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Kylesa – Circle Takes the Square – KEN Mode  –  SOLD OUT!

09.02.12 Oslo – Blå hosted the leading psychedelic sludge metal kings and queen from Savannah, Georgia- KYLESA this past Thursday. I first saw Kylesa almost a decade ago at Blitz, Oslo. Back then they were only Laura, Corey, Philip, and one of the many drummers they’ve had over the years, can’t remember which. They were something new at the time, not particularly good, but still interesting. They played with Skitsystem from Sweden who had much more experience, but I could definitely see their potential; and to experience that female sludgecore voice of Laura Pleasants broke up the room. I was destined to see them again. Not until lately, after working through several drummers and deciding that maybe two drummers could work, they started to get the sought-after attention. I never expected them to reach the heights they’re at today, but have blown my expectations every time. With the self-esteem and self-confidence I saw last night I think they’ve managed to come to a level fighting alongside bands like High on Fire, Melvins and Mastodon, to mention a few. They’re not the underground band they once were, almost ten years ago.

© All photos by Erik Moholdt

As the gig was sold out I decided to come early, which was a very clever thing. Ten mins after showing up, the support band, KEN Mode from Canada, started playing. I have never seen them before, and was in for a treat. This was a more experimental-metalcore-sludge band, whatever that is. Sounded like a fusion of Baroness, Raging Speedhorn and The Dillinger Escape Plan. I liked it a lot.

Kylesa 2012

The second support act, screamo band Circles Takes The Square , also from Savannah, entered the scene. The bass player and lead vocals, Kathy “Coppola”, had a voice that sounded like a teenage riot. They sounded a bit like TodayIsTheDay and The Locust, but a bit more mellow at times. The songs often had long slow parts which made the harder parts explode. A very interesting band.

The old factory-room slowly filled to the max. When the headliner of the night entered the stage there were no way back. Literally. It was packed, and I was at the very front. I was surprised not to see Corey Barhorst on the bass but instead Eric Hernandez, bass player from the noise band Capsule entered, looking like a mean gorilla seeking revenge. It wasn’t wrong. The two drummers started their well-rehearsed opening, and we were off.

Laura Pleasants had been practicing her limbo, as the riffs got harder and more sludgie she bent down posing with a controlled attitude, cooler than ever. The set had a nice compilation of old, new and newer songs. The newer songs I hadn’t heard before, but sounded promising. I can clearly see that they’ve settled and found their place in the mighty world of sound. Comparing the whole set, the beginning was a bit slow. Maybe a good thing, because when they really started to take off, people were flying, this time maybe not literally, but almost. As more known songs unraveled, I couldn’t hold back anymore, put my camera away and started headbanging, ecstatic.

This is just what I look for in a live act. The magical time when there’s a genuine understanding among the audience, that now is the time to go mad. It’s maybe the best Kylesa gig I’ve ever seen. When they got of the stage, the crowd only wanted more. It didn’t take long before the band got back on stage just to finish us off with a last bang in the head. The crowd went mad once again, the perfect ending of a perfect gig.

Special thanks to Blå for letting us cover the event. © All photos by Erik Moholdt, please do not reproduce without permission.

For live videos of Kylesa, Circle Takes the Square or KEN Mode‘s set, check out Kai Mauseth’s footage on YouTube.


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