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Klone - Le Grand Voyage CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.07 | 52 ratings

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3 stars Le Grand Voyage has (as of this review, 8/22/21) seriously climbed the 2019 charts. With the promise of anathema-esque atmospheric and metallic rock, I've given this record two focused listens. Klone has recently taken off in popularity, so it was probably a matter of time before their records started entering the PA charts. What's held within the 46 minute runtime is a collection of tightly produced atmospheric songs. It's weirdly almost ambient for how heavy it is (although I contend, this isn't really that heavy of an album).

Le grand voyage opens with an ominous thunderstorm and a churning guitar riff, evoking a sense of heavy atmosphere. Yonder is extremely drenched with reverb. The first bit of distorted guitar opens with some disjoint and soft piano. The vocals are really processed, something I wish wasn't the case but I can't deny how the chorus of this song soars. It's interesting how the breakdown mirrors the djent style of breakdowns except at an incredibly slow pace.

Breach follows the same path as yonder, an equally epic and atmospheric song. There's a really playful bassline during the verses that really gives the droning nature of these songs a bit of active kick. This song is a bit more repetitive than Yonder, but it's still got a lot of tricks hidden up its sleeve that distinguishes it from atmospheric alt rock. Sadly, it ends without much fanfare, which was a huge disappointment because I was expecting more to develop from it.

Sealed is a bit more mysterious, with some really deliciously buttery harmonies. At the risk of sounding indistinct, the songs on this album are nearly ambient with how thick and textural the guitars are. This song ends a bit better than the last, but it still feels like these songs hold the same arc for better or worse. It feels like they all have an even dynamic hump, going up and down.

Indelible opens with some jangly slow guitar. I like the post-rock guitar textures on this song that almost mimic a string section at their most atmospheric. There's a beautiful synth solo in this song that almost dances around the stereo field. About midway through, there's a break into a more clear riff and some of the more apparent and active drumwork on this album. And surprise, there's a sax solo layered in here. I actually really enjoy how they developed this song.

Keystone opens with a rhythmic and open sounding guitar riff, sort of like the last one. This song has a more stripped back feel, almost reminiscant of the more mellow later-era tool songs. There's a really surprising harmony that gives this song a real kick that I enjoy. Not as much, however, as the real kick later in the song. This has the kind of terminal climax that I was expecting more from on this record.

Hidden Passenger is another mellow song, one that I find myself unable to describe without repeating myself. There's a really cool harmony guitar part before one of the choruses that is quite beautiful to hear.

The Great Oblivion changes the pace of this record by opening with some seriously heavy chords. The rising guitar counter-line is really nice as well. This is one of the more active songs on here. It has a lot of fuel to it that really pushes it forward. The rhythm guitar gets choppier midway through, complimented by some pretty chromatic harmonies that contrast well with the atmospheric bleariness. This has the most technical sounding moments, and its really tight.

Sad and Slow really sums up this album, doesn't it? I cannot resist, it's an easy target for sure. This isn't the mellowest song on here by far, if anything the drums are quite pummeling.

Silver gate continues the same trend to a bit of disappointment on my end. There really isn't a finale to this record, it just keeps going. It catches the vibe quite well, but it feels like it's missing out on making a statement of any sort.

My biggest problem with this album is that it seems to just drone on. I heard maybe 3 distinct songs on this record. The best parts were songs like Yonder and The Great Oblivion, these songs really felt like they were taking me on a great journey. For the most part, though, the songs on this record are stagnant. The vocal delivery is practically the same the whole way through, and the lyrics just seemed vague and uninteresting with little exception. If you're a fan of Anathema and maybe some of the more mellow offerings of atmospheric metal, you'll probably vibe with this record. Ultimately, this came off as a rather generic album. It's not bad, not at all, but the talents of Klone feel wasted by how much this drags. The reverb never changes, the tempos are mostly the same, the rhythm guitar can be downright boring at times, and the ultimate effect is an album that's not for impatient listeners.

mental_hygiene | 3/5 |


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