If I’m being honest, I tend to shy away from reviewing instrumental records as a general rule of thumb because for me at times it’s a lot harder to nail down the feel of a vocal-less record when you don’t have someone blatantly or obviously emoting over a killer soundtrack. That said, it tends to be a big deal when a record comes across ye olde digital desk sans a voice and gets the kind of response that KYOTY’s Isolation does and necessitates a review from us. It helps, too, that KYOTY is a bit of a regional outfit for us and really helps that the monolithic instrumental sounds they manifest manage to speak volumes without said voice.
As far as peer group, Isolation tends to inhabit a space between the March Into The Sea-era Pelican and Isis’ Oceanic but take their sound to extremes by relying on some truly nasty riffage giving the overall sound a much darker tone than those other outfits. “Quarantine” kind of accurately conjures up the dread that its’ name brings to mind especially in these trying times for a track that just exudes this kind of disparate and desperate longing and a fitting album opener overall.
“Ventilate” is a beastly mechanical monolith and creates sounds akin to being trapped inside an iron lung as the last bits of life slowly pour out of you before delving into a more traditional mammothor while “Onus” is gargantuan in scope with an otherworldly feel and a collaborative sound that’s almost like the wall of sludge Kyuss used to do so effortlessly with a definitive lead guitar from Nick Filth driving this ditty into the ether.
“Holter” is grisly and grave, eschewing gnarly riffs and programming to produce an ominous/unnerving air then “Languish” does just that, meandering in the muck and mire for just over eight minutes to give listeners an unsteady interlude from the dense intensity that surrounds the track. “Rift” unnaturally pulsates wandering off to the nether with “Faith” clocking in at almost 12 minutes in length and acting as a bit of a kaiju as it lumbers along with an incessant percussive rumble.
“Respite” is anything but, elongating Filth’s riffs with a steady rumble from Nathaniel Parker Raymond’s bass accompanying the flow while “Memory” is a little bit of a sonic palette cleanser before the finale of “A Fog, A Future Like A Place Imagined” enters and utterly redefines the until now established KYOTY sound through its’ harrowing sonic excursion replete with howling guitars and an overall foreboding tone.