There is a special place in my metal heart for bands that sort of defy easy naming conventions when you’re talking genres. That’s not to say I don’t like a band that’s ‘just’ death metal or ‘just’ thrash. On the contrary, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a metalhead if that were the case, right? But bands that take genres, throw them into a blender and come out with these sonic milkshakes can be some of the best in my opinion. Such is the case of Kylesa.
Kylesa formed in Savannah, GA out of the ashes of Damad. Really they added a member and just changed their name. Regardless, Damad were the godfathers of the Savannah metal scene and really a lot of the whole “Southern sound” in metal these days originated from these guys. When I worked at a certain prominent label back in the day we were so close to making them an offer at one point. Still not sure why we didn’t pull the trigger. Maybe the Metal Gods did this to give us Kylesa? I digress. Kylesa is this beautiful combination of sludge, doom, stoner rock, crust punk and psych rock. They employ three vocalists and right after this album they started to use two drummers. It really is one of the more unique bands and albums we’ll have on our list and if you like any of those genres listed, any at all, there’s a good chance you are going to dig this band.
To Walk a Middle Course was the band’s second full length album, released in 2005 on Prosthetic Records. This was the band’s first album for Prosthetic and really the first that saw them get a fairly wide distribution making it the album that a lot of people first heard this band. Check out this interesting anime compilation video that someone threw together with the track “Train of Thought” underneath it.