Klone – Meanwhile: Album Review

Klone address the best and worst of humanity with a powerful soundtrack.

Release Date: 10th February 2023

Label: Kscope

Format: digital / CD / LP (with limited coloured options)

Klone have been a regular item on the At The Barrier pages. The Le Grand Voyage and Alive albums from the French quintet both earned themselves a favourable thumbs up with their stirring Art/Alternative/Metal leanings.

Meanwhile, the new album, Meanwhile (which feels slightly awkward phrasing but using the word twice might help. Or not) finds them contemplating the best and the worst aspects of humanity. As anticipated, not a great place,with the subject given suitably ponderous and ocean-deep tones that emanate within the first moments of Within Reach. Clearly, producer Chris Edrich has built on his work with Leprous, The Ocean and TesseracT to create an all-encompassing and mighty sonic cloak to cast across the ten songs. Crisp dynamics and a desperate intensity make Within Reach sound huge and the rage of Yann Ligner isn’t held in check as he ruminates over missed opportunities – those elusive moments that are within reach but remain frustratingly unattainable.

We had to try again,” reflects Ligner, almost resigned to doubt and failure, amidst the vastness of the first single, its strong presence merging into Blink Of An Eye, complete with incongruous and snaking brass sounds. Another steady, on the verge of a poderous, pondering and melancholy outing.

The standout melodies and hooks on Bystander – the “we feel the rhythm slowing down” line accompanied by a lead bass run (reminiscent of Rush’s Faithless ?) – are accompanied by Scarcity which finds them in territory employed by the post-Floyd brigade led by Airbag, where the atmospheres are given a darker hue and the impact comes in the shape of subtle guitar lines that emerge from the depths and decorate the likes of the stop-start juddering of The Unknown where some bizarre sounds are coaxed. Not a guitar fest where the solos are indulgent and unnecessary but add to the overall texture.

The soundtrack continues in a relentless drive of density, yet there are patches of both Apnea and Elusive (the latter talks of “a strange experience“) where the melody finds a way, eeking through the cracks, of the pounding onslaught. Some might say there’s the threat of becomingtrampled underfoot, although Night And Day too, like its title, balances more subtle atmospherics with the power and dominance.

Bringing things to a close is the defiant title track. Insistent riffing, climaxing with discordant sounds and an emergency stop bring the curtain down on their ruminations. The finale brings a reprise of the opening lyric of “we had to try again” and brings the album full circle while reinforcing the messages of Meanwhile. Their poignant reflections about today’s world are given an uplifting musical coating – no more than we’d expect from a band who seem dialled in to the creation of melodic and thought provoking Metal.

The added bonus is that Klone will special guests on the Devin Townsend European and UK tour which promises to be an unmissable spectacle.

Here’s the video for Bystander:

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