Ultraviolet light is invisible to normal human sight, but itâ€™s there all the same, radiation we feel in our roasting flesh and a revealer of hidden things when we power up special lamps. Itâ€™s a fitting metaphor for the sixth album from Savannah, GAâ€™s Kylesa, whoâ€™ve forged an album in Ultraviolet (released May 28 on Season of Mist) that grapples with layered complexities – musical, societal, personal and otherwise. This set explodes the dumb â€œsludge metalâ€ tag thatâ€™s hung around Kylesa for too long with a commanding, totally diverse array of hard rock and metal strains poured into the bandâ€™s unique mold.
Ultraviolet confirms this bandâ€™s place in the progressive-mimded rock realm alongside kindred spirits Mastodon and Baroness, though Kylesa feels a good deal more old school in a way Sabbath and Motorhead fans might vibe with, a primal kinship with the genreâ€™s foundational figures that also neatly plucks from vibrant psychedelia, heavy atmospherics akin to Pelican, and even Pink Floyd-ian melodic growl (Drifting) and Check Your Head-era Beastie Boys-esque pummel (Exhale, Weâ€™re Taking This). The combination is heady and engulfs one beautifully, a sustained but varied spell thatâ€™s full incantation takes time to emerge.
With two skilled singer-guitarists in Phillip Cope and Laura Pleasants riding the steadfast, gut level drumming of Carl McGinley, the album sweeps one up in a flowing way, the whispers and cries gaining full body over time, the depths and darkness of this song cycle clear only if one lives with it attentively for a peace. But thereâ€™s also the option of just riding its undulating, crunching waves of sound because Ultraviolet, produced by Cope, is a speaker rattling pleasure all by itself without all the semiotic spelunking (check out haunting mood poem â€œUnspokenâ€ and its way cool animated video below to see what we mean â€“ embrace the swirling throb, children).
Phillip Cope was nice enough to tackle DIâ€™s signature questionnaire.
Name: Phillip Cope
Instrument(s) of choice: Guitar and Theremin
Nicknames: Dr. Phil
- 1. Great music rarely happens withoutâ€¦
- 2. The first album I bought wasâ€¦
- The Sex Pistolsâ€™ Never Mind The Bollocks
- 3. The last song or album to really flip my wig wasâ€¦
- Goatâ€™s World Music
- 4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to beâ€¦
- A musician.
- 5. My favorite sort of gig isâ€¦
- Where the crowd is enthusiastic.
- 6. One thing I wish people knew about me isâ€¦
- 7. I love the sound ofâ€¦
- Heavy guitars.
- 8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic asâ€¦
- Dinosaur Jr.â€™s Bug.
- 9. The best meal I ever had on tour was atâ€¦
- A venue in Germany.
- 10. I always find the coolest audiences inâ€¦
- Eastern Europe.
- 11. The worst habit I’ve picked up being on the road all the time isâ€¦
- Smoking too much.
- 12. Led Zeppelin or Radiohead, which flips your switch the most and why?
- Led Zeppelin because of the great, timeless songs.
- 13. The craziest thing I ever saw wasâ€¦
- Too crazy to actually talk about.