Kylesa at Triple Rock, 6/3/13

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Erik Hess
with Blood Ceremony and White Hills
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
Monday, June 3, 2013

Kylesa made a return to Triple Rock after some years of absence, and it remains the best venue to see the pummeling Georgia five-piece. This was a solid metal show from start to finish, and the crowd showed some real genuine love and energy for all the bands on the bill.

The Sabbath-inspired White Hills slowly built with the help of hypnotic vocal samples towards big, sprawling songs that locked onto single notes with slight but precisely chosen variation. The riffing was interrupted by the occasional burst of indulgent noise guitar, which was transcendent when it worked and lightly obnoxious when it didn't. Some straight-up, classic heavy music, the songs exceeded the 7 minute point usually, but warranted it thanks to simply crafted yet affecting melodies.
Photos by Erik Hess
Blood Ceremony followed, with frontwoman Alia O'Brien setting an eerie tone on vocals, organ, and flute. Prog rock and Jethro Tull waltzed with doom metal the likes of Sleep and Electric Wizard, with some heavy low-end and slightly trite fantasy-realm lyrics (subject matter included wizardry, "diabolical twins," and witch cults). It's some tightly realized acid folk mixed with first wave doom, and it sounded excellent in the context of the night. Many of the songs got some of the biggest responses of the night, and the band looked very happy to play to the appreciative audience.

By the time Kylesa rolled out for their gear-heavy soundcheck, people were already cheering in anticipation. With two drummers, stacks of random keys and widgets (including a skateboard modded into a theramin), and at least three guitars per player, it was an ambitious set even watching the set-up. By the time opener "Said and Done" pounded out, the audience was already thrashing violently to the gigantic sound. It was non-stop from that point on, and even the lighter songs managed to fill the huge space on the same level as the heaviest material. Some of their latest material, like "Unspoken" and "Don't Look Back," which can lean too shoegazey for this reviewer's taste, stood as the crunchiest riffs of the night. There was no room for anything less than a gigantic, unfaltering wall of sound.

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