Kylesa - Exhausting Fire review




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Reviewer:
6.5

51 users:
7.37
Band: Kylesa
Album: Exhausting Fire
Release date: October 2015


01. Crusher
02. Inward Debate
03. Moving Day
04. Lost And Confused
05. Shaping The Southern Sky
06. Falling
07. Night Drive
08. Blood Moon
09. Growing Roots
10. Out Of My Mind
11. Paranoid [Black Sabbath cover]


Kylesa seems to have pretty much abandoned their early intensity for a more "fly casual" approach here that is pretty light on the metal. While Spiral Shadow mellowed some from prior efforts and launched their new direction, there was enough of a marriage between visceral and trippy that it remains my favorite. No longer. This is much closer to some psychedelic rock with some sludge-y riffs occasionally tossed in. Frankly Exhausting Fire sounds a lot like the band are, well, exhausted.

Exhausting Fire is to Sludge as Near Beer is to, oh, Beer.

In and of itself this isn't an inherently bad thing unless you are a metal and metal-only fan.

I rather enjoy "rock" with a psychedelic or trippy edge to it, in general, so while the lack of \m/ was a tad disappointing, it didn't immediately ruin the album for me.

The biggest problem, imbo, is not the genre-shifting or playing Diet Sludge, but just that some of the tracks - enough to leave a lingering impact on the album as a whole - just feel boring and listless.

You'll get an immediate feel for what to expect with the opening track. Named "Crusher", this being Kylesa, you might expect a proper boot to the face to kick the album off before you'd expect things to settled down given their shift over the two prior records. Instead it fell flat right out of the gate.

The next couple tracks feature fuzzed out mellow buzz time with some sludge riffs. But these aren't like assume metal position, axe in hand, standing in front of a Marshall stack riffs, rather kicking back on the couch, feet up, after a few beers and strumming away riffs. Riffs, but not to harsh yer buzz.

"Shaping The Southern Sky" comes rawking in, easily the best and most energetic track on the album to shake off some doldrums before the album, again, slows down with several chill tracks in a row before the last two, "Growing Roots" and "Out Of My Mind" inject a little more energy.

I guess my issues were less with the artistic shift, but with the integration of it.

The album might have been less, oh, exhausting, if it were MORE exhausting. I think it might have benefitted from at least one or two more tracks akin to "Shaping The Southern Sky" to inject a little more energy - or at least give the more sludgy riffs some added OOMPH to them. Something to make people windmill/headbang/mosh/jump around or whatever it is they do, then enjoy a nice breather with the slower pieces.

The slower pieces themselves were the biggest problem as several of them - whereas I rather enjoyed "Falling", perhaps particularly on the back of "Shaping…", "Moving Day", "Night Drive" and "Blood Moon" did very little for me and most of the songs that comprise the remainder of the album were basically 50/50 in drawing me in at times and leaving me rather Ambien… err ambivalent at others.

And I'm not saying this as a reviewer in Metal Stance wanting to raise hell, rock balls, and wake the neighbors. I'm saying this as a guy, kicking back on the couch, on Benadryl and three drams of Lagavulin, around midnight on a Sunday. Pretty much precisely the time and place where the new approach should click most.

In closing, Exhausting Fire feels like a release by a band that is a bit tired. Not just in the aforementioned riffing and song construction, but even in lyrical theme and content. It's not bad, but it is neither as intriguing nor energetic as past releases.

(Yeah, I'm a jerk, and will use Spiral Shadow as the measuring stick.)


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 14.09.2015 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 224 users
14.09.2015 - 10:20
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
I recall loving the fuzzy and much darker approach of Ultraviolet so I wonder how it holds up with that one which still had aggressive moments (like the first song).
Man, this review is making me worried. Since I usually tend to agree with you.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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14.09.2015 - 16:15
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Mr. Doctor on 14.09.2015 at 10:20

I recall loving the fuzzy and much darker approach of Ultraviolet so I wonder how it holds up with that one which still had aggressive moments (like the first song).
Man, this review is making me worried. Since I usually tend to agree with you.


you might like this then, i listened to Ultraviolet a couple times and just vaguely remember being underwhelmed.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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14.09.2015 - 19:00
Guib
Thrash Talker
Well, I'm surprised by your review, Kylesa making a 6.5 album? Nonetheless I will buy this and make my own opinion as soon as it comes out. So far the only 2 tracks I've heard were quite good.
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- I love my technical, melodic, my thrash, agressive and fast paced, my sludge, well thought, my heavy, heavier and my metal, ever-growing -
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14.09.2015 - 20:36
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Guib on 14.09.2015 at 19:00

Well, I'm surprised by your review, Kylesa making a 6.5 album? Nonetheless I will buy this and make my own opinion as soon as it comes out. So far the only 2 tracks I've heard were quite good.


as i mentioned in the review, i didn't enjoy the overall approach as much as, say, "Spiral Shadow" to begin with, but multiple songs did nothing for me. when 1/3 the album is skip-bate that effects my overall impression.

if this were reduced to my fave five songs and released as an EP it would probably be scored a full point higher.

undoubtedly individual mileage on the album will vary. some will 9 it, others will score it lower than i did.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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14.09.2015 - 20:43
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
I completely agree with you, Craig, although I think I would rate it a 7.
It totally packs no punch whatsoever and is in that sense comparable to Ultraviolet, although that album's songs were a little more memorable.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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15.09.2015 - 06:11
Guib
Thrash Talker
Written by BitterCOld on 14.09.2015 at 20:36

Written by Guib on 14.09.2015 at 19:00

Well, I'm surprised by your review, Kylesa making a 6.5 album? Nonetheless I will buy this and make my own opinion as soon as it comes out. So far the only 2 tracks I've heard were quite good.


as i mentioned in the review, i didn't enjoy the overall approach as much as, say, "Spiral Shadow" to begin with, but multiple songs did nothing for me. when 1/3 the album is skip-bate that effects my overall impression.

if this were reduced to my fave five songs and released as an EP it would probably be scored a full point higher.

undoubtedly individual mileage on the album will vary. some will 9 it, others will score it lower than i did.


Well I see your point, in any case I doubt it would deserve a 9, I mean, beating Spiral Shadow is out of the question definitely XD The 6.5 just caught my attention that's all, I'm not criticizing your rating just surprised by it.
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- I love my technical, melodic, my thrash, agressive and fast paced, my sludge, well thought, my heavy, heavier and my metal, ever-growing -
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15.09.2015 - 19:45
Susan
Smeghead
Diet Sludge

This is disappointing. I've actually been on kind of a kick lately with their much older stuff, which was very heavy. I've enjoyed the road they've taken so far with mellowing it out, but culminating with Spiral Shadow. I didn't get into their last one much. It seems like this newest one doesn't get much better. You had a play on words with "Exhausting" and I bet you're right. When bands put words like that in album titles it's usually foreshadowing....
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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16.09.2015 - 18:29
BloodTears
ANA-thema
Many people seem disappointed with this record, which is a bad omen. I still haven't listened to it, only the singles released so far and I like those.

I for one liked Ultraviolet, it wasn't as good as previous releases but it still sounded fun enough Kylesa material. It had great hooks and memorable songs at least.

I hope they get the fire back, maybe they need to not release albums every two years.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.


My Instagram
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19.09.2015 - 03:05
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by BloodTears on 16.09.2015 at 18:29

Many people seem disappointed with this record, which is a bad omen. I


its out in a 2 October 2015 many people even have not heard it
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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28.09.2015 - 11:25
Kuroboshi
Hmm, I actually really enjoyed it. Can't really relate to the reviewer. I was really disappointed with their two latest, but this is probably their best yet, topping even Static Tensions. The first time I've enjoyed a Kylesa ALBUM. They always have a couple of nice songs sprinkled here and there, but the quality varies for each record.
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28.09.2015 - 16:11
BitterCOld
waltrsobchakheit
Written by Kuroboshi on 28.09.2015 at 11:25

Hmm, I actually really enjoyed it. Can't really relate to the reviewer. I was really disappointed with their two latest, but this is probably their best yet, topping even Static Tensions. The first time I've enjoyed a Kylesa ALBUM. They always have a couple of nice songs sprinkled here and there, but the quality varies for each record.


like i said, some will enjoy it more. you were disappointed with Spiral Shadows, and that was my fave. music is great as many people can listen to the same 4-5 albums and draw completely different conclusions.
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get the fuck off my lawn.
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