Two new releases in the last couple of weeks featuring female fronted metal bands have been getting spun a lot around these parts lately so I thought I'd share a little taste of each with you. First up, the sludgy prog of Atlanta GA.'s Kylesa and their new album Ultraviolet. This one hits hard right from the opener Exhale and while certainly not my favorite track on the album it definitely sets the stage for what's to come. Chugging riffs and singer Laura Pleasants unmistakable ability to turn from soothing songstress to howling metal demon dominate and while the production brings out a trippy factor that was just starting to really be touched upon with their last full length Spiral Shadow the new album seems convoluted at times, as though they weren't quite sure which direction to take it, be it psychedelic slow burners or more traditional headbanger delight, and decided to assimilate both together resulting in a mishmash of noise that one is not quite sure how to digest. This is not to say it's an unlistenable album but there are definitely some moments that I could take or leave. A small hiccup though, for an otherwise great metal act who have more than paid their dues. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xGLQLhGYAk?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360]
Next up may be a bit more an acquired taste with the fantasy, flute driven metal of Toronto's Blood Ceremony. I can't quite get a grasp on why I like this album so much, being a guy who generally shuns the fantasy world and having only Jethro Tull or, more recently, Ron Burgundy as my general reference points for all things flute. But Alia O'Brien, frontwoman/flautist/organist really brings a freshness to the doom metal genre, a playful kick in the ass if you will. I've never been one to put a huge focus on lyrics either, so talk of witches and black magic can go over my head without a second thought. Fantastic riffage surround the less "metal" instrumentation and the songwriting seems to flourish with each new release. I also dig how the production allowed Alia's deep breaths pre flute solo to be heard, almost adding a level of anticipation with each gasp. A couple of near goofy folk compositions would stop me from giving this album the maximum rating( if I actually rated albums that is) but it's more than a solid metal album, and kinda fun at the same time, something the metal world could definitely use a more of in my humble opinion.
Both bands are tour together this summer, which is gonna rule, with the equally fantastic White Hills and Lazer/Wulf as well. Tour dates right here.