Klone
Black Days


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
May 12th, 2010 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Equally atmospheric, evocative and heavy, "Black Days" comes as strongly recommended for progressive metal fans.

It's extremely difficult to create something entirely original in the progressive metal genre since the range of sound has been explored thoroughly by such genre juggernauts as Tool, Isis and Mastodon to name a few. French outfit Klone, as the name indicates, doesn't present anything truly original or groundbreaking. However, they happen to be one of these rare acts that approach their, sometimes overly obvious, influences in a creative fashion. In consequence, their albums cannot be called clearly reproductive, but cleverly conceived and, most of all, coherent. This was the case with their previous breakthrough release, "All Seeing Eye" (2008) in which the band combined their progressive approach with brutal math metal traces to a very satisfying effect. The followers of technical chug fests may feel disappointed this time around though.

"Black Days" is a totally new beast of an album. Klone are still a progressive act through and through, yet they almost completely resigned from their Massuggah-like sound in favor of a more focused atmosphere-driven approach. Whereas "Black Days" may not match its predecessor when it comes to technicality and a daring use of uncommon instrumentation, it obviously surpasses it with its darkly-hinged consistency. The compositions seem to be more rounded as well as memorable, while retaining the complexity along with tempo changes so essential to the entire genre.

The band members focus on crafting a massive, psychedelic sound that is appropriately varied throughout. They have an inclination towards placing their influences in different points within one track and thus seamlessly blending them together so that nobody would notice. The amazing opener "Rite Of Passage" starts with the sound of harp and tribal drumming that accompanied by keyboards builds up to a hypnotic prog rock feast very reminiscent of Tool's "Lateralus". The similar organic guitarwork is incorporated in "The Spell Is Cast". Some compositions have way more hard and heavy, raw edge to them. "Spiral Down", for instance, benefits from extensive sludge metal influences, while both "Hollow Way" and "Behold The Silence" resemble Mastodon in their interplays between bass chugging and guitar. On the other hand, there is a space for meditative, ambient soundscapes created with the use of keyboards, synths or a clarinet in such songs as "Immaculate Desire" and "Rain Bird". The mystic instrumental "Closed Season" is so refined that it would easily find its place on the latest Indukti album.

Aside from the permeating mysterious atmosphere, the only element that is stable throughout the album is Yann Linger's performance. His vocals are largely clean, yet powerful with a pleasant gruff tinge thrown in. They are characteristic enough to differentiate Klone from other similar acts for the first-time listener. However, Linger hardly ever experiments with his voice or tries anything more diverse. As a result, his delivery sometimes gets monotonous like at the end of "Give Up The Rest". His arguably best performance involves screaming in the cover of Bjork's "Army Of Me" (previously done by Swiss nu-metal band Maja). Klone's rendition of this unforgettable song is all about a massive metal attack fueled by precise mechanic riffs. Even if this track doesn't really fit the new musical style of the band, it's definitely worthy of attention due to its unabashed directness and energy.

Overall, "Black Days" showcases the band that capture a wide variety of approaches towards progressive metal. Although the album is largely derivative and somewhat repetitive, Klone adroitly uses numerous influences crafting the record that possesses its very own identity. Equally moody, evocative and heavy, "Black Days" passes as strongly recommended for progressive music fans.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 12th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album has already been released in France. It will be released in the rest of Europe and Australia on May, 17. I don't know anything about the US.

The cover somehow doesn't show up.

djentman
May 12th 2010


2 Comments


Great review man, I listen to The All Seeing Eye every so often, it's a solid record, but what I've heard of this really knocks it out of the park. Kind of sounds like a mix of Hurt and Tool to me, pretty excellent.

If you are into the whole French metal scene check out this band Om Mani, kind of like this but djentier!

cb123
May 12th 2010


2058 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds pretty interesting based on the recs list you put up, might give this a crack

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@djentman:
This album is less djenty than All Seeing Eye, but probably like it more. It's verging on 4.5/5 right now frankly speaking. Tool influences are evident. As for Hurt, I guess only the vocals are kind of similar at times. I will definitely check out this band you mentioned. Thanks for the comment.

@cb123:
Yeah. This album needs way more recognition on this site. I guess a lot of users here would love it if they gave it a go.

Merkin
May 13th 2010


113 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

From what I've heard this sounds pretty awesome. I thought All seeing eye was really good in parts but inconsistent. Hopefully this is as good as you say, looking forward to listening and nice review.

Also his voice is great, he sings more on this album?

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. Even though I agree, I still like All Seeing Eye a lot (especially the last 2 tracks). Basically, whether you will like it more than that album or not depends on what kind of music you prefer. If you are more into math metal you will like All Seeing Eye more, I guess. Black Days is way more dreamy and atmospheric, very similar to Tool and Indukti at times.

And yes, Linger sings a lot on this record, sometimes he screams and whispers, but most of all sings.

Wizard
May 13th 2010


19641 Comments


This sounds good. Nice review dude.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. I think you'll like it.

DoctorNurse
May 13th 2010


475 Comments


i remember not liking the all seeing eye, but the new song in their myspace is fairly decent. would like to hear the bjork cover. good review.

EDIT - Army of Me cover was pretty bad

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 13th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha. I like it a lot. The album is totally different than this cover and All Seeing Eye. So, still you may want to check it out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The live videos can be found here:

Spiral Down:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtbjqYxXs6s

The Spell Is Cast:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R79abEfToyA

Give Up The Rest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oavAIf6WqZE

Jethro42
November 12th 2010


12623 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Woops...''their proggresive approach''..., at the 1st paragraph. Easy mistake to detect for a proghead haha
Good review, Greg. Spiral Down, The Spell is Cast and Behold the Silence are my favs on here.

Bitchfork
November 13th 2010


7584 Comments


I don't think this is my thing but I absolutely fucking adore that cover.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2010


7463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Jethro42: Nobody's perfect. Thanks for pointing this out, dude. My favorite track is most certainly
Rite Of Passage. The rest is so stellar that I have difficulty selecting any other highlights.

@Bitchfork: The artwork in the booklet is kick-ass as well. It comes with a bonus concert DVD. So,
it's definitely rad.



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