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San Jose’s Klank Celebrate New LP, ‘Rise’

In Music
POSITIVELY METAL: On ‘Rise,’ veteran industrial metalheads Klank embrace the good in life—along with brutal instrumentation.

POSITIVELY METAL: On ‘Rise,’ veteran industrial metalheads Klank embrace the good in life—along with brutal instrumentation.

Judging by the years-long gaps in Klank’s discography, one might presume that the San Jose-based industrial metal band prefers to take its time in the studio. But the truth is, until the tracking of the band’s forthcoming full-length album—Rise, their sixth—the guys from Klank were quite impatient.

“This was probably the first time that we took our time—really took our time with it,” Klank’s guitarist, keyboardist and loops programmer, Pat Servideo, says of the recording process. “We were always a band back in the day that wrote and recorded at the same time.”

It shows. The resulting record, their first since 2012’s Urban Warfare, is a highly polished affair, lacquered in effects and brimming with electronic flourishes, which recall the work of Nine Inch Nails and Fear Factory.

Servideo says that Rise represents both a new, more time-intensive approach to songwriting for Klank. But, he adds, in many ways, it is also a return to form.

“Musically, I think we got back to the electronic sound that was more prevalent in our older releases,” he says, noting that the band’s previous effort, Urban Warfare, had synths and automated beats, but that they were buried beneath the traditional metal instruments of guitar, bass and drums.

On Rise, the electronics are front and center. There are whooshing, overly compressed, digital-trash-can clangs and pixelated distortion patches; deep ravines of reverb and rapid-fire programmed beats. Klank frontman Daren Diolosa screams through a fog of dial-up modem static as the heavy guitars merge with the virtual instruments swirling around them.

Which isn’t to say Diolosa and Co. have gone full-on Trent Reznor. After all, Klank were founded in the mid-’90s, and Servideo says he and his band mates were all heavily influenced by thrash and groove metal from the start. In fact, when Klank relocated from its native New York to San Jose in the late-2000s, Servideo says he was stoked to be moving to the Bay Area—the epicenter of the thrash metal movement.

“I grew up on that Bay Area scene, even though I’m from New York,” he says.

After finding success in a previous band—Circle of Dust, where he served as guitarist—Diolosa founded Klank with Servideo and a drummer who has since left the group. The band signed to metal label Tooth and Nail and released their debut LP, Still Suffering.

They soon left Tooth and Nail, following up Still Suffering with their second full-length, Numb, in 1999, which they put out on their own label, SmokeDogg Productions. It wasn’t long until the band went on an indefinite hiatus.

“It was before that was the cool thing to do,” Servideo says of Klank’s decision to start their own label and self-release their sophomore album. As a group of musicians in their mid-20s, he says they simply weren’t ready for the pressures of managing themselves. “The business side really got to us,” he explains. And so they disbanded around 2002, taking five years off from the band. And then one of the band’s “biggest fans” died, according to Servideo. The group decided to reunite to play a one-off show in honor of the fan. They enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to reunite. They moved to San Jose where their drummer, Eric Wilkins, had relocated during the hiatus.

Since then, Servideo says, Klank have been enjoying the process of playing and recording a lot more—something he expects comes with living a little, maturing a lot and gaining more perspective.

“I think it’s more positive—lyric-wise—than our previous releases,” he says of the new album. “The title of the record is Rise. There’s so much going on in the world today. We’re going more positive with the lyrics.”

For the uninitiated, it might seem odd to think that the 10 brutal tracks on Klank’s new album could be uplifting, but Servideo says that the fans get it. “We hear from fans a lot,” he says. “Everybody goes through struggles. They enjoy hearing the positivity. It lets them know they aren’t alone. That we go through the same things.”

Klank: ‘Rise’ CD Release
Jan 13, 8pm, Free
O’Malley’s Sports Pub, Mountain View

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