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Kayo Dot: Gamma Knife

KAYO DOT is an avant-rock collective based in Brooklyn, New York, made up of several multi-instrumentalists and led by composer Toby Driver, who TimeOut New York has called "The city's foremost composer of avant-chamber metal," and, according to progressive rock websites across the Internet, "has consistently proven himself to be one of the most unique songwriters in modern music ("

Choirs of the Eye (2003)
Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue (2006)
Blue Lambency Downward (2008)
Coyote (2010)
Stained Glass (2011)

So, that's the band bio, what is the album actually like?

It should come as no surprise, given that it's termed 'avant-chamber metal' that it's not instantly accessible music. You really do have to be in a good place to listen to it. If you're even ever so slightly maudlin it will undoubtedly push you over the edge. It has taken me some time to commit this review to paper, since every time I listen to this record I get to the second track and contemplate self-harm. Pouring lemon juice into paper cuts would, I'm afraid, be preferable to listening to this all the way through. I have to listen a track at a time, with plenty of recovery time in-between.

I am, admittedly, a middle-aged fan of progressive rock music so I'm not, obviously, down with the yoof, nor do I have any desire whatsoever to come across as hip and trendy. I've seen another (semi-glowing) review for this that mentioned 'growls, screams, blastbeats and dissonance'. Now, I have no idea what blastbeats are. Are these good? I have no frame of reference. I am, clearly, the wrong person to review this. Or maybe it's like the emperor's new clothes. No-one is actually prepared to stand up and say 'it's rubbish' for fear of being maligned as a boring middle-aged fart. I have no such fear.

One of the problems is that after each individual track is finished in iTunes it segues into the debut by an American progressive rock band called MoeTar. Which is fantastic. It's not mainstream by any stretch of the imagination but it's not discordant navel-gazing avant-garde pretentious claptrap. I think after the next track finishes I'm not coming back. I'm out.

So, if you like growls, screams and whatnot then knock yourself out. Me, I'm a lawnmower…

Track listing
1. Lethe (5:05)
2. Rite of Goetic Evocation (6:40)
3. Mirror Water, Lightning Night (5:33)
4. Ocellated God (6:32)
5. Gamma Knife (6:46)

Added: May 12th 2012
Reviewer: Brian Watson
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2384
Language: english

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