Kayleth - Colossus - (9/10)
Published on May 15, 2018
A warm beacon in the darkness
You would be forgiven if you assumed you were basking in the American sun, surrounded by desert in southern California or the swamps and bayous of Louisiana. The way the riffs barrel down from the skies and roll across the rugged landscape are all too similar to the giants roaming, or who have roamed, those lands. The way the songs radiate the lands all around, warming them up and giving birth to new life, and transforming even the most barren corners on the planet. Alas, this colossal power has its origins in the Italian sun; its rays heating up the lands of Verona have stirred the beast by the name of Kayleth from its slumber. The world is in need of healing in these dark times, and their sophomore effort is exactly how the cure should sound: warm, vibrant, and almighty! Enter the Colossus…
Released way back in the gloomy beginnings of 2018 on Argonauta Records, Colossus came out of nowhere demanding an audience, igniting the ashen hearth ablaze with the promise of a brighter tomorrow, and leading a procession of gallant followers – fed by good vibes and magmatic furore – into the cold of night. With the immediacy of a starting pistol, Kayleth’s follow-up to the splendour that is Space Muffin fills the listener with a warmth so intoxicating it is almost impossible to abscond from; their souls glowing with the rich hues emanating from the album’s lush tones. Forging the rhythms synonymous with ‘90s grunge with the bold fuzz and heaviness mastered by legendary acts such as Kyuss and Monster Magnet – like some lovechild between Pearl Jam and Sigirya – it’s difficult to realise this is only Kayleth’s second album in their thirteen year existence; their ability to craft such sunkissed tunes ought to be known throughout the stoner rock community, more so as summer is just around the corner, for these twelve songs are crying out to bask in the scorching glory of our celestial neighbour.
What sets Kayleth apart from their contemporaries is exactly this, as few bands deliver such warmth with their level of consistency, especially with Enrico Gastaldo’s pipes soaring above Massimo Dalla Valles’ eruptive riffs and Alessandro Zanetti’s smouldering bass rumbles; interwoven into these grooves are the pulsating synths masterfully projected by Michele Montanari’s psyche. Colossus is song after song of this: from the glistening space rock of ‘Ignorant Song’ and the introspective meditations of ‘The Spectator’ and ‘Pitchy Mantra’ to the frenetic Clutch-like ‘So Distant’ and the crushing doom of the sci-fi-laden ‘Mankind’s Glory’ – no doubt the highlight on an album full of instant classics – there is no end to the positive and uplifting energy this band seamlessly manifests. Just like some beastly juggernaut, this is energy which continuously builds across the entire runtime right until its hallucinogenic end, culminating in almost an hour of pure feel-good music.
And feel-good it most certainly is: it is difficult not to smile whilst basking in the glow of Colossus’ life-affirming presence. A beacon in the darkness when times are tough, it is fuelled by the intense Verona sun and fused into its beating heart with all the good vibes one would expect from any well-revered stoner rock outfit and deserves just as much attention and success as better-known albums. With their appearance on Ripple Music’s esteemed Second Coming of Heavy series last year, the time has come for Kayleth to shake off their underdog status and claim their rightful place as one of stoner rocks greatest discoveries.