Album Review: Kind – Close Encounters

Album Review: Kind - Close Encounters
Reviewed by Matthew Williams

When you bring together ex-members from bands such as Elder, Roadsaw, Black Pyramid and Rozamov, who knows what’s going come out, but one thing is for certain, it’s going to be a wall of sound of the highest quality, and that’s exactly what 'Close Encounters', the third album from Kind is bringing to the masses.

This is definitely one of those albums that just bursts into life from the moment you press play. An infectious rhythm section fires out through the speakers as prog rock leaning opener 'Burn Scar' lights up, keeping the tempo high and energetic before a momentary refectory section where the pace softens, before picking up again to relaunch the song.

A gentle introduction to 'Favourite One' before the heavy drums from Matt Couto, kick the song into life, with the bass sound of Tom Corino featuring prominently in the mix, this is song of high quality with a dreamy solo halfway through, that energises the music, before the vocals of Craig Riggs brings it all back together again.

Album Review: Kind - Close Encounters

The album has nine songs in total, and encompasses many different styles of music, from heavy stoner to doom, psych to prog rock, and they’ve added additional percussion and synths to the music to add more depth. You’ll hear that “Black Yesterday” has a different feel to it from the beginning, more introverted, before it kicks itself up the arse, and explodes into life, with a sublime melody and a psych rock solo will have your head spinning in circles

'Massive' has that anthemic feel to it from the off, with a catchy riff and easy to sing along to words from the piercing vocal performance of Craig Riggs, and is followed by 'Power Grab', which turns the pace up a few notches, with a fast and furious guitar sound, combining really well with a pounding drum sound, to create a top shelf heavy rock song, and it’s impossible for me to choose between these two as the standouts on the album as they both showcase the band’s undoubted talents.

The album closes with penultimate song, 'What it is to be Free' which feels like it was written around the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as guitarist Darryl Shephard commented that it “definitely seeped into my playing on the album” and “it was absolutely on my mind” and it all ends with the Krautrock inspired 'Pacino', leading with a fuzzy guitar sound before the song comes alive, to give over seven minutes of hedonistic music.

As always with a release from Ripple Music, turn it on, turn it up and enjoy!!

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