Possibly one of France’s best kept secrets
Klone isn’t an overly well-known act within the metal scene, but they’re certainly one of the more interesting offerings from the French scene, with each and every one of the band’s releases over the last eight years seeing a change direction, with listeners offered something completely unexpected.
Originally accessible as a free download last year, Season of Mist Records (the label that released the band’s last couple of releases) has decided to pick up their last E.P. The Eye of Needle and re-release it in expanded physical form.
The first two songs on this E.P. are comprised of the title track The Eye of Needle, which is split into two parts. The first part of this seventeen minute epic starts out with a long and gradual build up of guitars, saxophone and drums, all of which give a post-rock feel, for the most part. With the eventual emergence of vocalist Yann Ligner, the sound changes a little to something more akin to Textures (with clean vocals) mixed with a bit of Oceansize and The End, without sounding directly like any of the bands mentioned. The use of saxophone (provided by keyboardist/sampler Matthieu Metzger) throughout the song does give Klone a unique and intriguing sound, while the subtle waves of heavy, slow moving riffs from the guitarists (Mika Moreau and Guillaume Bernard) and the increased use of keyboards towards the end transforms the song from something groove metal based into something more progressive. It’s an interesting and compelling journey, and one worth taking.
On the second part of the song things take on a completely different tone, with the band’s direction sounding closer to alternative rock than metallic, with influences from ASG and Cky immediately coming to mind with the way Ligner delivers his vocals and the way the guitarists churn out their choppy riffs. But despite the images the comparisons may conjure up in the mind, the catchy and hypnotic vocals and the thrash-influenced riffing in the latter half of the song really make the song stand out as something a little different and worthwhile.
Finishing up the E.P. is the previously unreleased Monster, which was originally recorded during the sessions for their last album Black Days (2010). Unlike the other tracks on the E.P., Monster is a heavier and most aggression driven beast, with Ligner’s vocals noticeably more guttural than his cleaner efforts. Although fairly straight-forward and groove driven, the chorus structures are well written and catchy, while the brief passages where the band step up the tempo to take on a more thrash metal direction do help give the song a bit more variation.
Just how indicative the title track is of the direction the band plan to take their new full-length release is anyone’s guess. But as a stop-gap release, The Eye of Needle is an interesting keepsake for fans, and well worth checking out.
(Klonosphere/Season of Mist)