KALISIA

Progressive Metal • France
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KALISIA is a french Progressive and Melodic Death Metal band formed in 1994. They released a demo in 1995 called "Skies" described as a the death metal version of Dream Theater. They played a few gigs (Emperor, Samael, My Dying Bride, Therion...) and then started working on an ambitious concept album, "Cybion" consisting of one and only one song that took the band about 8 years of work to fulfill. It was then released in January of 2009.

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KALISIA Cybion album cover 4.37 | 15 ratings
Cybion
Progressive Metal 2009

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KALISIA Whisper album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Whisper
Progressive Metal 1994
KALISIA Skies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skies
Progressive Metal 1995

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KALISIA Reviews

KALISIA Cybion

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Cybion' - Kalisia (9/10)

'Sci-fi metal' might be the best way to describe this labour of love from French band Kalisia. Over six long years, 'Cybion' was very slowly recorded, although when it was released in 2009, it became clear that the effort had paid off. For a band that has been around since the mid-nineties, Kalisia certainly have not been anywhere near consistently productive as a group, but this one gem of metal makes me wish they were. This is a suite of epic progressive metal that pulls out all of the tricks and assaults the listener with one of the proggiest dishes metal has served in recent years.

Although the elements of 'Cybion' that Kalisia pulls out are covered in the cliche of prog metal, it is all fueled up in such a way that it feels like the prog metal album, the one that virtually defines where the genre is at nowadays, and hopefully where it's going. 'Cybion' opens in the most 'grand' of ways, that being a symphonic overture. Immediately, a listener is pulled into the mindset that everything that Kalisia throws at them will be larger-than-life, and for the most part, this happens to be true. The entire hour-plus runs as one sprawling epic of sorts, and once it leaves the launch pad and bursts into galloping metal, it rarely comes back up for air.

There is a very modern progressive death metal sound to Kalisia, with synths and guitars being used in almost equal capacity. The growled vocals of Brett Caldas-Lima are contrasted by multiple singers in the tradition of a metal opera. Speaking of metal operas, Ayreon is a very notable influence in the music of this band, and- wouldn't you know it- Arjen Lucassen has a cameo here, along with Angela Gossow (of Archenemy) and Paul Masvidal (of Cynic), to name just a few. The point being, whoever is pulling the strings behind Kalisia has done everything conceivable in order to provide an over-the-top experience.

A slight issue I may have with 'Cybion' is precisely the fact that it stays bombastic and 'epic', and never really comes down to give the listener a break. That may seem like a silly criticism to some, but taking into account the fact that this album is an hour and fifteen minutes long, 'Cybion' can be alot to take in all at once. There is everything here from symphonic orchestrations to death metal and jazz, but it all knells under a banner of sci-fi oriented prog metal, much in the tradition of Ayreon. Kalisia have churned out a masterpiece here, and I believe the long work and meticulous efforts they put into it show in the end result. Incredible stuff.

KALISIA Cybion

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Starhammer
Just out of this world...

I was introduced to this band through their brilliant cover of Dream Theater's A Fortune in Lies. They keep true to the original with a few twists, but most importantly they show how great 'When Day and Dream Unite' could have been with better production and vocals!

This track is found on the bonus disc of 'Cybion' which is split into two parts. The first half is the critically acclaimed 'Skies' demo released by the band in 1996, the second is a series of cover songs showcasing the band's inspirations, known as 'Origins'. Also featured along side A Fortune in Lies is How Could I (Cynic), I Am the Black Wizards (Emperor) and This Dazzling Abyss (Loudblast). From this you get an insight to what Kalisia's overall style is like, and this combination of 'Skies' and 'Origins' is so strong that is could easily be released as an album in its own right. But this is only the bonus disc!

'Cybion' itself is a concept album which follows a science fiction narrative. There is nothing worse than a great concept album with a poor concept, or one which is shoved into your face to the point that is devolves into little more than a glorified rock opera. 'Cybion' is quite the opposite. It is intricate, deep and subtle, and one of few albums which have me hooked on every word. It is performed in a mixture of English and Kal, an intensely researched fictional language devised solely for the purposes of this album, in a similar vein to Magma's Kobaïan.

Whilst there are twenty tracks on the album, 'Cybion' is designed to be listened to as a whole, one single piece from start to finish, and I can't imagine digesting it in any other way. The sound features a mixture of technical and melodic death metal, and a variety of vocal styles. As well as the bands evolved line-up, 'Cybion' also features an extensive list of guest performances including Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One) and Paul Masvidal (Cynic, Death).

The music itself was over ten years in the making, during which the band went through a number of changes in personnel. There is no doubt how much work and creativity went into making this album. However, time isn't everything, especially when it comes to music. It's worth remembering that some of the all time greatest jazz pieces were recorded in just one day. And so hours and hours of composition and innovation does not necessarily result in a proportional outcome, quite the opposite in fact as many of these extensive projects end up being over-hyped to inevitable disappointment, or go through so much chopping and changing that they lose sight of what really matters, the music.

So is it any good?

After extensive listening I have come to the conclusion that 'Cybion' is not only the best album of 2009, but also one of the greatest pieces of metal ever recorded. A truly phenomenal achievement.

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qlacs wrote:
more than 2 years ago
5 months ago I thought I can't get bored of Cybion. Now I can't even listen to it.

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