Kylesa‘s first album for Season of Mist, Spiral Shadow became something of a lesson about life in the age of digital promos. In my review of the album, I raved about the genius of the 10-plus-minute title-track. Extensively. When I finally bought the record to include it in the Southcast, I found the title track to be half as long. I still don’t know what the story was, if they edited the song down, if there was some fluke in my mp3s or what. The songs on the physical product were also in a completely different order.
The result is I’m not sure which version of Spiral Shadow I like better, but suffice it to say both kick considerable ass. Hearing Kylesa embrace their inner prog was a high point of 2010 for sure, and between cuts like the aforementioned “Spiral Shadow” (still pretty good at 5:12), the stomping “Drop Out” and the viciously catchy “Don’t Look Back” — which is probably one of my favorite single songs of the year — there was just about no way Kylesa wasn’t going to make the top 10.
They’ve established a very solid chain of consistency between Spiral Shadow and last year’s Static Tensions, and with all the touring they’re doing (winter 2011 dates have been announced), they can only add to the momentum. Kylesa has never really had a steady lineup, but with the creative core of guitarist/vocalist/producer Phillip Cope, guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants and a duo of drummers, they nonetheless crafted one of 2010′s best albums in Spiral Shadow.
Tags: Georgia, Kylesa, Savannah, Season of Mist, Top 20 of 2010