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KALISIA

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • France


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Kalisia biography
KALISIA was founded in 1994 by guitarist and vocalist Brett Caldas-Lima, keyboardist Laurent Pouget and guitarist Loic Tezenas.
The band then teamed up with drummer Laurent Bendahan and soon after bassist Thibaut Gerard to complete their first line up.
The band started off playing progressive death metal, influenced somewhat by Cynic and Dream Theater although the lyrics have greater importance.
The band recorded their first demo in September 1995. It was receieved extremely well by the French metal music press.

In 2003, the band began recording their concept album. By the end of all the drums, bass, violins and nearly all of the guitar tracks were completely finished.
In 2004, Loic Tezenas announced his departure from the band and Bruno Michel replaced him on guitars.
In 2007 drummer Laurent Bendahan left the band, leaving the band with no permanent line up drummer.
Finally, in 2009, the band was able to release their long awaited album Cybion, which receieved stellar reviews from metal critics around the world.

WHY THIS BAND IS IN THE ARCHIVES: Approved by the Progressive Metal Team and highly recommended.

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CybionCybion
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KALISIA discography


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KALISIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 59 ratings
Cybion
2009

KALISIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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KALISIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Skies
1995

KALISIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars '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.

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 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 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 Kobaļan.

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?

The Verdict: 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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 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by JohnBVail

2 stars A good friend of mine, Bill, showed two other friends and I one of the songs on this album. He told us we should buy it in lieu of it's $35 price. They're indie, proggy, talented, and I needed to start listening to metal. Where else to start but these guys?

Bill has apologized to us four times since.

Instrumentally, the band is flawless, I hold no grudge against it. They're almost good enough to disregard all else with the album; but not so.

The vocals are where most problems come in. There are perhaps four singers and all of them sing for each character. Keiji is sung by three different singers and the same goes for most other characters. The growls are simply sung to be sung and not making an emotional point as they should. YOU DO NOT SING "MY HEART IS SMILING, I'M IN LOVE" IN A DEATH GROWL!

The lyrics are also a problem. They tell of an discussion between man and Alien intelligently and then use the words "but then". Their new language is interesting at times but rather pointless and many times you won't realize the lyrics have been sung until halfway through an entire stanza.

As for progressive: all different time signatures are in the introduction sound like the CD started skipping and you couldn't get a full measure. "11/16? It's an unfinished 4/4 time signature." The rest of the album is basic 4/4 with occasional orchestration or a saxophone solo. However, that's when the album's music is good and after Part One, the music is always good.

The second album, I heard not much of but my friends were obsessed with it. That makes it worth it enough in my book.

Breakdown: Amazing Instrumentation; Mediocre Lyrics; Okay singing; Ten Years of work was wasted. Tommy was made in ten months, The Wall in eleven. Both albums are dozen times better than this prog opera. We overpaid by about $20 (subject to change).

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 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by msphelps

4 stars I really, really wish I could give this album 4.5/5. I really do. The music itself is perfect--the amazing blend of death metal, Dream Theater/Ayreon prog and countless other minor styles is nigh flawless. The only complaint, though serious, I can leverage against this album is that it is tiring. While the music is fine taken in its individual sections, listened to as a whole the album just isn't as epic as its sounds like it should be. This is the rare case where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. While I want to stress that Kalisia's songwriting is of the highest caliber, this album just doesn't continue to sound like a masterpiece time after time. It is a fantastic listen, if you have the attention span to listen to it, and it certainly rewards those who give it a fair listen. But around the third time through the album, you'll find yourself looking at your watch. Still recommended highly.

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 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars I suppose that there's about 50% chance that this is rushed rating, not so thorough considered and evaluated. But I also feel that right now is the proper time to decide whether this is good, or will end up well bellow, on junkyard of musical history. When I look to these ratings, then 5-star can be little bit (note this adverb) overrated, but one star try ? That's ridiculous, because what sentient being can give it so low rating ? Maybe someone who hates this kind of music (but this way of thinking leads only to eternal problem "how I should rate" and that's unsolvable one). For collectors only ? Never, that's it.

This album combines few very interesting things that wouldn't be so "tasty" if they would stand alone. Death metal vocals (I hate them, yet I love them in this combination, without them it would be very different and I dare to say, worse), heavier guitars (from time to time, you know), melodic (almost power metal-like) music in mixed with great atmosphere and also some kind of story. You don't have to read it at all, you can just feel it. It's hard for me to define how good this music is for me. So am I convinced of its advantages. One politician in our country used to say "socialism with human face". Even I don't like him, I'll alternate this into: "Death metal without death metal, but with human face." - Now that's not so bad deal, is it ?

We shall see. But I know I'm going to like it a lot. But who knows, many better albums fell later of 1-2 stars, as time went by. This is life. But not in all cases. It's like 33% of times I'll drop rating later. Or raise it (what's undoable in this case)

Really beautiful set of cover pictures. Hell, this is pure musical ecstasy, using all these tricks that makes prog metal good, also with occasional going up with woman tender vocals, acoustic guitar that can be heard through roaring of electric ones (spectacular) and also the best (I'm sure it's best, trust me) use of electronically modified voice I recently heard).

EDIT: 4(-), not so appealing this time. Probably, you have to be "in mood" to enjoy this, as it's not as good as it should have been after repeated listens.

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 Cybion by KALISIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.03 | 59 ratings

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Cybion
Kalisia Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Jadittir

3 stars J.R.R. Tokien of our Prog world, Kalisia is somewhat obscured but robust French Extreme/Tech Prog Metal band. Comprise of 6 instrumentalists which have well connection to many elites of prog society, the band release their highly expected album "Cybion" in 2009 with many distinctive guess musicians (like..Angela Gossow, Paul Masdival and Arjen Luccassen). Cybion is a concept album...divide to 4 parts to form one integral concept. They had gone so far that they invent "Kal" language for they earnest story telling, and this is where Tokien analogy comes from. To this point I, for one, have no hesitation to watch out for a channel to obtain a copy of this album.

20 tracks tell a story from stars and their interactions, an good science fiction or space version of the lord of the rings...you make say. Its musical structure looks more like opera screenplay with variety of ways in storytelling. Singers growl, chant, speak and sometime melodically sing. These serve as the dialog between characters in the story. The music, however, plays it part as a background score of a movie. It comes in variety of style but mainly metal riffing with atmospheric keyboard background. Therefore, the musics sound so big and serious like Norwegian black metal band. I personally feel like I am watching a cult movie made by Jerry Bruckheimer.

In term of musicianship? They are extremely talented. In writing, composition and production? There is no single thing to complain. This kind of music is usually so complexed and hard to get into...that is what we love about prog, right? Anyway, their musics are more heavy devy wall-of-sound type than others. Therefore, as a reviewer I have to say that, as I am not very familiar with is kind of music, I feel a bit fatigue after a listening session. Moreover, there are some point that I get bored by it length and its somewhat repetitious riff. But, I must say, that's not their fault, it's just a matter of my preference. So...if you like this category of Prog, I'll undoubtedly like Cybion. For me...3.5 stars.

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