Klogr – Black Snow (Zeta Factory)

Thursday, 5th June 2014
Rating: 5/10

We’re all familiar with the term “mixed-bag” when it comes to quality, but that term’s normally used within a full-album context, saying some songs are better than others and the listening experience is a bit disjointed as a whole. Unfortunately, in the case of Klogr’s sophomore record, the term must be applied on a song-by-song basis, meaning that virtually every track has noticeable hindrances that keep it from becoming an engaging listen, and this makes the album as a whole a lackluster and somewhat awkward experience.

To give credit where it’s due, the album provides a handful of noteworthy moments. Klogr overall has a sound akin to early millennial hard rock bands, and the opening track “Zero Tolerance” embodies this style wholeheartedly with an almost Spineshank vibe that alternates from aggression to melody convincingly. “Severed Life” continues this approach but finds vocalist Gabriele Rustichelli soaring into a much higher register that invokes some of Trust Co.’s initial offerings. And finally, album closer “Ambregris” offers a soft introspection that sounds like a Linkin Park ballad without the electronic and hip-hop influence.

The aforementioned tracks notwithstanding, the album limps along because of two major faults: lack of instrumental-vocal harmony and undeveloped choruses. If listeners are intrigued by the millennial style, the album is rife with engaging riffs and passages, but the vocals often sound like they were recorded for completely different tracks, creating an unresolved tension and level of dissonance that quickly drags the songs down. Likewise, following the mainstream style of songwriting, each track gradually builds tension in the verses for resolution in the chorus, but the chorus almost unfailingly comes across as two meters too short, transitioning back into a verse or bridge just as quickly as it appears. This tendency gives the songs a rushed and unfinished feel.

In all, while it’s clear Klogr has some talented musicians, they just don’t appear to be on the same page for this record. Some tracks are worth checking out, but being that two of the three notables are the final tracks on the album, it may be too little too late.

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