Odyssey is a full-bodied psychedelic treasure chest from Kazyak

Riddled with a tonality that speaks to the soul through its warm depth of emotion, we find the chugging riffs of “Camouflage,” as we do those in “Paper Bird” and “Discover,” to be devoid of the vacant tininess that has become all too common in modern rock. The guitar parts are the staple of these tracks, which join five equally stirring compositions to comprise Kazyak’s new album, OdysseyOdyssey is a full-bodied psychedelic treasure chest that pushes the limits of the band behind its design to the very brink of experimental accessibility only to produce some of the best material they’ve composed since the formation of their group. Breaking it down to bare fundamentals, Kazyak’s latest studio cut is no ordinary rock album; it’s a peek into the postmodernity of tomorrow’s heavy music.

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The progressive flow of this tracklist makes the music so much dreamier than it already was to begin with. Once we get going with the avant-garde spoken word that commences in “Contravertical,” it’s easy to lose all track of what’s going on around us, drifting in and out of consciousness as “Zombie Dream” swaggeringly sways to an almost gothic rhythm before finally resurfacing by the time the sparkle of “Be the Sun” comes into focus. It’s a hard LP to put down once you’ve picked it up for the first time, and that’s not something I’ve been able to say about the vast majority of releases that I’ve studied over the last couple of summer months. Kazyak have made a sonic spellbinder in Odyssey, and that’s putting it very mildly.

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There’s so many layers to this master mix that it definitely makes me curious about what this band’s live show would sound like, or for that matter, if they could even achieve the same sort of mammoth sound that they do here in a stage setting. It’s absolutely crushing in “Smoke Jumper” and “Camouflage,” but there’s no occasions on which the music feels larger than life as a direct result of the superior mixing alone. While it’s not as heavy as legendary beasts like the indispensable Welcome to Sky Valley (few are), Odyssey is a really physical record that demands a reaction out of those who press play on any of the eight songs in its devastatingly handsome tracklist.

From where I sit, Kazyak are changing the game with this latest release and making it difficult for their peers both in and out of their scene to compete with the sheer intensity of their music. Odyssey is easily the most mature collection of songs to see widespread release thus far in their career together, and I think that it will play particularly well with their longtime fans (who will likely notice a drastic culling of prior overindulgence issues on this LP). They’ve come into their own here, and to some extent, raised the bar for every artist planning on following them this summer. Kazyak have just submitted August’s most inspired record, and it should be considered a must-listen for indie and psychedelic rock fans alike this month.

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Michael Rand

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