Out of the Windy City of Chicago comes The Kahless Clone with the majestic, spectacular EP, Our Never-Ending Loneliness. And, it has been on repeat in my life for the last two weeks.

Who says dark metal can’t be beautiful? This record delivers on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin. The musicianship is simply breathtaking. Song structures ebb and flow in the listener’s ears like a soothing, sonic ocean of rising riffs and slowly receding waves of passionate emotion. The inherent brilliance of an all-instrumental disc is that it allows you to create your own dialogue for the songs. There are no lyrics telling you what to think or feel. It’s up to the listener to make what they will of each song. Featuring Vito Marchese of November’s DoomThe Kahless Clone are a band that fall together like an intricate puzzle of artists that are as great if not greater than the whole.

Our Never-Ending Loneliness stands as a work of art that simply demands to be performed and heard as an aural painting that is absorbed and appreciated in it’s entirety.

Metal Eyes (Italian review) 6.8/10

Our Never-Ending Loneliness è il secondo ep per questo progetto strumentale guidato da Vito Marchese, chitarrista dei Novembers Doom.

Come accaduto per il precedente lavoro, il sound appare decisamente arioso ed intriso di una vena malinconica, anche se la sua essenza si avvicina molto più ad un prog/postmetal che non a pulsioni dark o comunque più vicine alla band madre.
Pur mantenendo un parere ampiamente positivo sull’operato di Marchese con i The Kahless Clone, non si può fare a meno di constatare quanto, ancor più rispetto all’ep di due anni fa, la mancanza della voce si faccia sentire: ciò avviene in particolare nelle tracce più mosse, mentre tale necessità appare meno impellente quando gli episodi si fanno più intimisti o comunque maggiormente delineati da un punto di vista melodico.
In poco meno di venticinque minuti Our Never-Ending Loneliness esaurisce il suo compito di allietare l’udito degli ascoltatori senza che la band, composta da musicisti di grande spessore ed esperienza, riesca ad imprimere in maniera più marcata il proprio segno: poi appare evidente che un brano arioso come I Can Almost Reach You sia oltremodo piacevole, ergendosi a prova di quanto l’ascolto dell’ep non sia comunque tempo perso, ma questo progetto per ritagliarsi uno spazio adeguato deve crescere ulteriormente e ciò può avvenire solo con l’apporto dell’unico elemento mancante.

Canadian Assault

This is the band, maybe a more apt term, the brainchild of Vito Marchese of the well known Chicago based death doom band November’s Doom. Despite this recording also largely featuring former and current members of November’s Doom, the apple in this case, does fall pretty far from the tree musically and stylistically. The Kahless Clone is an instrumental band with a musical tapestry, largely made up of soundscapes mixed with traditional rock/metal instrumentation and general style, but used in a very non-rock/metal way. It really is a somber and atmospheric forlorn soundtrack, which invokes the feeling mentally of wandering in the vast emptiness of outer space, transported along in solitude by a sleek ship built from the base minerals of rock and metal. Now, do not get me wrong, anyone seeing the word metal will listen to this and go this is not fucking metal, which is correct, it is not, but you can hear it was composed and performed by musicians whose deep roots are in metal. Some of the underlying foundation, which moves this ambient soundscape forward to me sounds to be very much influenced by progressive hard rock / metal. But it is used in a subtle way, so as to never compete or dominate the main purpose of creating pure atmosphere, rather than the traditional song structuring from those theaters of music. Which for many metal fans is a take it or leave it proposition, it is not in line with my main tastes as a music fan either, but I have been known to be won over and dabble in these areas from time to time. I know the term soundscape is sort of an ambiguous term, which of course encompasses the overall sound and experience. But, in this case, to give you a clearer picture beyond the traditional rock and metal instruments, it includes things like synth, electronic sounds (including electronic drums mixed with real drumming) and manipulation, acoustic guitar, piano etc… I have to admit, upon the first and second listen it was not connecting with me and did not seem very memorable or overly enjoyable, to be quite honest. But I am happy to report the more I listened (I must be at least a dozen listens in now - as I always try to really give all bands a true chance), it began sink in and those synapses began to slowly fire and link up and I started to appreciate the music and it began to speak to me mentally, so more of an emotional connection was made. I am not often in the mood for pure ambient and progressive music, but when the mood does take me I think “Our Never-Ending Lonliness” will be within the small pile of discs I will reach for to scratch that itch.

Hellfire Magazin (German review)

Der eingefleischte Trekkie erwartet von einer Band namens The Kahless Clone wahrscheinlich klingonischen Heavy Metal. Ich für meinen Teil bin allerdings froh, dass dem nicht so ist und das neueste Werk dieser Band sehr eingängig und melodisch ausgefallen ist.

Im Zentrum der Band steht eindeutig Gitarrist Vito Marchese. Dieser dürfte den einschlägigen Fans als Mitglied der Dark Metal Band November Doom bekannt sein. Und auch sein Nebenprojekt bedient ähnliche Klangsphären, durchmischt mit einem ordentlichen Anteil an Post-Rock. Besonderes Merkmal von The Kahless Clone dabei ist der Verzicht auf jegliche Vocals. Dies war schließlich auch der Grundgedanke bei der Bandgründung, denn Marchese wollte hier einige seiner zahlreichen Songideen umsetzen.

Nach der 2015 erschienenen Debüt-EP „An Endless Loop“ erscheint nun das Nachfolgewerk „Our Never-Ending Loneliness“, erneut in EP-Länge. Auch wenn die Songtitel und insbesondere der minimalistische Beginn des ersten Tracks progressive Experimente vermuten lässt, so handhabt die Band die durchaus progressiven Klangelemente äußerst sparsam und bedient sich ihrer lediglich zur Charakterisierung der einzelnen Stücke.

Im Gegensatz zu anderen Instrumentalgruppierungen stellt sich hier keiner der Musiker besonders in den Vordergrund. Durch einen gleichberechtigten Beitrag aller zum Klangbild ergeben sich ausgewogene Melodien, die sehr angenehm zu hören sind. Die fünf Stücke eignen sich nicht nur als Soundtrack für den Hintergrund, sondern erweisen sich auch dann als Hörgenuss, wenn man sich ausschließlich auf sie konzentriert und schaffen es auch ohne Gesang, eine interessante Bandbreite an Gefühlen zu wecken. Dabei bewegen sich die Stücke im Low- bis Mid-Tempo-Bereich und umfassen sowohl filigrane Klänge als auch harte Ansätze und wechseln zwischen minimalistischem und bombastischem Sound.

Für mich persönlich schließe ich es zwar aus, dass ein Live-Auftritt der Band etwas für mich wäre, aber zuhause wird „Our Never-Ending Loneliness“ durchaus des Öfteren im CD-Player landen.

All About the Rock 10/10

If there is one thing I can’t get enough of as a metal fan, it’s that classic build up of tension and evocative gravitas. That was the exact type of feast for the ears I was treated to when getting my hands(and ears) on The Kahless Clone’s second E.P. Our Never Ending Loneliness. The band styles themselves as a mix of «dark metal» and post rock and exists solely as an instrumental endeavour. They are definitely a band I soon hope to see billed alongside Russian Circles. Our Never Ending Loneliness is a tasteful mix of heavier bombast of metal, and the comforting ease and sway that is classic of post rock. 

Each track to me sounded perfectly natural, like somehow these songs have always existed somewhere, and yet they were fresh. There is a wistful mood settling over each song, and indeed this is present in the titles themselves which evoke a sense of romance. The melodies are beautiful and endearing. I Can Almost Reach You opens with a vast, rolling drum lead before breaking into the full-on metal foray.

In Is This What You Wanted we get a delicious and dreamy piano blended beautifully and flawlessly within the larger landscape of an ocean wave of guitar and bass. There is a subtle synth sprinkled throughout the whole sonic terrain. Each of these songs was so pleasant I found it hard to choose which to feature. They each contain incredibly strong musician and craftsmanship. It’s palpable and almost tactile. It’s always refreshing to experience metal with a truly sensitive and earnest human touch.

My only complaint? This five track E.P. ended too soon.

Ave Noctum 6/10

For some reason the last couple of November’s Doom albums didn’t seem to hit our radar, shame as I have always quite liked the band ‘The Pale Haunt Departure’ 2005 being a particular favourite. The reason I am mentioning this is that guitarist Vito Marchese is a member of The Kahless Clone an instrumental post rock outfit who judging by their name have a certain interest in all things Star Trek as well. I covered their last EP An Endless Loop back in 2015 and perhaps somewhat politely said “I guess I would be happy to listen to more whatever direction the band decide to take.” What direction I was really hinting at was that they would perhaps come back with a singer as there was a fair bit lacking here that could have certainly been improved with some gruff and weathered vocals. Unfortunately this is still very much the case and I can’t help looking at the album cover and thinking (topically) that perhaps an evil clown in the picture would give it all a bit more of an impact.

Album and song titles such as ‘I Would Leave All of This Behind, and so Would You’ suggest some sort of suicidal hopelessness and there is an almost gothic pall descending on this when it finally gets going. There’s a feel of atmospheric doom much like Victor’s day job here and I can feel the ghost of bands such as Swallow The Sun but it lacks impetus and meanders far too much to be particularly engaging. The next couple of numbers do see a marked improvement and the keyboard sound in particular takes down a retro route similar in essence to that of recent Amorphis. Yep I am in the USA but feel like I should certainly be in Finland here although not sure we would ever get cheesy song names such as ‘If Only We Had More Time Together…’ from a band cast from endless nights and cold isolation. There’s a bit of a proggy flow to things and bit more ballast, melodies are somewhat nice, if not too nice for the subject matter but all the time I am listening to this I am thinking “now, this is where the singer should be roaring in.” I have said it so many times but making instrumental music is a particular art and you really need to do something unique to make it stand out from everything else out there. Nice though it is a bit of a tubular bells sounding melody on ‘I Can Almost Reach You’ certainly doesn’t achieve this.

Guitar work, melody and playing here is all kind of “nice” there’s no problem with creating a good tune and songs do sink in after a few plays but I am left with a feeling that I am listening to a demo that has been sent out with the aim of attracting a singer; yeah I have definitely laboured that point now but it’s like an elephant in a room and even an elephant uses its voice to make a good trumpeting bellow. Rather than ending this in the same way as last time I shall say that I will be happy to hear how they develop but only if they come back next time with a set of lungs!

Progressive Music Planet 7.5/10

The Kahless Clone are back with their second EP “Our Never-Ending Loneliness,” the follow up to their fantastic debut EP “An Endless Loop.” The band is led by Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese but is certainly not the same musically as that band. The Kahless Clone is more dark post metal versus the progressive doom of Novembers Doom. I really enjoyed the first EP so I was quite interested to see where the band would go from there.

The EP starts with “I Would Leave All of This Behind, and so Would You” and while I like the keys and spacey vibe of the track, it has one thing that I completely hate…that super heavy sub bass thud sound. It’s used within the “chorus” and drives me nuts. Unless you are doing hip hop, I can’t for the life of me think why you’d do it. It’s a shame because it’s a good track but I skip it after the bass hits a few times.

“I Can Almost Reach You” is next and once again, I love the synth on this one. The main melody line is a nice, clean synth and it works perfectly. Keyboardist Ben Johnson really showcases his taste on this track. In addition to the synth, there’s some piano parts and a backdrop of mellotron as well. Great track.

At some point, I should credit Vito with something right? I mean, the guy is a friend and he’s the name draw for The Kahless Clone. Ok then, Vito did a great job of getting Johnson in the band. Hahaha! But to be fair, the guitar parts on the whole EP range from crunchy chorus to tasty melodies. “If Only We Had More Time Together…” is a good example of that.

The biggest problem is the drums. Yes they SOUND programmed. The snare sound is good but the cymbals just never sound right. It’s weird! Sadly, they sound less organic-like than on the first EP. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but it keeps the music at more of an arms distance.

The album closes out with two solid tracks “This Is All Falling Apart” which is very hooky and my favorite track on the EP and then the closer “Is This What You Wanted?” which is a mellower piano driven acoustic track. So it’s ALMOST what I wanted, but I did give a pass to the drums on the first EP with hopes that not only would that change but perhaps the sound might be more organic overall. Not so much.

“Our Never-Ending Loneliness” has some AWESOME riffs and even more amazing keyboard moments. The songs are shorter than last time and the electronic percussion is counterproductive. It’s definitely worth everyone checking out as this is a talented bunch, even Vito.

New Noise Magazine

A side project from Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, The Kahless Clone was developed as an outlet for his instrumental musings. Much like his work in Novembers Doom the material featured is quite dismal and offers a rather bleak mood despite the inclusion of bright electronic pieces (which I don’t recall ever hearing in Novembers Doom). The odd thing about this act is that it plays with post metal and prog, yet also feels steeped in hard rock. “I Can Almost Reach You” actually feels like it might benefit from vocals, but certainly a much different feel than what we’ve been offered in Novembers Doom.

Despite his work in Subterranean Masquerade, I just don’t think that Paul Kuhr would fit on the track. I just couldn’t see him on a chorus where the synths are so heftily displayed as they are here. I’d think someone a bit more youthful with a fragile vocal tone might work. Much of this does seem to sound like intelligent hard rock, as “If Only We Had More Time Together” almost hangs right from the coat tails of the previous, making me think a little of Klayton’s work in Celldweller.

Throughout many of these pieces, I find that there is so much reiteration in sections where a vocal chorus could be easily added to and possibly give these pieces a little more life. It’s not that Marchese hasn’t been working hard enough on these pieces, several of them are brilliant and feature a strong level of artistry and texture, but I’m often left wondering when the vocals are going to come into play. As I listen, it feels like something needs to be communicated here and the spacey textures displayed in the keyboard sections are only half of it.

Truth be told, Our Neverending Loneliness can be listened to as an instrumental recording, but I keep feeling that more can be done here. It’s the kind of record that I would use to practice my vocals on back in the day, same with early Pelican and some other instrumental acts. Make of that what you will.

Merchants of Air

Hailing from Chicago, The Kahless Clone plays instrumental rock, inspired by Mogwai, This Patch Of Sky and so on. But wait, there is more. If you know that this band features Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, you can also expect plenty of dark, melodic metal influences. And the combination between the two makes this EP a brilliant one. Immersive melodies, gloomy rock passages and emotional post-whatever landscapes create something breathtaking. These are excellent narrative pieces of music, enhanced by stunning keyboard and electronics. Or: this is psychedelic progressive post dark metal at its very best...

Beach Sloth

The Kahless Clone runs through “Our Never-Ending Loneliness” with a clear vision, full of an intense lust for life. Reminiscent of Mogwai’s work, The Kahless Clone neatly balance beauty alongside brutality. By taking on these two divergent approaches the songs teem with passion. Shoegaze and metal come together in a glorious way, courtesy of the thoughtful guitar work, rumbling percussion, alongside a clear unspoken narrative. Over the course of the album The Kahless Clone allows for a great variety of color to come into the mix.


Almost ambient at first “I Would Leave All Of This Behind, and so Would You” takes its time in setting the mood. Guitar work has a delicate quality to it, with the layers settling where they may. Shimmering at times, the glossy introduction of the piece incorporates moments of synthesized bliss before the distortion hits, and the distortion hits hard. For the latter half of the track the guitars soar into the sky. Raging through with incredible energy “I Can Almost Reach You” at times references post-rock with its carefully laid out rhythms. Heavy to its very core “This Is All Falling Apart” opts for a sense of drama while elements fall into place with such ease. Quite beautiful “Is This What You Wanted” serves as the highlight of the collection bringing everything to a perfect cinematic close.


“Our Never-Ending Loneliness” shows off the impeccable chops of The Kahless Clone in creating a spellbinding work, one that draws the listener deep into a perfectly sculpted timeless sound.

Doomed To Darkness Zine 8/10

  The  Kahless  Clone  are  a  band  from  Chicago,  Illinois  that  plays  an  instrumental  mixture  of  dark  metal  and  post  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2017  ep  "Our  Never-Ending  Loneliness"  which  will  be  released  in  October.

  Nature  sounds  start  off  the  ep  along  with  some  atmospheric  soundscapes  which  also  leads  to  acoustic  guitars  being  added  onto  the  recording  which  also  gives  the  music  a  more  progressive  feeling  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Synths  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  all  of  the  music  is  instrumental  along  with  the  riffs  bringing  in  the  heaviness  of  doom  metal  and  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  have  more  of  a  melodic  post  rock  vibe  to  them  and  elements  of  ambient  are  also  utilized  at  times  and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  either  a  slow  or  mid  paced  direction.

  The  Kahless  Code  plays  a  musical  style  that  is  mostly  rooted  in  dark  metal  but also  mixing  it  with  post  rock  and  keeping  everything  instrumental  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  and  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording.

  In  my  opinion  The  Kahless  Code  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental  mixture  of  dark  metal  and  post  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "I  Can  Almost  Reach  You"  and  "Is  This  What  You  Wanted".  8  out  of  10.

Progressive Music Planet 9/10

The Kahless Clone is a side project of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese. While the EP “An Endless Loop” is definitely heavy, The Kahless Clone have more dynamics and a different vibe than Novembers Doom. Keyboardist Ben Johnson plays a major role in the songs especially the opening track “Leave This Place With Me” which has a piano line that runs throughout the song. The song is soft and then loud and powerful.

The second track “I Can Feel Them, but I Can’t Remember Them” gives the spotlight to the percussive programming of Zach Libbe before kicking in with some serious thunder from the rest of the band. It ends quieter again with new age style synths. “An Endless Loop” is very cinematic and the band really allow the music to paint mental pictures for the listener.

“Everything You See is Gone” also has the quieter start but it’s a much slower build. The song has a very doom like feel to it. Quiet but foreboding. It sounds like it could erupt at any moment but makes you wait. When it does erupt, it is fucking massive. Again, I love the keyboard touches throughout this track as well.

The EP closes out with “A Somber Reflection” which is aptly named. A pulsing beat underneath soothing guitars makes for a perfect end to a truly impressive EP. Of course my only complaint is that “An Endless Loop” is not endless and is just an EP! Hopefully, this is just the start for The Kahless Clone.

Slug Magazine

No amount of hyperbole could help me describe how much I like this EP. The Kahless Clone have released one of the best instrumental albums I’ve heard in years, and there are only four songs on it. Life is cruel. Often times, post-rock music has a hard time conveying emotion with the same weight that you can get from a singing human voice. Rare exceptions to this rule often find themselves in the position of great bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. Though they are a very new and mostly unknown band, I’d like to say that The Kahless Clone will probably find themselves a part of that privileged group if they can keep it up on future releases. With their mixture of electronic instrumentation, organic piano and distorted guitars, these guys have delivered an immediate and emotional debut. Go buy this album. It’s really good. –Alex Gilvarry

Dead Rhetoric

The side-project of Novembers’ Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, The Kahless Clone, as one would expect, is of the highest quality. Being that Marchese’s main act has come to perfect straightforward American death/doom in a manner no one else quite has, it has to be refreshing on some level for the guitarist to branch into similar, albeit more dreary and atmospheric territory. On the four-song An Endless Loop, Mr. Marchese does just that, pulling together all of the grand and unbeatable faces of atmospheric metal into something unique…and totally instrumental. 

Bear in mind that Marchese probably could have stuck some vocals in these tunes and the effect would have been the same, but the manner in which he paces the songs is what makes An Endless Loop go. Opener “Leave This Place With Me” touches upon the minimal strokes of Antimatter via a basic keyboard line, then segues effortlessly into a driving guitar bit. The gentle “I Can Fell Them, But I Can’t Remember Them” is the album’s high point, a crisp, pointed number harpooned by some post-rock jaunts that are suitably ethereal. The sparse, drum-intensive “Everything You See is Gone” demonstrates a fair amount of variety in the band’s sonic palette, while “A Somber Reflection” cuts out the drums and peddles away ever-so gently with gorgeous guitar lines and spacious strums. 

A thoroughly intriguing project with the potential for even better things, Marchese couldn’t have gotten off to a better start with An Endless Loop. We shan’t undersell this one: Totally excellent stuff.

The RingMaster Review

Atmospherically and emotionally shadowed, An Endless Loop is an immersive and magnetically evocative slice of post rock/dark metal which lures ears and imagination into a soundscape of intimidating possibilities and melancholic beauty. The four-track EP from The Kahless Clone is a mesmeric exploration for thoughts, a sonically cathartic and emotionally imposing journey casting fascinating and lingering shadows on the senses.

The debut release from the Chicago hailing instrumental band, it is a transfixing proposition which simmers tenaciously rather than sparks a blaze in ears and psyche, yet infests and submerges the listener in a constant tide of mood driven ambiences igniting the keenest appetite. The Kahless Clone itself is the brainchild of Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese, who created the band as a portal for his instrumental songs. He enlisted the help of bassist Andy Bunk, keyboardist Ben Johnson, drummer Garry Naples, and Zach Libbe on electronics, programming etc. for the recording of An Endless Loop. Recorded with and mixed/mastered by Chris Wisco at Belle City Sound in Racine, WI, the EP takes the listener to emotion drenched worlds of encroaching shadows and sombre beauty, providing impacting flights through seductively oppressive soundscapes starting with opener Leave This Place With Me.

The first track slowly emerges from the lapping caresses of a dark cloaked tide, the sea a calming yet portentous coaxing aided by similarly imposing breaths of keys and adjoining piano. Soon after, the piece cradles ears in melodic hands, guitars adding to the elegant beauty as electronic rhythms are courted by a ravenously and primordially snarling bassline and texture. Intensity ebbs and flows across the absorbing landscape of the track, taking the emotion and energy of the guitars and rhythms with it and as much as ears and emotions are fed, the imagination is equalled fuelled for its own dark passages of exploration by the sounds and atmospheric smog.

I Can Feel Them, but I Can’t Remember Them relaxes air and thoughts again next, its morose yet warm entrance a bewitchingcollusion between a stark post punk bassline and the ever emerging and evolving melodic invention of guitar and keys. The bass of Bunk is persistently compelling bait and a reality check within the ethereal embrace elsewhere. It all eventually ignites in an incendiary and fiery eruption of caustic riffs and flaming sonic enterprise, though still sublimely submerged in the overwhelming celestial swamp of sound, before settling back down for an intimate and wistful close to match the song’s entrance.

The final pair of tracks continue the masterful persuasion and adventure expressed by the EP so far, Everything You See is Goneproviding a more heavily rhythmic growl and menace to the forlorn atmosphere around them. It is as if guitars and keys have a pent up angst, ripening and festering inside, unable to break the gripping web of beats and bass predation which itself increases in enmity and temptation. There has to be an outlet though, and that dark emotion finally erupts in a tempestuous fire of mournful sonic endeavour and rampant rhythmic agitation. It is a glorious and epic confrontation, the best track on the release involving and enthralling the listener body and soul.

The closing A Somber Reflection, well its label describes it perfectly though not the creative drama and melodic, almost jazz like invention which seduces from within. It is a masterful end to a superb introduction to The Kahless Clone; a band that greed is already hankering for more from. An Endless Loop is also a release which unveils new depths and secrets with every listen, new essences emerging from within its invasive climates bringing fresh adventures with every partaking of its evocative terrains. For fans of progressive/post rock and instrumental dark beauty, this is a must.

Dangerdog Music Reviews 3/5

Let's start with some simple facts. The Kahless Clone, named from the Star Trek Klingon, is the side project of Novembers Doom guitaris Vito Marchese. The four songs within his first EP, An Endless Loop are instrumental arrangements he had been working on over the past years.

As for Marchese's musical style within the album, press materials describes it as both dark metal and post rock. I had to look both genres up and discovered that most people have only vague descriptions of either one. It appears the former could include anything from the melancholic to doom to death to other extreme metal; the latter seems to be characterized by songs being mostly instrumental. Applying this to The Kahless clone, these are instrumental songs with a melancholic to pensive mood. the first two songs, Leave This Place With Me and I Can Feel Them, But I Can't Remember Them, have some abrupt and sharp heavy parts from Marchese's guitar. In the first song, it's a definite contrast to the minor key piano line. Generally, however, there's sad and lonely feeling to Marchese's music. An Endless Loop is not something you would want a steady diet of and still mantain some sense sanity. Alternatively, excepting the aforementioned stronger guitar parts, the music could simply be considered quiet to gentle. In this sense, it could be something played to relax, perhaps with a cup of tea or some Merlot. But then those sharp guitars come in and ruin everything. In the end, I can simply say none of this resonated with me and the CD will never come off the shelf again.

Sea of Tranquility 3 Stars

The Kahless Clone, which borrows its name from Star Trek, is the side project of Vito Marchese from Novembers Doom, who has gathered together a talented bunch to realise the moody, dark metal which he has been working on for some time now. The result is a four track EP called An Endless Loop, where pensive guitar, bass and piano passages trade with grating riffs and a post metal attitude. Attitude is the right word, for there's no vocals here, hence no screaming voices, or growled gutturals ripping into view to offer alternative to the undoubtedly intentioned gloom.

All four offerings serve up a similar basis, atmosphere built, then smashed by guitars; atmosphere regains control and so we go. Everything is beautifully performed and I have to say that the production and mixing/mastering by Chris Wisco is really rather wonderful, the balance between elements and instruments breathtaking in parts. In truth the compositions don't always quite stand up to the extra scrutiny this sonic clarity offers, the slow atmospheres unvaried and cold, the blasts of rifferama not really stand out from the crowd enough to hold the imagination. Yet there's a lot to like here and possibly even more to admire. I can't say I know Marchese's main band, hence offering an opinion on just how far removed it is from what's created here is beyond me. However while I may not be fully convinced by An Endless Loop, it is easy to suggest that if dark, melancholic despair, with outbursts of anger sounds like something you'd like as your angst ridden soundtrack, then The Kahless Clone will be for you. However, us happy folks may not connect with this is in the same manner.

100% Rock Magazine 8/10

What does dark metal sound like if you flip it on its side and make it instrumental?  Listen to the new release from Chicago’s The Kahless Clone and you will find out.  The rivoting “Leave This Place With Me” has a few heavier moments, but the beautiful piano/keyboard and guitar work on this track are worth the price of admission.  The song increases in intensity, but never crosses over to unlistenable.  “I Can Fee lThem, But I Can’t Remember Them” is another piece that benefits from a beautiful arrangement that keeps the guitar and keyboard upfront in the mix.  The drums and bass solidly anchor the track, keeping the tempo flowing, especially when the heavier playing rolls into the track.  “Everything You See Is Gone” puts the drums and percussion right in front, with heavy handed playing that nicely contrasts the fretwork and keyboards.  The bass adds depth and a bit of an ominous edge to the track, which is accentuated when all of the instruments join in full force.  “A Somber Reflection” has a sound that is very jazz-like woven through it.  The track never gets as heavy as the other tracks on the disc, but it doesn’t mean it is any less intense.  The playing on this track allows the beauty of each instrument to be heard.  Normally I don’t check out heavier discs or instrumentals, but I am glad this run came across my speakers… 79/100

I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the works of Novembers Doom, as evidenced by several reviews of mine for this US atmospheric doomdeath band. So when I learned that Novembers Doom guitarist Vito Marchese is behind The Kahless CloneI was all ears, ready to listen and imbibe his solo instrumental effort. To be truthful, getting on the same page with An Endless Loop was not an immediate occurrence, but I kept the EP in my rotation, until it clicked just recently.

My original problem with An Endless Loop was its seeming lack of the strong central seed, the drive that just grabs and doesn’t let go. Just about every composition takes long time to develop, and even then the material presented by The Kahless Clone remains very observational. But then, when darkness and gloominess of the EP finally clicked, it is that same bystander observational withdrawnness that made me appreciate it.

Once in the proper mood, dark piano followed by hefty towering guitars in Leave This Place with Me brings it home and makes sense. And brooding snappy bass, the ominous percussion, the feeling of the hospital bed when the person is more than halfway gone is hooked up to the artificial machine, the laboring breathing rhythms of Everything You See Is Gone – there is full-bodied tragic melodic doom in An Endless Loop, no doubt. It is just not very obvious and jumping at you on the surface. You have to be patient and let it come to you. The intrigue whether the person made it in Everything You See Is Gone, the soundtrack of a gloomy fall day in the closer of A Somber Reflection, all set to an irregular heart beating rhythms – I am now able to sit back and say that in An Endless Loop Vito Marchese was able to bring the gloom out, and he has done it in the absence of powerful deathy vocals or crushing production heaviness. Just him and his thoughts.

ReGen Magazine 4 Stars

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.

Ave Noctum 6.5/10

I happen to know that the name of this project has something to do with Star Trek, not due to the fact that I’m a totally sad sci-fi geek but due to someone I knew who named their son after the character Kahless. Further than that I’m not going to explore any Klingon universe but go straight onto the music on this four track EP itself. The man behind it (who may or may not be a sad Star Trek geek when not creating music) is none other than Vito Marchese who you may well know from US atmospheric doom project November’s Doom. The guitarist has gathered a further quartet of musicians around him and embarked on bringing this debut release out as an instrumental combo.

There seems to be an awful amount of instrumental material about at the moment and there is quite a lot you can do with it style wise but it does need a certain level of dynamics and drama about it to really make it stand out, unless of course you are looking at purely ambient work. The Kahless Clone thankfully have this and inject a bit of a storm laden bombast into their songs here to bring them above the level of mere dreary supermarket muzak. First number ‘Leave This Place With Me’ does take a long time to get going and results in turning up the stereo to see if the disc is actually playing. It very gradually builds and takes form of gentle keyboard work moving into a gentle post rock sort of flow that wouldn’t be out of place on a recent Anathema album. It’s all a bit on the ‘nice’ side and I am thankful when other instruments bustle in and give the piece a feel of life and that necessary drama. You could almost rock out to this momentarily as the light and dark sides of the song flirt with each other. I do find my mind wandering a bit though on this and my main fixation on playing this and subsequent tracks is thinking just how they could be improved by vocals? Luckily weight and substance are generally winning through here though. Moving onto the somewhat over poetically entitled ‘I Can Feel Them, But I Can’t Remember Them’ there’s a bit of a shoegaze feel in line with likes of Alcest et al about this and it’s again a little bit too twee for its own good until hefty drumming suddenly billows out the speakers and it properly gets its groove on. Melody here is strong and although it has taken a while to deliver its payload it’s pretty impressive when it hits.

‘Everything You See Is Gone’ would have made a great November’s Doom song title and it has a bit of a doomy and progressive feel behind it. Going down an unplugged and acoustic route, this draws you in well waiting for a powerful surge to hit like a storm. As drums tribally build it gives you a gentle shake that has you near trembling in anticipation for the wind to rise and things to batter in more, which they do with a force that although not devastating it’s certainly one you would want to batten the hatches down for. Some electronic underlying choral parts again make me wonder about that missing vocal presence, still it does hold its own. Last number ‘A Sombre Reflection’ is just that, a gazing outro piece that simply has the EP ebbing out and as far as I’m concerned a time to look back on what I have just heard.

This one has grown after an almost dismissive couple of listens and there’s definitely something here. Whether it remains as is in the future or expands ideas is a good question but I guess I would be happy to listen to more whatever direction the band decide to take.

The Grim Tower 7.5/10

A project started by Vito Marchese of November’s Doom, this instrumental dark metal album also features the likes of Zach Libbe, Gary Naples, Andy Bunk and Ben Johnson. Essentially it’s a rather dreary, yet heavy mix of feelings spoken through the language of music. “Leave This Place With Me 7:40” starts out with calming piano and light guitar rhythms, which build (like most of the tracks here) into a thundering piece that to me almost mirrors the classic death march. He probably doesn’t even realize it, but there are melodies within that section which seem to almost emulate that classic tune. I can’t be sure if that was intentional, but it seems to not have been. Then there’s “I Can Feel Them, But I Can’t Remember Them 7:03” in which I have a bit of a story to tell. You see, I had gone in to do some shopping while he was in the car listening to the album. I didn’t expect him to really think that much of it, since he normally doesn’t listen to that kind of music. But when I got back, the man was completely ecstatic and exclaimed that this track was absolutely amazing. It literally blew his mind and he said it felt like Hollywood. I do see what he’s talking about here though, with the track building up into heaviness and then delivering through its mounds of melodies, almost in a fashion that would make Pelican pack up their gear and head out the door. He considered this one track a 10/10 and said that even if I give the record a 9 or an 8, that track will always be better to him than the rest of the disc. “Everything You See Is Gone 6:04” doesn’t quite build up right to the heaviness and observes atmosphere instead, but it feels like it could adorn some sort of trailer, in much the same way that the previous track does. I don’t know The Kahless Clone feel about their music in trailers, but I think they have the right sort of atmosphere for a game or film and that translates well to an audience. The final cut here is “A Somber Reflection 3:44” which is essentially a mixture of electronics and acoustic melodies. There’s no doubt in my mind that The Kahless Clone offer a remarkable package within the first two tracks, but I feel that the third takes a little too much time to warm up and the final note on the disc just feels like sort of an afterthought. Still, the band have plenty going for them (as my friend noticed) and hopefully this won’t be the only output from such an intriguing act.







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