The tangled ribbon of sludge and psychedelia that weaves throughout Kylesa’s previous albums twists with restraint on Static Tensions, the fourth full-length from Savannah’s quintessential blackened-metal outsiders. From the opening salvo of “Scapegoat” to the swaying rhythms of “To Walk Alone,” textures are refined in the periphery as guitars mash scorching fugues against bombastic rhythms. Clean production and a focus on melodies guides the tumult of two drummers and alternating demonic and angelic voices. “Nature’s Predators” sounds like a more aggressive Fugazi track, and the drums and guitar in “Running Red” grind like a tornado scratching scorched terra firma. Static Tensions isn’t a busy album but it is intricately pieced together in a way that sidesteps showiness with punk/hardcore savagery and sophistication. It challenges the notions of what doom-laden Southern metal is by showing what it could be. 4 out of 5 stars.