Klone
All Seeing Eye

If you’re going to name your band Klone, you’d better have something original to present, whether you hide that C behind a K or not. At first, opening track “Candlelight” seems solid enough, though clearly influenced by fellow countrymen (France) Gojira. A sludgy, low-end lurch, a very similar vocal delivery, and then, the chorus glides into a warm, melodic hard rock chorus that recalls radio-friendly acts like Fuel or Dark New Day. Okay, didn’t expect that.

I may have just lost a few of you with those last two references, but the fact that Klone can ably switch between ragged groove and poppy melody tells me that this album won’t be the same-old same-old. That notion is further proven out when the funky, Pantera-inspired bluster of the title track (featuring Gojira vocalist Joe Duplantier) goes all dissonant and progressive halfway through, splitting and shifting into a layered mutation of double-bass drumming, braying saxophones and a cacophony of screams. And then the wind chimes come in, jangling and jostling above a fractured, post-hardcore churn. We can now add wind chimes to the list of underused metal instruments (along with the cello).

“Promises” returns to safer territory, again with the Pantera groove and delivery and bright, earnest clean chorus, and then Klone surprises again with “Hidden Ways,” a dreamlike instrumental of cycling harp melodies fluttering above Brian Eno atmospherics and low-end feedback guitar crush.

And so the album continues, switching back and forth between more mainstream rockers (though never straying too far from that initial Gojira inspiration) and more daring, progressive jaunts. “Last Breath,” “Commonplace” and “Life Expectancy” are three of the better examples of the their more expansive side, with the latter coming close to Burst’s spacey, transcendent thrum before it goes completely off the rails into discordant chaos.

Overall, All Seeing Eye was a nice surprise and something I’ll be spending more time with. While never as punishing as Gojira, I find it commendable that Klone is able to take that kind of heaviness and add elements to make it more palatable to a more mainstream audience. And then, once those Disturbed converts have been sucked in by the lure of accessible choruses and coarse, tough-guy swagger, they get kidnapped and brainwashed by the album’s clattery, psychedelic freakouts – a fine welcome to the underground.

So kongratulations, Klone – you’ve earned that K.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
June 25th, 2008

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