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The Crow
5 stars What can I say about "Le Grand Voyage"?

My absolute favourite album of 2019, and one of the finest prog records of the last decade, with a marvellous mixture of ambient-psychedelic-alternative rock with a pinch of metal incredibly catchy and with an outstanding and very strong song writing which makes that this album has absolutely no fillers.

Every song is a travel itself, and every one of them has something to say!

The production is also very good, rather simple and direct, but with a pristine representation of what this band wanted to make in this indispensable record which is an absolute success.

Best Tracks: like I said, this album has no fillers... But Yonder (incredible vocals from Yann Linger hear), Breath (just sit, relax and enjoy) and Hidden Passenger (incredible rhythm changes) are among the best.

My rating: *****

Report this review (#2497407)
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Review Permalink
5 stars 7th album of the French KLONE with an unplugged in their discography which begins to grow. KLONE or the psyche-hard-ambient-alternative group; KLONE or the group which manages to skillfully mix post- rock with metal-prog, dark-pop also at times! A little Steve WILSON, a little ANATHEMA, a little catchy new wave and you have all the ingredients to travel far.

Yann has a bewitching and captivating voice, Aldrick and Guillaume combine perfectly to give a heavy, unhealthy and catchy atmosphere; the basic rhythm allows the different tracks to give the best of themselves. Some titles are particularly striking, namely the first 4 including "Yonder", "Breach", "Sealed" with hellish rhythm that makes you go very far and prevent you from coming back to earth; Matthieu with his synths is also for many, giving a depressive, tragic, monolithic sound. After the following titles have a little taste of coming back to it, of already heard, a lack of intensity somewhere, but it's good, heavier, more depressive, darker, more bewitching; it is with the "Silver Gate" that all the intensity of the departure returns with a bang, giving the end of this album a dramatic sound; heavy, heavy, KLONE which will remain as one of the most beautiful slaps of the year.

The French group to follow, which stands out over the listening of the great ANATHEMA, PARADISE LOST, hovering dark prog of good quality.

Report this review (#2573607)
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Review Permalink
3 stars Le Grand Voyage has climbed to the top of the 2019 charts recently with less than 50 ratings, and given that I'd never heard of Klone before, I wanted to check the album out to see what the deal was. The band's sound on this album reminds me a lot of Anathema, in that it's a formal metal band turned to atmospheric crossover prog/post-rock. Unfortunately, I wouldn't quite say they are as successful as Anathema in making that kind of music sound interesting. That being said, the second half of the album is significantly stronger than the first, and standout tracks include Keystone, The Great Oblivion, and Silver Gate. If the whole album were as strong as these tracks, it would be an easy four stars from me, but it starts out very weak and takes until about 20 minutes to pick up an energy. I don't want to fully discredit it, seeing as the production is very good and the band are very clearly competent songwriters, even if this album isn't exactly the most musically exciting. 3/5 stars?it's not a bad album persay, but I wouldn't exactly say it warrants another listen.
Report this review (#2574611)
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2021 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#2581310)
Posted Sunday, July 25, 2021 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Le Grand Voyage" continues in the same style as their "Here Comes The Sun" record from 2015. There was an "Unplugged" album in between these two released in 2017. Anyways this six piece band out of France is back and they have some of the best album covers. I don't feel this record is nearly as consistently great as "Here Comes The Sun" but this is a very solid 4 star album. It just seems like it could have ended better but that's my tastes in music I suppose. Again we get a lot of mid-paced tracks, lots of atmosphere and some heaviness with a great vocalist.

The singer wrote all the lyrics while the rhythm/ atmospheric guitarist wrote all the music except for on "Sealed" which the singer composed. The keyboardist once again uses systoles devices along with sax on one track. It was cool to hear that surprise bonus track my first time I spun it because it doesn't show it in the liner notes or back cover but it's called "The Spy" and it's a cover of THE DOORS track from "Morrison Hotel". They make it their own although the singer does go into Jim's style of singing. I like it a lot. The last two tracks are well done but not in my top five which is why I think this could have ended stronger.

My top five does include the opening three tracks. The opener "Yonder" might be my favourite. Opening with the crack of thunder which will continue for over a minute it's quickly joined by picked guitar and then laid back vocals. Love the atmosphere to end it but man what a gorgeous opener. "Breach" is another beauty and maybe my favourite vocal performance on here, that tone! So uplifting this one and even a FLOYD vibe.

"Sealed" is cool with the guest steel guitar, not "steal" I'm sure as they have it in the liner notes. Another relaxed track. The back to back "Hidden Passenger" and "The Great Oblivion" round out my top five. The former is in the style of the others I mentioned but "The Great Oblivion" has down-tuned guitars and a heavier sound bringing fellow french band MARS RED SKY to mind.

I really like this band, the atmosphere, the vocals, it all works so well. Easily 4 stars.

Report this review (#2853223)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2022 | Review Permalink

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