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Black Sleep of Kali

Tracing the lineage that Black Sleep of Kali evokes on this record isn't all that difficult. Listen closely and there's some of that hard-edged sludginess of Black Sabbath, the razory psychedelia and inexorable sway of Sleep and the progressive drive of Isis across these five songs. But Kali makes it all sound and feel like a group of hardcore kids trying to do something more imaginative and dynamic than merely applying loud, fast rules. Indeed, these songs are on a larger conceptual arc than mere decades of oppression, as evidenced by titles like "Age of Iron" and "Cyclical Tides." Through all of the songs are deserving experiments in songwriting, "Cries of the Crow" is the album's high point, wherein Kali creates a hypnotic epic worthy of its musical heroes.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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