Progressive rock and metal can be somewhat derided forms of music-making - all style, no substance, goes the criticism. Well, France's Klone have spent 12 years in pursuit of metal's artistic core.
"At the beginning, we were really influenced by bands like Pantera and Meshuggah, but also Opeth and Porcupine Tree," explains guitarist Guillaume Bernard.
"These days, we really want to focus on the songwriting and the arrangements. The songs are still powerful, but they're more emotional."
Lots of bands promise this kind of thing, but Klone have put their metal where their mouth is, recording their superb sixth album, Here Comes The Sun, sans distortion - driving clean amps and an EHX Holy Stain pedal for tonal embellishments.
"The bravest thing we did was not to use distortion on this album," says Guillaume. "We took a risk because our fans are metal heads and really attached to distortion, but we wanted to try new things, look for new sounds."
Klone's new tone world brings an innovative feel: at times Steven Wilson with more harmonies, at others (Gone Up In Flames) it's The Police, in full riot gear. Tonal nirvana was not without its price, though...
"I had big problems in the studio recording the album," Guillaume recalls. "I used an old guitar, a 1972 Greco, and we had a lot of noise during the recording session. It drove me really crazy because we needed a perfect signal!"
- For fans of: Opeth, Steven Wilson
- Hear: Nebulous