Saturday 3 December 2016

Kylver - The Island (Album Review)

Release date: October 06th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The Island – Tracklisting

1.The Great Storm of 1703 13:41
2.Hy-Brasil 05:11
3.Monolith 09:28
4.The Abyss 06:37
5.The Great Race 06:54

Band Members:

James Bowmaker (Bass)
Barry Mitcheson (Drums)
Neil Elliott (Hammond Organ, Keys)
Jonny Scott (Guitar).


Firstly I must apologise to Kylver for the delay in writing this review. I've had this album for a few months now but I got sidetracked with many things in my life. My 40th birthday where I took a self imposed exile from writing reviews and this is one the albums that I sadly forgotten about during that time.

f you're not familiar with Kylver's sound then be prepared for a lesson in instrumental progressive metal masterclass as The Island is truly a majestic album that merges Psych, Post-metal, Post-Rock, Doom and Prog Rock that sounds fresh, exciting and original.

Kylver's second album – The Island sees the band in more psychedelic and progressive territory compared to their debut album. Opening track – The Great Storm – merges Mastodon style progressive sludge style riffs with a subtle 70s folk-rock sound. It's a very daring track to open the album with as you cannot determine or identify the main theme of Kylver's sound. It can be described as a progressive lucid and surreal dream with moments of doom and gloom giving the song a more sinister edge.

Second track – Hy-Brasil – carries on the 70s influenced psychedelic riffs though with a more modern post-metal delivery. The use of organs from Neil is what elevates this album into the realm of greatness. I'm not the biggest fan of organ music but Neil is making me a firm believer with his expert playing. The other guys concentrate on creating more heavy surreal sounds that have Pelican fans sit up and take notice.

Third track – Monolith - is perhaps closest to a true progressive DOOM metal song you will ever likely to hear from Kylver. Though the song takes it's time in bringing the heavy riffs to the party. As Kylver expertly weave another magical 70s psychedelic sounding and almost occult style song.

The final two tracks – The Abyss and The Great Race are perhaps the two standout tracks on the album as Kylver demonstrate their ability to create haunting and exciting stories without the need for words. Their music veers once again into so many different directions that you will easily lose yourself into the heavy psychedelic madness of it all. The Abyss is more slower paced but it offers a more far-out experience than The Great Race.

The Island is a very hard album to describe but one that will have universal appeal to the Rock/Metal community. If you're a fan of Pelican, Russian Circles, Tool and Mastodon then you need this album now. The production is first rate as Kylver sound immense from the start.

Two albums in and Kylver have the potential to become one of the leading Instrumental Rock/Metal bands the UK has to offer. With a couple of more releases I can see Kylver making a lasting impression on the international stage. The Island could the the first step to greater things from Kylver. I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Words by Steve Howe