The Kahless Clone
Category: Post-Rock / Ambient / Goth
Album: An Endless Loop
Blurb: A rich and powerful debut from the new side project of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, no less heavy in its scope, and perhaps more majestic in its cinematic atmosphere.
Taking a break from his tenure in doom metal band Novembers Doom, guitarist Vito Marchese focuses his darkly melodic and atmospheric sensibilities on The Kahless Clone, with An Endless Loop being the first taste. Though the music is no less heavy in its production and sense of scale, The Kahless Clone bears a greater resemblance to post-rock as it meshes Ben Johnson’s richly crafted sequences of piano and keyboard with Marchese’s guitars that alternate between crystalline sweetness and unbridled fury, the percussion alternating between the light airiness of Zach Libbe’s programmed rhythms and the thunderous bombast of Garry Naples’ live drumming, all the while Andy Bunk’s clean yet acerbic bass tone permeating throughout. Contrary to the title, the loops presented on these four songs are hardly endless or monotonous, each iteration building upon itself to evoke tension and sadness, anticipation, and even hope, all at the same time. Such is especially the case in “I Can Feel Them, but I Can’t Remember Them,” the initial theme immediately mirroring the sentiment (taken from a line from Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop) with a sense of longing for a forgotten past, the explosive chorus creating a melodic counterpoint that almost indicates the imperative to move on and accept a grim reality. In a similar fashion, “Leave This Place with Me” languishes in its lush atmosphere of shimmering guitars echoing the emotive subtlety of the rising arpeggios of piano and keyboard to make for a work of audio drama that is purely cinematic in scope. True to the apocalyptic implications of its title (and, indeed, to Marchese’s experience in doom-laden composition), “Everything You See is Gone” retains its minor-key despair throughout, the juxtaposition of choir-like pads amid the darkly energetic drumming giving the song a thematic likeness to Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna,” while Marchese’s chiming guitar amid Bunk’s fluid, almost jazzy bass lines give “A Somber Reflection” a singularly gothic quality that brings An Endless Loop to a saccharine but satisfying close. While only less than 25 minutes, The Kahless Clone’s debut is a powerful and majestic statement of musical intensity that this writer can only hope will not be a flash in the pan for Marchese and his cohorts; it’s that good, and though the EP is nowhere near endless, one gets the sense that the possibilities for further exploration most certainly are.