In mind bending, atmospheric and instrumental fashion, Kylver present a unique and story driven record that captivates your mind. The Island is a captivating and inviting record that you really don’t mind listening to over and over again. This release sports some lengthy run times, but even so it never feels as though it is a burden to listen all the way through nor does it feel as though The Island drags on for too long. This record has a great ability to take your mind and make it wander through all of the vast soundscapes and atmospheres that Kylver pump into it, making it an overall wondrous listen.
As mentioned above, this release is purely instrumental and even though it is without lyrics, Kylver weave a great tale for you to get lost in and really soak up. The Island is about a ship that sets sail in search of an island that apparently holds a portal to another dimension. A couple of days after leaving port the ship wrecks, losing all crew members but one that ends up being washed ashore on the island that the ship set sail to find anyway. The sole survivor treks the island and runs into these people that are called The Great Race. After meeting these mysterious people, the lone survivor begs for The Great Race to send him back to his home, and after The Great Race agrees they wipe his mind clean of his memories of the island and of The Great Race. Eventually The Great Race sends him back to his home just a day before his ship is suppose to launch, but without any recollection of the events that transpired from the mythical island. So he sets sail again with his crew only for the same thing to happen again and again.
The tale mentioned above is a harrowing one and Kylver tell it oh so well within the five tracks that are present within The Island. Kylver weaves doom, progressive rock and sludge among others to create an atmospheric and unforgettable sound that has you coming back for more and more. As mentioned above, the run times on this release are lengthy but it never really feels as though they are. You can sit and listen to this album front to back numerous times without tiring of it and without wanting to listen to much else. This is a wondrous and adventurous album that certainly does take you on a wild adventure, and from the very beginning of the record until the end you feel as though you are right with the lone survivor of the wrecked ship traversing through the island of legend.
Riff upon riff unfold before your eyes as they paint great soundscapes and atmospheres. The guitars are on point and so clean and solid that you have no choice but to nod your head right along with them. The drumming is acrobatic and pin point and it makes you wonder if the drummer has eight arms or just two. As far as the bass work goes, it is just as solid as the rest of the instruments are providing each song with a little more rumbling flavor. Each instrument on this record is executed very well and they all work hand in hand to provide you with one hell of a great listening experience. Not to mention, the way in which Kylver shifts from genre to genre without you really realizing it is just another thing among many that they do oh so well. They never lurch or careen towards genre after genre, instead they weave each and every genre together very well creating a whole and cohesive sound.
On top of all of the swirling musicianship are the pulsating synths that you hear in the background. These synths push the soundscapes and atmospheres further and further creating an even more wondrous and atmospheric listen. “The Island” would already be a wondrous listen without them, but with the addition of the synths it adds yet another element to the music that ultimately captivates your mind and makes it wander. These synths are melodic and enchanting and at times it makes you feel as though they are coming from the mystical island that the lone survivor eventually washes up on. These synths are woven in to each song carefully and are just as well crafted as the rest of the instruments and they ultimately push each track as well as the record to a new level.
The Island is an exceptional release there is no denying that at all. There isn’t much more to be said other than this is a great album, one that you can get lost in and explore such wondrous atmospheres that Kylver so carefully weave and construct. Well done Kylver, this certainly is one of the finest instrumental metal pieces to date.
The Island was originally released on October 6, 2016 and will be getting a re-release on tape through Graven Earth Records July 6, 2017.
You can find this release in its entirety on Bandcamp.