Kylesa is, fundamentally, a metal group, but the Savannah, Georgia-based outfit is otherwise difficult to categorize: elements of hardcore punk, psychedelic stoner rock, technical speed metal, and good old-fashioned Black Sabbath sludge appear in their music.
Also, with a front line consisting of three very different singers instead of a single focal point, Kylesa has a musical variety lacking from many of their more monochromatic peers. Kylesa formed in Savannah in 2001, taking their unusual name from "kilesa mara," what Buddhist teachings term demons of defilement and delusion. Guitarist and singer Phillip Cope and bassist Brian Duke were former members of the Savannah grindcore act Damad, which had released two albums in the '90s; the original lineup was completed with the addition of guitarist and singer Laura Pleasants and drummer Brandon Baltzley. After the release of a single and a split EP with Memento Mori, sessions for Kylesa's debut album were tragically cut short when Duke died during an epileptic seizure. Replacing Duke with bassist and singer Corey Barhorst, the band completed their self-titled debut, released in late 2002. More singles and a placeholder EP, 2004's No Ending 110 Degree Heat Index, followed before Kylesa signed with the indie metal label Prosthetic Records and released their second proper album, To Walk a Middle Course, in 2005. Following the release of that album, Baltzley left the group, replaced by a pair of drummers, Jeff Porter and Carl McGinley. Kylesa's third album, Time Will Fuse Its Worth, was released on Halloween 2006, followed by Static Tensions in 2009. The following year, the band dove even deeper into the psychedelic waters they'd been exploring with Spiral Shadow, which arrived on Season of Mist. The trend continued on their more melodic and expansive sixth album, 2013's Ultraviolet. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi