Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Kylesa @ Black Cat Backstage, 1/20/11

All photos by Michael Darpino

Obviously, last week in DC’s music scene was all about Dismemberment Plan. Except for on Thursday night when a hundred or so dedicated metal fans packed the backstage at Black Cat, oblivious to any legendary reunions, for one of metal’s best new bands. Kylesa brought a set full of huge metal anthems that would’ve been large enough to entertain a festival-sized crowd.

Kylesa are one of the bands at the forefront of a new style of “sludge metal” that’s emerging from the South. Sludge metal takes elements from doom metal that were once too grim and frostbitten for the average listener, and adds the styling of psychedelic rock to create something more fun and exciting. You get dark, brooding riffs cranked up loud combined with bright melodies and screaming lyrics instead of demonic growls. Also, everything is played faster – fast enough that only the truly talented can crank out the riffs with such speed. Bands like Baroness, Black Tusk, and Mastodon have been doing this for awhile, but Kylesa has perfected the craft over their ten-year career.
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Hot Ticket: Kylesa @ Black Cat Backstage 1/20/11

Kylesa - Spiral Shadow

As a huge metal fan, I’m always looking out for the rare “crossover” show that I know I’ll love, and will appeal to someone who’s not versed in metal will also enjoy. Tomorrow night, Kylesa are bringing their Southern blend of sludge metal to the Black Cat Backstage – a rare chance to see these guys in a small, intimate venue. Honestly, their sound is so huge that they need two drummers, so I don’t know how the Backstage is supposed to contain them.

“Sludge metal” lies somewhere on the spectrum between psychedelic rock and doom metal. This means on Thursday you can expect some huge, looping riffs played on fuzzy guitars combined with the kind of bass you can feel in your bones. The vocals are angry and loud, but not gothic or growly like most doom metal. If you’re a fan of any other Southern sludge metal groups like Baroness, Black Tusk, Torche, or (dare I say?) Mastodon, you probably already know that you belong at this show. For a taste of what’s in store, be sure to check out my favorite track “Running Red” on their myspace page.

Fellow Georgians Zoroaster and New Jersey’s Fight Amp round off the bill for what should be an epic show. Both these bands are really solid, so I’m looking forward to catching them. Don’t miss it!

w/ Fight Amp, Zoroaster
Black Cat Backstage
Thursday Jan 20th