Kehlvin
The Orchard of Forking Paths


4.5
superb

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
May 18th, 2012 | 19 replies | 2,759 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mind-bending, progressive, dissonant, and utterly unique, "Orchard" is evolution at its finest.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Kehlvin have always been one of those rare atmospheric sludge acts that actually make a conscious effort to separate themselves from their legions of peers. Their 2007 debut, The Mountain Daylight Time, was an immensely engrossing foray into progressive, atmospheric hardcore through the lens of a more typical post-metal band, while 2008's Holy Cancer EP removed them even further from their climax-obsessed peers with a much greater emphasis on the hardcore aspect of their sound. If they evolved to this extent in a single year between two releases, it is to be expected that, with a span of four years between their previous output and The Orchard of Forking Paths the strides taken away from their roots would be all that much greater. This most certainly holds true for their sophomore full-length, a 52-minute mind trip of dissonant, progressive, angry, and utterly unique hardcore. The lone track that even remotely brings to mind what they previously created on songs like "Albatross" is the titular closing track, and even this seven-minute instrumental is completely unlike anything else that aesthetically similar bands put out.

On The Orchard of Forking Paths, Kehlvin are not only more experimental than before. They are also angrier and heavier than anyone thought possible, as can be drawn by listening to songs like "Troy Von Balthazar," the album's would-be lead single. Its first few seconds, filled with dissonant, bass-heavy riffing, would be enough to convince anyone of the band's newfound aggression, but it does not end there. The song is not only pissed off: it is also complex, dynamic, and powerful. Vague flashes of Kehlvin's old self shine through on this and other tracks in the form of slightly less intense reprieves, yet they no longer dominate the music, serving instead to merely complement the album's stylistic base of progressive hardcore. Every song here, with the possible exception of the title track, goes straight for the punch, leading off with brutality and completely eschewing the extensive buildups and emotional climaxes that they utilized on their two previous efforts. Some songs, such as the three-minute "Whip This," are totally unfiltered slabs of destructive hardcore, and some, like "The Metaphysical Trout," play around with more dynamics, yet even these more dynamic songs cannot be pigeonholed into a specific genre like before.

This album's strength, however, does not only lie in its increased aggression. It is also graced by impressive songwriting ability, a significant amount of very welcome experimentation, and a few very talented musicians performing it. Album highlight "Grady Robinson" might encapsulate everything so good about this release, featuring warbled post-hardcore vocals in its intro, dissonant instrumental breaks in its midsection, and a mosh-worthy, earth-shattering hardcore breakdown at its climax. As with the LP's other songs, the vocals are passionate, infuriated, and massively intense, while the guitars and bass play off each other masterfully without one ever overwhelming the other and the drums attack in a frenzied whirlwind of pounding beats, creative fills, and mind-bending time signatures.

Time and time again, bands have tried to evolve into something more unique than where they began, and time and time again, they have fallen flat on their faces trying to do so. On The Orchard of Forking Paths, however, Kehlvin have done what so many others have tried and failed to do. They have taken their undeniably enjoyable but slightly unoriginal style and turned it on its head, crafting something utterly unique and surprisingly compelling. It truly is unfortunate how little attention The Orchard of Forking Paths has received, because it is, without a doubt, one of the year's most engaging and mature hardcore releases to date.



Recent reviews by this author
Golgatha Somnium AttaccaStrike to Survive Yesterday's News
Rosetta The AnaesthetePalms Palms
Entropia (PL) VesperThe Body Master, We Perish
user ratings (6)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
May 18th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yea bitches

also posted this here (check if you want a link as well):
http://obsidian-tides.blogspot.com/

Eclecticist
May 18th 2012



3863 Comments


Wyankeif is back?

Ignimbrite
May 18th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he's sort of been back for a few months, but yes

Eclecticist
May 18th 2012



3863 Comments


Cool, I have you on facebook but we never talk for some reason.

Ignimbrite
May 18th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wait, are you butchered?

Eclecticist
May 18th 2012



3863 Comments


Yep, or at least, I was. Then I became a serious sputnikuser.

Ignimbrite
May 18th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

HEEEEY

i thought you had left forever. nice to see you again, bro

Eclecticist
May 18th 2012



3863 Comments


Hey lol, nah I left for quite a while, almost a year but then I came back after I fine tuned my reviewing skills and my library of listens. It's nice to see you too man! You left and that was awful because sputnikmusic needs as many dedicated and renowned users as possible since all of these troll accounts started rolling in :/

Neurisis of Luna
May 18th 2012



411 Comments


"You left and that was awful because sputnikmusic needs as many dedicated and renowned users as possible"

lol butchered I thought you died

ThroneOfAgony
May 18th 2012



3485 Comments


Lol holy crap I never knew that was butchered until now

Eclecticist
May 18th 2012



3863 Comments


Haha! I didn't die I just decided that I wanted to be more serious on this site, so I scrapped my old account and made this one and now I actually contribute to this sites surplus of excellent music (as best as I can).

eternium
May 18th 2012



16304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. Those Knut influences are nice.

chambered49
May 19th 2012



1727 Comments


sounds cool good review

Nogard
May 25th 2012



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great Review. Amazing Disc.

Try YOG - Half The Sky it's two fifths of Kehlvin. It's a Progressive type of Grindcore. Amazing too.

Ignimbrite
June 5th 2012



5294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I will check that out. Thanks bro

Evreaia
July 15th 2012



3953 Comments


Digging this a lot, so good.

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

ChuckyTruant
August 26th 2012



15707 Comments


Excellent review. One of the best I have read

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

CaptainDooRight
October 22nd 2012



28332 Comments


dam gotta hear this, sweet rev too, Pos'd

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

bodiesinflight57
January 13th 2013



869 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

massive yawn



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy