kayo dot - dowsing anemone with copper tongue

||| A MUST HAVE |||

.:: After such an unexpected, earth-shattering debut as Choirs of the Eye it is not surprising that Kayo Dot 's fans had high expectations for this album. Well, what did they expect? An album done in the traditions and under the borders of the first release? A return to the roots of maudlin of the Well ? Or a an album that sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, let alone the group's previous efforts? I am proud to say that, in this case, it is the latter.

When Choirs of the Eye was released, many loyal fans of the group couldn't accept the metamorphosis, which was the transition between Bath/Leaving Your Body Map and CotE. The "songs" were hardly songs anymore and would be better described as "free compositions, which opened new inspiration sources to the artists, however, with it also became more challenging for the average listener.

Is the change between Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue and its predecessor even more apparant? Definitely, although now that the listeners are prepared to expect anything from Kayo Dot , it is not as surprising as it used to be. The new release seems more carefree and laid-down, surely jazzier and not as post-rocking as the debut. Those who enjoyed Choirs of the Eye(like myself)should prepare for a brand new experience once again.

The album is opened with Gemini Becoming The Tripod, a dramatic, atmospheric song with both quiet, dreaming parts, as well as apocalyptic, distorted and drone-doomy ones. The vocals(and lyrics too!) used here suit the music perfectly, and the instrumentation matches the mood of the composition - even the woodwinds help to get the message across.

I especially like the outro of this track - the one that starts after the vocals end. Immortelle And Paper Caravelle is the next song, and it is more relaxing than anything else on this album. It has no surprises whatsoever, but I find the songwriting to be rich, which makes this track a personal favourite. Aura On An Asylum Wall is the shortest and, perhaps, the most "usual" track here, although that's not really the right word to describe it. The vocals don't take any long to appear and the music instantly takes the listener's attention. There is some lovely use of trumpet and violin here, which makes the jazzy parts more enjoyable.

Why I said the song was more unusual was because it can be somewhat compared to the build-in structures of the previous album and it is, possibly by intention, the easiest track to listen to. The melodic jazzy part builds-in into a faster section, which eventually ends with top class Grindcore noise. I still haven't listened to that one Pig Destroyer album I've got, so this part always reminds me about it. Now, where was I, the transition seems so perfect and even logical(which is not really the world, as you feel it with your heart, not consider it mathematically obvious)that there is really nothing to complain about.

The next track is ___ On Limpid Form and it sure is a contradictoring one! The first few minutes of the song are beautiful and rather easy to listen to, whereas the 13 minutes after the melodic guitar solo are pretty repetitive consisting of noises and sounds done by guitars, bass and drums. Now, this is likely to scare some of the listeners off, but I tend not to skip it whenever I listen to the album. It creates an incomparable atmosphere and, although a difficult listen devoid of any pleasure, is an interesting part of this great album. Honestly speaking, I can't confess that this track is a huge pleasure to me with a straight face, but I must still say I find it interesting enough.

After such a gruesome journey that was this track, Amaranth The Peddler seems more appealing that it would be, hadn't it been the last track. It, once again, features nice trumpet and especially violin and I often say to myself ironically that the song should have been called Amaranth The Fiddler. The approach to singing is unique here as well and the instrumentation is minimalistic, yet very pleasing. There is one short moment around 8:00 that I get an eargasm from each time I hear it. Mia Matsumiya's playing in this album is something out of this world. The album ends quietly, making you want even more.

I really can not give this album less than five stars, the maximum rating, which, from my point of view, equals an absolute masterpiece. Don't forget that it was released in the year of 2006 and knowing that music nowadays progresses so impressively gives me more faith in future. If the artists continue to make new decisions and take different approach with their music each time without fear of being abandoned by their fanbase, the music will be saved. Kayo Dot seem to be a group who realizes this very well.

However, not every person would like this. I especially do NOT it to fans of usual Symphonic Prog, as no mellotrons, neo-classical guitar work and eclectic songwriting can be found here. The aim of this album is to make an attentive listener think carefully and reconsider his values in music, it is not meant to impress someone just because it can. Approach with caution, thoughtfulness and an open mind - this album is too important to be misunderstood, knowing its place in the world of music! Ivan Sturov

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