KLOGR come through with their latest album Keystone. The alt rock/metal band play with many themes and ideas in both their sound and their subject matter, often with mixed and interesting results.
Sleeping Through The Seasons is an atmospheric opener, reserved, digital tinkles fall to silence, as the tune opens up and the regimented beat of drum and guitar stomps through. It’s a little tame to start with, with a decent riff but nothing that truly grabs your attention. Thankfully Prison Of Light brings a little more bite than the previous track, blending a little more easily into the melody. It’s darker, and takes a stab at some more risks in places. A looser track can often show more openness to mistakes, but also makes the music feel more human. There’s probably a little something of BREAKING BENJAMIN in here, for those who’ve not previously heard KLOGR. Interestingly, Technocracy introduces more bounce and more vocal diversity. Things are really starting to warm up here, and while there are some missteps, as noted before better a track that feels lived and rough than stagnant. The breakdown is pretty tight here, there’s plenty to listen through and it spreads the tone much better.
The Echoes Of Sin has a much more classic rock/metal feel to it in its pacing and clean vocals. Something of a hark back to some well-known bands, it might be a little confusing to those looking for something more in tune with the rest of the tracks that came before it. However, it is good to see some variation and experimenting with what KLOGR want to be. Overall, it’s a nice song with mystical overtones. Equally, Pride Before The Fall is also more alt rock than true metal, and is the worse of the two. Again, where it tries to tighten itself into something regimented and interested simply feels too much like playing by numbers. It would also seem that the guys are pretty good at getting some lyrical story telling done in this album. This track, however, is all over the place. Full of clichés, you couldn’t sing along to this one seriously without feeling a bit of an idiot.
Something’s In The Air has more of that aforementioned storytelling element. A lengthy intro that nods at disasters in some sort of radio bulletin, the journey of this track is more winding and focused, without compromising on groove and feel to the actual music. If there were more tunes with the same vibe as this on this record, it would be a real stonker. Drag You Back is one such track that takes the same sense of what makes metal and rock music really appealing. There’s always something going on with every section of the band, the laying is sublime and flows with complete ease.
Siren’s Song is a quaint little interlude of mellow effects and simple tune. Easy and pleasant, it’s a nice Segway into Dark Tides, which takes on a more acoustic feel for the most part. This is trippier than that which as come before, though thankfully it feels like it’s still from the same album as the bulk of the other tracks. Silent Witness is again darker and more experimental. When KLOGR get a little more like a alt/hard rock DREAM THEATRE they really do much better than when they play with the odd classic rock thing. It’s a shame that there isn’t as much easy flow to this record as you’d hope. Play order can really make or break an album, but with Keystone, it seems that there simply isn’t enough of a sonic journey to be made through this; if you like your albums on shuffle, then this won’t be a problem, as this overall could be played in any order.
Enigmatic Smile could honestly be on a thrash album, it darts off into another completely different direction. By this point, even if the music is decently played on this track, you start to lose patience. What is this band trying to be? You’d be forgiven if you’d thought this whole album was a compilation of some sort, there is absolutely no consistency to the sound. The Wall Of Illusion is a good track to end on. its strong and punchy, and has some heart. If you’ve kept on until this point, then you should enjoy this solid tune. Either way, no matter how good this is, it’s too little too late to unite this album.
A real mixed bag of tracks on this record, KLOGR still don’t seem to know what angle they’re going for. While some tunes are groovy, dark and imaginative in both melody and narrative, others are hollow and lacklustre. Should they decide on exactly what they want to be, or at least blend their ideas a little better, this could be a really great band. However, the multitude of influences on Keystone are simply too far spread and thinly realised to be a solid compendium of tracks.
Keystone is set for release on October 6th via Zeta Factory/PHD.
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