Klone - All Seeing Eye
Season Of Mist
Progressive Alt/Groove Metal
12 songs (54:55)
Release year: 2008
Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

It’s interesting, given the range of Metal that’s available, that very few bands out there take the Groove route as laid down by the mid-nineties efforts of Sepultura, Machine Head, Fear Factory and so on. This may well be, as some of you are doubtless thinking, because it was crap and most bands have more self-respect than to try and emulate it. Every so often, however, you get a band that takes the base formula and does something surprising with it, and French hopefuls Klone definitely take the path less travelled.

What helps matters considerably is that the archetypical Groove Metal sound as made (in)famous by the aforementioned bands isn’t the focus of the music here as much as the other elements. Yes, there are plenty of pummelling riffs, but Klone mixes up the base groove with everything from saxophones to harps, yet so sparingly and cautiously that it absolutely works. With influences from countrymen Gojira to Alt-Rock giants Helmet, to tech-Metal titans Meshuggah - there’s even some uplifting post-grunge stuff in there! Add Jazz to the mix and top off with decent songwriting, and you have an intriguing result indeed. Songs such as the title track bent and twist with a life of their own, bought to life by a production that makes each instrument perfectly audible, from the saxophone at the start to the bells towards the end.

The instrumentation avoids the more stereotypical forms of technicality, but the band has been in the business for a while (Klone formed in 1995 yet has only released another album and an EP) and the professionalism is clear. If there’s something that might put experienced Metalheads off it’s the occasional clean-vocalled moment, which fits in fine as regards the structure of the song, but Yann’s clean vocals make the band sound a little too much like one of those annoying modern rock bands that get a single radio hit before vanishing. It does add a certain Avant-Garde element, however, and if you can cope with clean vocals in general then there should be no problem here.

There’s quite a variety in regards to songwriting, from the laid-back southern rock that opens Promises to the restrained yet ferocious Choked, with its many twists and turns and wacky keyboard effects. It’s towards the end of the album, however, when the Jazz influence comes into its own and really shows what the band is capable of. The end of Life Expectancy dips into sheer chaos with its synthesized noise and Frank Zappa-esque free Jazz, whilst Commonplace stretches the formula to a six-minute brass section-backed song without losing focus for a moment. It’s the grand finale that’s the ultimate highlight, however, the twelve-minute long Nighttime. Taking a more Noise-Rock direction, there are clear Primus influences here and there, without sacrificing the melody at the band’s heart or wandering into wank territory.

Although I was quite cynical at first, Klone’s forward-looking influences and instrumental skill have won me over. The band isn’t quite at the peak of its powers, and All Seeing Eye is far from a perfect album, but if you find yourself pining for the mid-nineties and enjoy a bit of Gojira on the side, then Klone will do more than just scratch an itch.

Killing Songs :
All Seeing Eye, Freezing, Life Expectancy, Nighttime
Goat quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Klone that we have reviewed:
Klone - Black Days reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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