after 15 years, Kylesa takes “a break”

If you haven’t heard the news, Kylesa made a huge announcement on Thursday evening:

It’s worth clicking on through to Kylesa’s Facebook page to read some of the personal reflections and thanks from fans and fellow musicians. On the band’s website, the announcement is aptly titled “Time Will Fuse Its Worth”.

In 2015, I interviewed Kylesa’s Phillip Cope for an Oxford American piece on Black Tusk, the passing of Athon, and the heavy Savannah scene generally. Cope’s stories about early touring didn’t make the final edit, but he had some fascinating things to say about the degree to which Kylesa became international ambassadors for the Savannah scene and even more importantly for the city itself.

As I suggested in that OA piece, Savannah’s current underground scene has shifted away from metal toward various stripes of punk and garage rock. And that seems fitting in a way since Kylesa, its precursor Damad, Black Tusk, and Baroness arguably grew out of punk. Kylesa may generally be considered “sludge metal”, but their music has always resisted easy labels.

I love Kylesa’s latest album Exhausting Fire (click here for purchase links), which took so many artistic risks, explored so many layers of sound and emotion, and hinted at so many possible futures. If that turns out to be the last Kylesa album, it’s not a bad way to go out.

But, hey, Cope, Laura Pleasants, and Carl McGinley (the three core members of the band) and their other collaborators aren’t going anywhere. All are immensely talented and have many options ahead, including continued development of their upstart label Retro Futurist. We wish all of them the best and look forward to reporting on their next moves.