Photo by: Toby Driver
Official press release:
Kayo Dot are now revealing their epic and melancholic video single on nature’s reclaiming of the urban world, entitled “Void in Virgo (The Nature of Sacrifice)” and taken from their forthcoming new album Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike, which is slated for release on October 29, 2021.
The avant-garde doom project conceived and realised by Toby Driver has also unveiled cover art, tracklist, and further details of the new full-length below. Pre-orders are available here.
Lyricist Jason Byron comments:
“Nature personified exacts her revenge upon the slothful and self-centered human race. The people who have sacrificed her upon the altar of greed have failed to realize that they themselves are her, and that as they murder Nature they only murder themselves.”
Video director Nick Hudson adds:
“The video is a through-composed montage of textural frames evoking the supplanting of the urban by nature, drawing on wholly in-camera effects in the tradition of – for example – Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, and Douglas Trumbull.”
Byron, , whose words are a primary force of the creation of the musical universe charted by Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver, writes:
“Death, whether in stealth or striking upon its bell, stalks us from the womb onward. The life of the ascetic and the life of the voluptuary are one life, and will dissolve with the drunkard and the saint.”
The stark frailty of the human condition is the overall theme running through the veins of Kayo Dot’s 10th regular studio album Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike. In the sprawling, churning musical multiverse of mainly multi-instrumentalist Toby Driver’s creation that has never accepted nor cared for any artificial borders of genre and incorporated for example rock, metal, classical music, goth, indie, pop, and jazzy structures, this avant-garde album appears to tilt towards a more harsh as well as heavy approach than on some of the previous recordings – and considering its dark and melancholic undertones may be given the epithet doom.
The human experience of a finite life probably gave birth to the linear monotheist concept of a universe that is created and expiring. The pagan mind often has a deeper looking cyclic vision as exemplified in Nordic myth, in which the world inevitably perishing in the fires of Ragnarok will be born renewed on the next day. Something of the latter’s appears to have infected Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike. This album has been recorded with the original line-up of Toby Driver’s previous band Maudlin of the Well. He also recorded the new tracks in the same location as the very first Maudlin of the Well tape. In a way, Kayo Dot are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of the landmark double album Bath/Leaving Your Body Map and the 25 years since Maudlin of the Well’s inception with Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike.
After the split of much loved Maudlin of the Well, charismatic frontman Toby Driver formed the avant-garde music project Kayo Dot as a new outlet for his burgeoning creativity in 2003. The multi-instrumentalist and singer remains the only absolute constant in this band, although there are frequent lyrical contributions from his former band-mate Jason Byron throughout the extensive discography. In the following 18 years, Kayo Dot released an impressive number of full-lengths, EPs, splits, and live recordings that are all marked by considerable stylistic differences and a wide array of instrumentation that included guitars, bass, drums, vibraphone, violin, synthesizers, flutes, clarinets and saxophone.
Especially in progressive circles, Kayo Dot has become a household name and is supported by prestigious, forward thinking festivals such as Roadburn.
With Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike, Kayo Dot deliver another beautiful and essential facet of their complex musical multiverse, although the album can easily stand on its own as a most impressive piece of dark avant-garde metal.
Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike track listing:
- “The Knight Errant”
- “Brethren of the Cross”
- “Void in Virgo (The Nature of Sacrifice)”
- “Spectrum of One Colour”
- “Get out of the Tower”
- “The Necklace”
Kayo Dot is:
Toby Driver – guitars, bass, synths, drums, programming, all vocals
Greg Massi – guitar solos (on tracks 3, 5, and 7)
Jason Byron – all lyrics