Repress! Comes with 8 page LP size booklet!
"Static Tensions" just pushes forward everything Kylesa’s done in the past and takes the band a step further without diverting from their signature sound. And what’s that? you may ask. Well, it’s experimental sludge, but hard-hitting nonetheless. It’s also progressive, without having 20 minute songs, and certainly it has a 70’s psychedelic rock feel. Early Floyd’s really an influence on these guys. But again, certainly also Crowbar or Eyehategod.
The experimentation here lays on their cool, sludgy, beefy riffs, memorable melodies and their signature double drum assault. It’s pretty effective, creating tribal trance-inducing rhythms. This experience is enhanced with earphones; trust me. One drum plays to the left and the other to the right, with slight tuning variations. Sometimes both drummers will go the same way, but also they play contrasting stuff, making it even more interesting.
There are no solos, not that there’s need of them. As I mentioned before, the riffs and melodies are quite a delight. From deep crushing sludge to eerie melodic (almost ethereal) guitar passages.
Another highlight of the album is the vocals. Laura Pleasants manages to combine her more aggressive vocals with cleaner ones, something she had attempted on their previous release, although here it’s done in a more adventurous (and efficient) way. Sometimes she even whispers softly to great effect. And to add even more texture, her voice sometimes intertwines with the deeper screamed vocals of Phillip Cope, the band’s other guitarist.
So there’s nothing really to complain about! The bass, though at times lost within the rhythmic section, shines on its own. The production is dirty, in a good way, suitable for a sludge band, and clean when it needs to be. And to round up the perfection of this album, it has an excellent and surreal cover illustration by Baroness singer and guitarist, John Dyer Baizley which complements the abstract lyrics and motifs of Static Tensions.
There are no fillers here, each song stands strong on its own, but if I had to pick, my favorites are “Unknown Awareness” with its catchy chorus, “Nature’s Predators”, and the extremely headbangeable “Only One”.
Highly recommended to any metalhead searching for something heavy, enthralling and unique!