May 4, 2020
Duration: 11 Tracks, 53 Minutes
Kyle Brandt – Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Madelyn Robertson – Bass, additional guitars and keyboards
Bryant Bridges – Additional guitars
Taylor Talbott – Additional guitars
Matt Davis – Additional drums
Molitoth is Kyle Brandt’s solo project, Kyle Brandt is the singer in A Light Within. Anyone who knows me during recent years will know that i am a big fan of ALW. Anyone who is a big fan of ALW knows that they eventually get round to making music and it’s always worth waiting for.
Between ALW releases Kyle has been putting the finishing touches to his first solo album, the vast majority being written over the last 12 months, with more than a little help from the amazing Madelyn Robertson and friends, so i was naturally curious as to how this turned out.
KB has been delving into Meditation techniques and Hypnosis over the last couple of years and it appears to have played a major part in inspiring this album, all written, bar one cover song, and produced by the man himself.
So the album then. It’s described as “11 tracks, 53 minutes of Progressive/Experimental Rock exploring condensed meditation techniques to help balance the anxieties that stem from feelings of accusation, entrapment and confinement, presenting a chronological timeline of regrettable actions and consequence, resulting in five stages of grief”.
Yea, so if you are looking for a new Motley Crue album, then this may not be for you!
The songs, well first and foremost it must be said that this album is best enjoyed via headphones, it is absolutely a different beast when you get closer to it and immerse yourself in it so……………..
1) ‘Meditation’ (Transcendental)/’Confessional Lock’ – the album begins in a understated manner, blissful, relaxing or dark and unsettling? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. We are encouraged to ‘just relax’, maybe you’ll begin to drift a little, don’t get too comfortable because the main track kicks in courtesy of Madelyn and Bryant Bridges, who lay the foundation for you to loosen up a little more. Kyle’s vocals, calming, restrained yet confident. This song was a slow burner for me (and still can’t compete with my favourite song on this album, that’s not far away!) but i love the way it starts off steady and builds up.
2) ‘Interrogation Frames’ – A quiet start to this one, a bit of a Steven Wilson vibe very early, not for the last time on this album, before the vocals kick in, more of an electronic feel to this song, though it does feature Brandt on guitar, slightly lower in the mix but, if you have taken my advice and are listening on headphones, adds a menace to the song along with the continuous, underlying electronic sounds, there’s definitely more going on that meets the inital ear.
3) ‘The Departing’ – And so we reach my favourite already! Don’t worry, there’s a hell of a lot more depth to this album to discover and enjoy to come, but this one, it stopped me in my metaphorical tracks (i was actually sat down at the time though!) the first time i heard it, still does even now as i listen again to the album while i type this. It starts with a simple single note riff, with underlying bass and arpeggio keyboard sounds, along with Kyle adding his djent-y, understated guitar to subtle but great effect.
It’s also the first song that really highlights how much his voice has improved over recent times, thanks in no small part to TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins’ tutorship, it’s an epic, beautiful song, with added keys and guitar by Madelyn once again, proper shivers down the spine job! I must also add that the last few minutes of this highlight (for me) begins with what i like to refer to as the Stranger Things section! Listen to it, you’ll know what i mean!!
4) ‘Self Reflection’ – This is a 4.35 minute one, led by a piano intro. It’s a song i can absolutely imagine being a great single/video for the album. It was also originally wrote for A Light Within, but wasn’t used so was worked into what you hear here. It’s relatively short and sweet and is all the better for it after the previous 9 minutes. Sequencing on an album can make, break, or at the very least give the listener a totally different experience.
5) ‘Meditation’ (Mindfulness) – The first of 2 brief interludes on the album, along similar lines to track 1, eerie? calming? and then we head into……..
6) ‘Verdict Cope’ – This one i’m gonna cheat on! I will leave the explanation of this song to the man himself, given that it’s his personal fave, Kyle Brandt: “It’s like Taylor Swift meets Mike Patton and sings over A Perfect Circle’.
7) Send Me An Angel’ – This is a cover of a song by Australian band Real Life. I hadn’t heard of the band or song before this album. I have since listened to both several times. While originally it was early 80s synth New Wave, this version is less electro and a more slightly Goth vibe. A potential single? It’s a great cover, faithful yet creative.
8) ‘Acknowledgement’ – This one was, at least instrumentally, written a few years ago, the synths lead into a slightly distorted vocal, guitars kicking in virtue of Bryant Bridges which i can only imagine would be great live, it’s less than 4 minutes long, another single? This perfectly leads into…….
9) ‘Meditation’ (Guided) – A final interlude, the underlying, sinister (is really just me or do these Meditations sound like that?!) drone backs up final soothing words, 3 minutes of hypnotising……………..
10) ‘Incarceration’ – Are you still with me? Good! The final track on this album kicks off with some gorgeous acoustic guitar, i remember this last one reminded me of the last track on Steven Wilson’s ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase’, one of my favourite albums ever, only in vibe and ending, a beautiful finale, A team effort featuring Madelyn again on bass, along with Taylor Talbott’s soloing, with additional drums from Matt Davis. Finishing a real journey of an album.
I genuinely didn’t know what to expect from the A Light Within front-man, i love that band loads so i had high expectations, but also an open mind, there’s a lot going on here and there are definitely songs that a creative, visually artistic mind could make something of.
Also, i can also imagine these songs would sound amazing live, would be great if Kyle could put a band together and play some live shows to showcase this album, it’s quite diverse, with some great longer songs and some potential singles among them all. Like ALW, definitely worth the wait for this album and very impressed.
Reviewed by: Jason Soper