For some reason the last couple of November’s Doom albums didn’t seem to hit our radar, shame as I have always quite liked the band ‘The Pale Haunt Departure’ 2005 being a particular favourite. The reason I am mentioning this is that guitarist Vito Marchese is a member of The Kahless Clone an instrumental post rock outfit who judging by their name have a certain interest in all things Star Trek as well. I covered their last EP An Endless Loop back in 2015 and perhaps somewhat politely said “I guess I would be happy to listen to more whatever direction the band decide to take.” What direction I was really hinting at was that they would perhaps come back with a singer as there was a fair bit lacking here that could have certainly been improved with some gruff and weathered vocals. Unfortunately this is still very much the case and I can’t help looking at the album cover and thinking (topically) that perhaps an evil clown in the picture would give it all a bit more of an impact.

Album and song titles such as ‘I Would Leave All of This Behind, and so Would You’ suggest some sort of suicidal hopelessness and there is an almost gothic pall descending on this when it finally gets going. There’s a feel of atmospheric doom much like Victor’s day job here and I can feel the ghost of bands such as Swallow The Sun but it lacks impetus and meanders far too much to be particularly engaging. The next couple of numbers do see a marked improvement and the keyboard sound in particular takes down a retro route similar in essence to that of recent Amorphis. Yep I am in the USA but feel like I should certainly be in Finland here although not sure we would ever get cheesy song names such as ‘If Only We Had More Time Together…’ from a band cast from endless nights and cold isolation. There’s a bit of a proggy flow to things and bit more ballast, melodies are somewhat nice, if not too nice for the subject matter but all the time I am listening to this I am thinking “now, this is where the singer should be roaring in.” I have said it so many times but making instrumental music is a particular art and you really need to do something unique to make it stand out from everything else out there. Nice though it is a bit of a tubular bells sounding melody on ‘I Can Almost Reach You’ certainly doesn’t achieve this.

Guitar work, melody and playing here is all kind of “nice” there’s no problem with creating a good tune and songs do sink in after a few plays but I am left with a feeling that I am listening to a demo that has been sent out with the aim of attracting a singer; yeah I have definitely laboured that point now but it’s like an elephant in a room and even an elephant uses its voice to make a good trumpeting bellow. Rather than ending this in the same way as last time I shall say that I will be happy to hear how they develop but only if they come back next time with a set of lungs!

(6/10 Pete Woods)