Kehlvin - The Orchard of Forking PathsPicking up from where they left off on “The Mountain Daylight Time,” Swiss band, Kehlvin broke into 2012 on a high note with “The Orchard of Forking Paths” through Division Records; a label they’ve been with since day one.  Their official video clip for this release has their guitarist playing acoustic on the beach with shaky, low budget camera work.  Choppy editing captures each pinnacle moment of ‘Whip This,’ which is layered with their tracks’ hardcore overdub.  It seems odd at first; careless and bizarre, but Kehlvin has somehow managed to make slow-motion seagulls and ocean tides the most epic experiences of your banal existence.  Budget is nothing in this business anymore and not like Kehlvin has anything to prove.  They’ve already played shows across Europe with the likes of Burst, Mono, Red Sparowes and New York veterans, Unsane and will surely not be stopping there.

‘This Is Mere Noise’ commences with the blanket statement itself; what one might describe their music as, if not to personal taste or sensibilities.  Its ending reaps trickery as it leads you to believe the build to another crescendo in imminent, crashing to a settling to a halt before “Troy Von Balthazar” rips into your flesh and cools over into a gorgeous bed of melodic guitar.

The dynamic on this record very is strong and what separates it from their previous work is its intensity.  While progressive hardcore and post-rock may have been suitable descriptions for “The Mountain Daylight Time,” the new record lends itself to a more metal sound, while still maintain its atmospheric flow.  “Grady Robinson” is a perfect example of this.  As my favorite track on the album, it seems the result of Primitive Weapons and Young and in the Way manifesting some brilliant, musical immaculate conception.  Providing the perfect emotional pitch, bass which propels you with intentionality and stimulating guitar riffs, it was complete perfection.

From a song called ‘Melon Fucker,’ needless to say, I was expecting more; extra abrasive perhaps, a good kick in the kidneys? Instead I was left with a run of the mill post-metal track that didn’t quite carry the intrigue of its title.  The rise and fall of its build were far more minute than the rest of the album, even while vocals and drumming remain solid.  My personal distaste for fade outs in a genre where skill and understanding of musical progression is assumed is also reflected in my points of amelioration for this particular track.

The title track ‘The Orchard of Forking Paths’ is beyond breathtaking.  Over seven minutes of pure bliss in instrumental form and by bliss, be it assumed that it must still be fucking heavy. With all that said, Kehlvin can run with the best of them.  Cult of Luna and Isis can stand proud to be of influence as Kehlvin conquers their creative sound and continues to collects fans from around the globe.  Here’s to hoping that some North Americans dates are in their near future.

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