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Album Reviews : Klone – Le Grand Voyage

By on September 23, 2019

This band has been around for 20 years and has released some fabulous music in that time. They certainly have a very solid worldwide following, to the point where they toured Australia a few years back (hopefully they return, as they were riveting live), but I would still rate them as underrated, in the greater scheme of things.

Maybe it’s because their music is understated, delicate even, and Le Grand Voyage takes them even further in that direction. It is indeed a great journey, but it’s a journey across serene and magical oceans, oceans that only occasionally get a little choppy (The Great Oblivion being one example). For the majority of its 46-minute running length, its wistful ambience sends you into a sweet reverie.

That’s not to say the album does not have its power however. It certainly does, but it is a more subtle power, like the distant rumble of a volcano, rather than the actual eruption. It walks that very fine line with great skill.

The songs are superb, constructed to emphasise their flow, memorability and atmospherics, and are carried sweetly by the strong, elegant voice of singer Yann Ligner. The production is open and spacious, allowing said atmospherics and songs the breath they need to shine, and the musicianship supports the key feature, the songs, magnificently. It is obvious much time, effort, thought and skill have been put into the writing, recording and production of this album, every element, every moment, has been fine-tuned to a perfect point. Even the cover artwork is striking.

It’s difficult to pick a standout track on this record, it is truly consistent from end to end. From the distant storm gathering at the start of opener Yonder, through to the delicious languidness of last track Silver Gate, it is an album that will create a certain mood in your mind and in the air around you, the likes of which are rarely experienced in heavy music. It is a record that must be experienced from end to end if you are to fully appreciate its charm and breadth.

That is now to say however, that, in this age of goldfish attention spans, playlists, streaming etc, you cannot drop in anywhere along its length, at any track, and find much enjoyment there.

In fact, it’s somewhat of a misnomer to even call this ‘heavy’ music. Le Grand Voyage is more ambient art rock, if a classification must be thrust upon it, only occasionally straying into somewhat ‘heavy’ musical territory. All up, this record is absolutely beautiful, and will undoubtedly sit very comfortably in this humble writer’s top albums of 2019 list at the end of the year.

Hopefully it may also help lift them above their ‘underrated’ status.

Band: Klone
Album:  Le Grand Voyage
Year: 2019
Genre: Art Rock
Label: Kscope
Origin: France

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.