Deep in the heart of Brooklyn’s experimental music scene, one band seeks to marry the heaviness of metal with the madness of jazz. Kilter are the trio in question, led by bassist Laurent David and rounded out by drummer Kenny Grohowski and saxophonist Ed Rosenberg III. After the resounding success of their previous album Axiom, they are back with a short blast called SYS.
Three tracks, three people. Each musician takes the lead on a song, showcasing their technicality and craftsmanship. But music is a team sport, and interplay is a key component of Kilter’s writing, such as on opener Sentient Robotics where all three are engaged in musical conversation. The bass in particular shines on Mind-Body Problem, Laurant David’s showpiece, which is also coincidentally the heaviest song of the three. The Turing Test, however, slinks along quietly before it too descends into spiraling chaos, as only the best free jazz can.
A good way to know you are in capable hands is to look at the pedigree of the artistry on display. Grohowski brings his knowledge from collaborating with the legendary John Zorn and avant-garde metallers Imperial Triumphant, while Rosenberg splits his remaining time between Jerseyband and Heart Of Barf (a grindcore band, no less!). David, meanwhile, as well as running established label Alter-Nativ, has many solo and collaborative albums in his name.
For those who seek something a bit different in their listening habits, Kilter have you covered. SYS slides on the spectrum between jazz and metal, and will scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had.