French rockers Klone will be releasing their seventh album, Here Comes The Sun, in late April. As one who is not all that familiar with the band’s discography, I was very interested to hear what sort of impression I’d get from a band who has been on the bill with groups like Gojira and King’s X.
I was actually surprised to find that the music on this album is largely in the vein of bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside and Anathema. It features a lot of the same sort of ethereal atmosphere for which these bands are known, coupled with some tastefully arranged progressive elements (polyrhythms, odd meter, etc.). Klone also incorporate unexpected instruments here and there, such as EBow, Mellotron and other synths. (Upon a brief exploration of some of Klone’s previous releases, this album seems to be a bit of a departure from their earlier sound.)
Klone do a very good job creating a sort of semi-progressive, groove-oriented, post-rock sound. I say semi-progressive because the music on Here Comes The Sun incorporates just enough of the elements I mentioned above to be enticing without flying over the heads of the average mainstream listener. Their approach from song to song tends to center around a main groove created by the drums and bass that is given melodic color by repetitive guitar and other instruments or lead passages. The vocals sit on top and provide a sense of forward momentum. It’s an approach more common to your run-of-the-mill, radio-rock bands, and that sort of “pop” sensibility is surely apparent on Here Comes The Sun. Songs like “Fog,” “Gone Up In Flames” and “Nebulous” have no shortage of catchy hooks and attention-grabbing grooves. While I have no doubt that this music has a very broad appeal, listeners who consider themselves to be more intellectually invested in the music will also get plenty of substance from this album.
Because this is a Skullsnbones review, I feel obligated to mention that some metalheads (at least those who insist on having an aggressive element in their music) won’t find as much appeal on this Klone album as they have on their previous releases. Unlike Porcupine Tree who seamlessly blend aggression and hard-hitting dynamics into their generally lighter style, Klone really don’t do aggressive on this album, with the exception of some riffs on “Grim Dance” and “The Last Experience.” There are no truly heavy guitars to be found, and the tempos to not rise above moderate on any given song.
Klone have departed significantly from the heavier style they’ve used previously, so fans may be in for a surprise. The vocals are similar to those on The Dreamer’s Hideaway, but that’s probably where the similarities end. Comparisons can be made between Opeth’s Deliverance and Damnation albums in terms of the way Klone have taken a sharp turn from the direction they were heading (and yes, I know those Opeth albums were meant to be a sort of supplemental double album which is not necessarily the case here). From the perspective of someone who is new to the them I can say that I definitely got a good enough impression of the quality of Klone’s music to want to check out their other material in greater depth.
Here Comes the Sun is out April 27th on Klonosphere. Pre-order it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):