Newcastle-based post-metallers Kylver have had a busy 12 months. After their debut album The Mountain Ghost stirred interest last year – winning them a place as Limelight category nominees at this year’s Prog Awards – they’ve wasted no time in leaping back into the studio for its follow-up. In true progressive fashion, a tricky-to-decipher concept (loosely: storms, shipwrecks, malevolent alien species and time travel) lies at the heart of The Island.
Unlike most concept albums, though, there are no lyrics here to guide you through the album’s twists and turns. Instead, we have Neil Elliott’s doom-laden Hammond organ and Jonny Scott’s formidable, crunching guitar riffs to lead us through perilous storms, black abysses and Sisyphean struggles, while the latter’s delicate, classic rock-inspired noodling sweeps us onto the island’s shores and into mystical worlds.
The album is a constant struggle between darkness and light, the quartet often finding the most power in their quietest moments. Trading in dark, brooding post-metal, the quartet spread out into dramatic, soaring soundscapes, while also relying on traditional prog tropes, netting them a wondrous place somewhere between Mastodon and An Endless Sporadic.