Saturday 5 May 2012

Kehlvin - The Orchard of Forking Paths Review

Kehlvin are a Post-Hardcore/Progressive Sludge Metal Band from Switzerland.

The members are: Yonni, Spieli, Bud, Baptiste, Zen.

Kehlvin have been around a while and have built a well deserved reputation in their respective scene. They play a blend of Post-Hardcore, Doom, Prog-Metal and Atmospheric Sludge Metal to brutal crushing effect.

Their bio should tell you about this amazing band:

"Formed back in early 1999 by five friends in La Chaux-de- Fonds, Switzerland, KEHLVIN is delivering a slow, progressive and metallic hardcore. After the release of their first acclaimed album, THE MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME on Division Records and some shows across Europe with the likes of Burst, Will Haven, Mono, Red Sparowes, Knut and Unsane, the members of khlvn have collaborated with their friends from Rorcal in order to record a split album called ASCENSION. It consists of one song of 30 minutes with the two bands playing simultaneously, written and recorded in 4 days. Since this monolithic masterpiece, the band has recorded an ep called HOLY CANCER, which was released with a live DVD. In order to promote this piece of savage aggression KEHLVIN has toured across Europe with the bands Celeste and Junius."

Well it's been 6 long years since they released their superb debut album. Well the guys are back which with their stunning 2nd album - The Orchard of Forking Paths - An 8 song 50 minute epic of sprawling, loud riffs that will have you hooked within the first few minutes.

Opening track - This Is Mere Noise showcases what is to come over the next 50 mins or so. A band on a journey to pour out their inner most thoughts with some of their heaviest riffs laid down to date.

The song might be on for 5 minutes or so but what an action packed ride. Channeling the vibes of  a earlier pre-Oceanic ISIS with the technical ability of a great Prog-Metal Band. A great start to this action packed album.

Next up is - Troy Von Balthazar which features some of the angriest music Kehlvin have laid down since their brilliant debut album. This song is a masterclass of Sludge/Post-Metal. It gets the balance of the loud and quiet aspect of Post-Metal to perfection. The song has its fair share of intense vocals to match the sublime instrumental work going on in the background.

The Metaphysical Trout is a 9 minute plus thrill ride of great vocals and riffs to match. This song builds up to an explosive climax and is possibly the album's stand-out track. I love tracks like this where the band takes time to build the atmosphere only to let their anger and rage spill at different moments in the song. It gives this song a haunting edge where you know hell is going to break loose at any second.

And that is one of the unexpected joy's of this album. Kehlvin have crafted a perfect balance between light and dark tones of Progressive Sludge/Post-Metal.

This album's strength is how each song fits into the overall picture. They have a natural progression and order to them. The Orchard of Forking Paths becomes part of your subconscious. It's a rare album that truly gets under your skin.

I have been listening to this for the last couple of weeks or so and have tried to write about 3 separate reviews for it. But each one didn't do this great album any justice. It really is a hard album to put into words.

There are still 5 tracks left on this haunting and brooding masterpiece. All I can say the other 5 songs on show are examples why Kehlvin are one of the leading lights in underground Sludge/Post-Metal. These guys have a lot of things to say and you know what. they will make sure you listen.

Especially on tracks like Melon Fucker (Another brilliant 9 minute epic) and the outstanding title track - The Orchard Of Forking Paths which takes what has came before it and plays it at a more restrained pace but still loud and angry as ever.

This is probably one of the hardest albums I have had the pleasure to review. It goes through so many emotions on so many levels that one listen to this album is never enough. I am well into double figures already and still find things that I missed first time round.

The Orchard Of Forking Paths is Kehlvin's defining masterpiece and possibly one of the best Sludge/Post-Metal releases I have heard this year or any year.

Simply put one of the best Post-Hardcore/Sludge/Post-Metal releases I have heard since ISIS landmark classic - Oceanic.

Highly Recommended. Available from all good stockists now.

Check This Great Band Below: