Kalisia - Cybion
Progressive/Death Metal
20 songs (71:16)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Thomas
Surprise of the month

It’s been a good while since Kalisia last released something in the metal universe. Fourteen years have passed since their second demo Skies was released, which got hailed as the Dream Theater of death metal. Kalisia are a progressive metal band witch clear hints of death metal and even a little jazzy and industrial stuff. After Skies they played alongside high caliber-band such as Dream Theater, Emperor and Therion. After that the band has fully concentrated on making Cybion which took them around ten years to fulfill, and an additional four years to release. This is obviously a well-respected act, and they’re including a flock of profiled guest musicians such as the mastermind behind Ayreon, Arjen Lucasson and Angela Gossow of melodic deathsters Arch Enemy. Working on a huge project like this, Arjen is probably not the last you want to cope with when making a concept album, as I’m sure he has given his view on some of the stuff here. Anyway, be prepared for a monster, this lasts for over seventy minutes which should be equal to heaven for dedicated prog heads like me and you. So there goes the theory that Dream Theater’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was the longest song you’d ever hear. This exceeds it with around fifteen minutes. Sounds hard to get, and as the band says, this was not created in the spirit of easy-listening. The labels are shying away because of the length and their fear for no sale. Fair enough, but once you get into this and appreciate the excellent display of musical talent this consists of, the time shouldn’t be of any trouble at all.

Kalisia’s list of influences is as long as Lars Ulrich is short and angry, and it contains bands such as the mentioned Dream Theater, Opeth, Cynic, Death, Dimmu Borgir, Rush, Mekong Delta, Yes and Iron Maiden. Oddly enough, this is one of those bands that actually manage to blend everything in that noisy mixture into something of their very own. Of all the genres and styles these guys draw inspiration from, the progressive bits and pieces here are the most apparent, gluing everything together. The odd changes in tempo, defined off-beats and strange yet extremely well-performed complex and spicy riff-passages fuels this with the energy it needs drives it forward. Hints of power metal are of course audible over the more straight-forward blasting parts coupled with nice, thrilling keys and the soft touches of female vocalist Elodie Buchonet. The death metal here is obviously found in the frantic screams of Brett Caldas-Lima who cuts his way through every obstacle with his raw vocal work. The different songs represents different mood, and though I don’t know what the concept is fully dealing with, they’re managing to create both happy and dark and more aggressive cuts. This is also faintly touched by jazz, and thrilling acoustic guitar melodies accompanied by saxophone can be found if you listen closely. In addition to the above, you’ll also find some songs like Contact Experience which is heavily leaning into industrial territory in the vein of Atrox. This is however not the stuff they do best and doesn’t really fit at all, as it sounds pretty inapt and out of place.

Musically, this is flawlessly performed. The interaction between guitars and drums is top notch, and you can easily tell that they’ve used a lot of time on this. There is however some stuff that doesn’t sound as good as it intends to. The fact that this lasts for over an hour makes it rather exhausting, and I got the feeling of forcing myself through the last four-five songs despite their quality. The mature growls tends to get a little on-going, constantly throwing punches at you, which makes you want the female vocals to come and tend to your weak self. Other than that, it is hard to find something to complain about. This is thought through from the very beginning of the grandiose opener [ Introduction | Domination ], to the symphonic ending that is Deserved Eternity [ Salvation | Connection ]. As I said every song represent different moods, and to create that without any major flaws is much easier said than done, especially within metal. The fact that these guys have used ten years on writing, rehearsing and polishing this, shows what real dedication can do. I’m guessing that times have been frustrating enough, and to finally come up with a result that shines so bright is an incredible achievement.

As I mentioned earlier,Kalisia are still an unsigned band, and the reason for that is because labels don’t see this as something they can make any profit from. They’re afraid it won’t be selling enough despite its quality, which is the most idiotic argument I’ve ever heard. These guys are way more talented and deserve much more attention than certain other acts, and should therefore be supported wholly by a non-cowardly label. Then again, they would never have been allowed to create this in the same way if they were to follow any bigger label’s formula. If you’re interested in this, you should go ahead and purchase this of their website and prepare for a monstrous journey through the realms of Cybion. A more than worthy debut, and a gem you should get if you’re into progressive metal in general and the harsher stuff. Go get.

Killing Songs :
Thomas quoted 86 / 100
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