It took me a few listens, but I keep loving this one more and more. It's less obscure and esoteric, almost operatic, with big emotions declaimed in ways that are unexpectedly direct and plain, but are really effective. Plus a wonderful variety of feels, moods, sounds. Visionary!!
Favorite track: Vanishing Act in Blinding Gray.
Toby should be proud of this - it's a wonderful and accessible mix of different styles, yet is deep enough to lose yourself in hundreds of listens later.
It's Kayo Dot's best album, and therefore a true masterpiece by anyone's standards.
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Kayo Dot, the endlessly eclectic project of composer and producer Toby Driver, was formed in 2003 by the members of the legendary aethereal metal band Maudlin Of The Well. Since then, the group's muse has shown its face through slow and massive cascades of guitars and violins, and soundscapes spanning from tripped-out goth fusion, informed by Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew," to hyper-fast, angular and atonal suicidal black metal.
Kayo Dot’s members have come from very different backgrounds, ranging from DIY punk kids to the most erudite conservatory-educated New York performing musicians. Driver's list of collaborators includes names like Randall Dunn (WITTR, Myrkur, Sunn O))), Secret Chiefs 3 (Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle), John Zorn, and G. Stuart Dahlquist (Burning Witch, Asva), among many others. The diversity of the musicians involved feeds Kayo Dot's ability to wind, twist, and leave you wanting with no clue on how it will evolve, while creating sounds that are both timeless and contemporary.
Now fifteen years on, Kayo Dot's new album, "Blasphemy," is once again based on an allegorical story by Jason Byron. It explores greed, especially politically, and surrounds three characters on their search for treasures; only to be destroyed by the very treasure they sought – a sleeping girl with terrible power named Blasphemy. Produced by Randall Dunn (who helmed Kayo Dot's "Hubardo," "Coyote," and "Blue Lambency Downward"), "Blasphemy" is Kayo Dot’s most forthright statement ever - directly confronting the world at-hand, foregoing the encouraged escapism found ubiquitously throughout the rest of their catalogue, and embracing the perspective a band in such a rare position as this can bring - much more energetic than the ebb and flow of 2003's "Choirs Of The Eye", a more straight-ahead rock album than "Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue" (2006) that channels the playfulness of 2010's "Coyote." Pulling from elements of black metal, jazz, pop and Driver's own wild sonic concoctions, Kayo Dot is constantly evolving.
"Blasphemy" will be released on September 6th, 2019 via Prophecy Productions, and will be available on LP, CD Digipak, 2xCD book edition (hardcover, 18x18cm, 48 pages with enhanced artwork, a full chapter of the novel that serves as the album’s thematic basis, and feat. the 6-track bonus CD “Purity” with renditions of “Blasphemy” tracks by Wet Math) and ltd. boxset (LP on exclusive clear vinyl, 2xCD artbook, three art prints, and a full map of the novel’s universe).
released September 6, 2019
Toby Driver - guitar, bass, synths, vocals, percussion, electronics and production
Ron Varod - guitar
Leonardo Didkovsky - drums
Phillip Price - drums
Tim Byrnes - trumpet on "Turbine, Hook, and Haul"
Timm Mason - additional synth design
Matthew Serra - remixes
Music composed by Toby Driver
Story and lyrics by Jason Byron
Produced by Randall Dunn with Toby Driver
Original artwork by Jenya Chernoff
Band photography by Casey Mathewson
Kayo Dot (and the music of Toby Driver)New York, New York
KAYO DOT is an undefinable band led by composer Toby Driver. All the other projects and titles on this page are also the work of Toby Driver. Several additional titles are also available exclusively through our subscription service.
supported by 127 fans who also own “Blasphemy (Luxus)”
Melodic Death Metal can come in many forms. Personally, Opeth's Blackwater Park is the gold standard in the genre, and the metric by which I judge others. This band sounds different from Opeth, but are equally adept at creating depth and mood. This band is phenomenal and among the best in the genre.
Picture the killer songwriting and production of the likes of Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd, with a splash of death to give it an aggressive edge.
Outstanding. Lute FP