Klogr – ‘Keystone’

Formed in 2011, KLOGR are all about the human condition and the expression of all the complex factors that entails. Their intensely strong feelings about tragic losses and humanity’s destruction of the natural environment find expression and release in their songs. ‘Keystone’ revolves around man’s misperception of himself as the ‘keystone’ of the world. It’s an intricate, profound and finely developed album, following the preceding ‘Black Snow’, ‘Make Your Stand’ (2015) and their live 2014 video, showcasing 23 gigs within 4 minutes.

Produced by David Bottril (Peter Gabriel, Kid Rock, Smashing Pumpkins, Tool), ‘Keystone’ concentrates solely on the music, to the exclusion of social trends. Having played worldwide, as support for Prong and Limp Bizkit, amongst others, KLOGR are now prepared to resume touring Europe and will be appearing in autumn 2017, opening for Finnish band, The Rasmus.

Sleeping Through The Seasons – Think Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Nightmare’ and you’re there. Only heavier and more drum focused. Equally skilled at contrasting lighter and heavier sections, though and these vocals are arrestingly gritty. Loaded with melody, catchy hooks and just long enough to absorb and leave you wanting more. The work and thought that’s gone into this is audibly evident, straddling the perfect balance between heavy and melodic.

Prison Of Light – Powerfully impacting intro. Heavy as a falling oak tree, packed with rhythm and more melody, nicely timed and so considered. There’s something very Kyrbgrinder-esque about its’ style of delivery and really, just a deeply enjoyable track.

Technocracy – Deliciously intense drum intro, hammering the emotion home and intensifying the anger, with startlingly raw, aggressive vocals. Those hard as nails riffs just add to the effect, throwing their message down on the floor, with forceful power. The Kyrbgrinder theme continues and it’s one I’d be happy to listen to relentlessly.

The Echoes Of Sin – Beautiful riff intro, melting into your soul and soon joined by such immensely powerful lyrics, performed with absolute plausible sincerity. Strong as hell and incredibly sexy, combining blues streaks with pure heavy-metal. Again, I’m taken back to Kyrbgrinder’s ‘Cold War Technology’ album and that, in itself, is testament to the incredible power of ‘Keystone’. Each track so far is a pure powerhouse of energy, hitting and infiltrating your spirit, like a rocket.

Pride Before The Fall – Drums taking centre stage again, in the vein of alt heaviness and the vivid, vivacious colour and energy in here can’t fail to affect you. Tons of awesomely metal riffage, a whole load of catch and a massively heightened energy ripples right through this track. Majorly classy, top-level quality and so enduringly lovable.

Something’s In The Air – A voice-over clip of several voices, speaking at once, in a news narrative style opens, before rapidly giving way to another affecting example of giant -sized metallic chops. Enormously edgy, hardened grit, melodically and intensively performed, with the highest level of production. Outstanding.

Drag You Back – Hammering your face in again, with absolute force of will, you’ll never forget these drum hits. A gigantic monster of a track, yet still, it finds space to include a thoughtfully gentler section. Never fear, though, there’s no chance of the thrillingly sexy metal ever letting up. It sees its way, determinedly, through till the end.

Siren’s Song – Injecting a curiously unusual underwater effect, with lots of wobble movement and visual imagery (mermaids. Is it just me?) It’s more of a short intermission, since it ends there.

Dark Tides – Lovingly played acoustic intro, initially gentler vocals, soon moving back into heavy territory, yet alternating back-and-forth. Those soul enveloping, crushing riffs return and from then on, it’s just mind blowing intensity. Almost too good for words.

Silent Witness – Nice fret work there and again, the energy blows up in your face, as the lyrical message hits home once more. A sense of breathing space enters this, within the fluidity of the riffs and even the vocals, infusing the track and themselves, with fresh, renewed energy. That’s a tricky skill to master, but it’s a necessary one and they achieve it impressively.

Enigmatic Smile – A pure forcefield of metallic steel! Battering through your defences, the mighty heaviness increases, to an almost superhuman level of strength. A shorter, but highly effective track.

The Wall Of Illusion – Here comes that oceanic ambience again, but now, it yields, to an expected heaviness. Going for it, with every ounce of energy they’ve got, injecting some haunting guitar riffs, but never losing that hard edged passion, it’s a fitting finale, pouring the overflowing energy of metal, from their hearts, to yours. A vibrant life force of metal.

Overall – Outstanding. A highly articulate metal masterpiece, powerful beyond description. Affecting would be understating its strength. ‘Keystone’ will stay in your memory forever, take up residence in your heart and infiltrate the depths of your soul, like little else. You need this in your life now!

10/10 **********

For fans of Kyrbgrinder, Avenged Sevenfold, Testament, Reign Of Fury, Pantera, Kickin’ Valentina, Furyon.

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