KYOTY – Isolation
Release Date: 25/02/22
Running Time: 01:10:00
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
I took a punt on this one. It wasn’t something that stood out as hip or fashionable to review. I knew nothing about the band or their music. So, a short history lesson for me is important. KYOTY play atmospheric Sludge and Post-Rock. They are based in New Hampshire and formed in 2009. Abbreviated from Keep Your Opinions To Yourself, the band are regarded as cryptic and secretive. Consisting of two members, guitarist Nick Filth and bassist Nathanial Parker Raymond, they released an album entitled “Undiscovered Country of Old Death and Strange Years in the Frightful Past” in 2012 with drummer Rob Brown. The album was remastered and rereleased as “Remanufactured Realm of Ancient Annihilation” in 2017. Their discography lists a live recording, split releases and a number of singles. Since Brown departed in 2020, KYOTY has utilised selected drummers to enhance their sound.
This leads us neatly to “Isolation”, their latest release and one which certainly impressed on first listen. 70 minutes of deep, dark sonic soundscapes varying in length from four to 12 minutes and all weaving musical threads that envelope the listener. It isn’t warm, but at the same time it doesn’t chill the bones; more a variation of sounds that enable the listener to become immersed in the waves of sound that the band generate. Huge swathes and heavy passages are interspersed with lighter, almost ethereal moments that capture emotions and feelings on a tide of musical magic.
Written during the pandemic, the music captures the divide of quarantine. Shared electronically throughout the past two years, music was completed and finalised before being released in single instalments. For fans of the band, tracks including the opening ‘Quarantine’ and ‘Ventilate’ have already been available via streaming sites and they provide the first 15 minutes of the release. The music is crushing, thick riffs and crushingly heavy passages dominate, but there is time to breath and catch one’s breath.
Having stated their intention to release a song each Friday, I was unsure how much new music apart from the bonus track ‘A Fog, A Future Like Place Imagined’ would be on this release, but what is evident from further listens is how the album flows when it is played in full. There’s the dark, angular challenge of ‘Holter’ and the gargantuan delivery of the 12 minute ‘Faith’ which opens gently, before expanding into a cinematic soundscape which detours from place to place with some style.
Mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios and with artwork designed by the band, ‘Isolation’ is another album in a long list this year that demand time and investment. I need to spend longer with it to give it full credit. Yet, even on the first few listens, it is a captivating release that is likely to grow into a firm favourite, time allowing.
‘Quarantine’ Official Video
10. A Fog, A Future Like Place Imagined
Nick Filth – Guitars
Nathanial Parker Raymond – Bass
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