Kyuss

Welcome to Sky Valley

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After creating a classic with their second album, Blues for the Red Sun, desert metal gods Kyuss faced the unenviable task of delivering the goods once again for a new label, Elektra Records. And they almost pulled it off with 1994's stellar Welcome to Sky Valley. The album's 13 songs are divided into three "suites" which fully display the band's impressive creative range, from furious metal to psychedelic grooves, and anything in between. The first and most consistent of these suites starts with the huge guitar riff of "Gardenia" (which resembles molten lava flowing down the side of a volcano), continues into the moody space jam instrumental "Asteroid," and culminates in the strangely titled yet superbly diverse "Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop." Other highlights include the solid thrashing of "100 Degrees," the prog rock instrumental "Whitewater," and the rather mellow (by Kyuss standards) "Demon Cleaner." But no song exemplifies the Kyuss sound as well as the aptly titled "Odyssey," which opens suite number three and provides a veritable blueprint of the band's unique combination of ingredients. The track begins with a cryptic melody, explodes into a ferocious riff, glides into a psychedelic bridge, then returns to full-throttle for its conclusion.

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