” harks the early Kylesa signature with its dirty punk ruminations: Ominous yet aggressive. This is a remake from the Time Will Fuse Its Worth album, and is arguably a more appealing rendition. Meanwhile, the band dives headfirst into the punk vibe for the standout tracks, “Bottom Line” and “Paranoid Tempo”. Pleasants and vocalist/guitarist Philip Cope trade off vocally on these two. Nice background harmonies on the latter and yes, it is a tip o’ the cap to Black Sabbath according to Pleasants. Another homage goes to Buzzov*en on the dark and oozing song, “Drained”.
“End Truth” is the sole new track on the record, but it’s a certain gem, rolling in trippy psychedelia, thick melody, and distorted bliss. Sitting midway through the record, it caresses like an atmospheric mood stabilizer.
“Bass Salts” is the dirgish moment in the blackhole sun for former drummer, and current bassist, Eric Hernandez.
Rounding out the record is a decent if somewhat uninspired rendering of Pink Floyd’s “Set The Controls For the Heart Of the Sun”. It’s something of a freeform jam, and it feels pretty organic, but it’s just missing some oomph. It also represents the longest track on the album. In the end I tuned out and returned to the more biting and aggressive tunes.
Lastly, Hernandez and drummer Carl McGinley both get behind the kit for this b-side “Drum Jam” which came from the 2009 Static Tensions recordings.
Despite being pegged as an outtakes and remix collection, From the Vaults Vol. 1 sequences quite nicely as a full on studio release, and a more than filling sonic meal on which to gorge until the new record lands next spring.