Staying power is something to be marvelled in a discipline as technically-nuanced, theatrical, and rare (relatively-speaking) as metal. So when a mammoth force perseveres and pioneers for over a decade, it’s really that real. That’s why we can’t wait for this Sunday at The Fillmore. And it’s not for openers The Fall of Troy…

Since their inception in 2011, veteran sludge progressives Kylesa have become a Savannah metal legacy. The Georgia-based trio released their seventh LP via Season of Mist and are halfway through a two-month nationwide tour. With Exhausting Fire, they return to the headier, heavier guitar thick of the universally-acclaimed Spiral Shadow (2010) with the additional confidence only half a decade and a deeper exploration of influences on interim Ultraviolet (2013) can supply.

Laura Pleasants said of the new record, “I think with Ultraviolet we got too far into doing what we wanted and forgot that Kylesa is, at heart, a heavy band. That’s one thing I had to keep in mind because I am interested in different kinds of music and writing differently. With this one, I wanted to write heavy riffs, the kind I hadn’t written in a while, and see where that took us. […] No band sounds like us and we don’t sound like any other band.”

Kylesa’s singularity can be pointedly accredited to their wide range of influences and abilities with the core trio of multi-instrumentalists Pleasants, Philip Cope, and Carl McGinley going on 10 years together. They are of a shouting rather than screaming variety, comprise of both male and female vocals, employ distinctive dual drum lines, and pace themselves consistently at a speed either slightly above or below a walking andante to upset order. These elements unite wildly diverse material even within a single record in their discography (compare “Lost and Confused” and “Falling” on Exhausting Fire for example).

Fellow Georgian rockers Mastodon took a quick liking to the arguably less prominent band early on, and for good reason — they’ve hit a sweet spot in Southern rock. Now, following a gruelling Ultraviolet tour, Kylesa are back. They were in town twice in the span of three months in 2013 and return November 8 to San Francisco’s Fillmore. Watch the video, released this week, for lead single “Lost and Confused” below.

Article by Joanna Jiang

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