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TALISMA

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Talisma biography
UNICORN RECORDS is proud to announced that Montreal's progressive rock band TALISMA are now part of the UNICORN family. Their first album "Corpus" will be released on the 20th of November 2003.

"Formed in 2000, TALISMA are an instrumental progressive Rock trio from the Montreal region of Canada. The music could be described as pure progressive rock, nice fluid mellotron textured songs in odd time signatures. The album will contain 15 songs, Crisis, L'empalÚ, Corpus, Corpus II, Satanusky and more".

by Unicorn Records

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ChromiumChromium
Import
UNICORN DIGITAL Inc. 2005
Audio CD$11.37
$7.37 (used)
Quelque PartQuelque Part
Import
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2008
Audio CD$17.29
$15.77 (used)
talisma canta adoniran barbosa LPtalisma canta adoniran barbosa LP
PREMIER
Vinyl$15.00 (used)
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TALISMA discography


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

4.12 | 33 ratings
Corpus
2003
4.25 | 37 ratings
Chromium
2005
4.02 | 34 ratings
Quelque Part
2008

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TALISMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Corpus by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.12 | 33 ratings

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Corpus
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars This is the third album from the Canadian instrumental trio, and with an emphasis firmly on all three being lead musicians this is quite an album. One of the most important aspects to their sound is the bass playing of Donald Fleurent who plays a multitude of different basses, often within the same song at the same time (clever chap), so this gives them a very clear tonal colour. But this is not a band that is led by the bass by any means, as there is plenty of extremely solid drumming and very rock solid guitar. Add a few synths here and there for some extra variation, combined with a band that are out to rock, as opposed to just impress and the result is an album that does just that.

Yes, there are obviously heavy elements of prog and to a lesser degree plenty of jazz, but this is a rock album. Each song is quite different to the last, and as none of them stretch over four minutes (and some are less than two) this means that the listener doesn't get frustrated. There is also an extremely interesting bass take on Bach's "Gavotte En Rondeau" (who mentioned Manowar?). Overall an album that has plenty of depth but is also fairly light and is enjoyable throughout. This is an instrumental album to which I will often return.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

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 Quelque Part by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.02 | 34 ratings

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Quelque Part
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by Thierry

4 stars "Quelque Part" is Talisma's third album. Created in 2000, Talisma is a Canadian instrumental progressive rock trio? But don't think of Rush since they come from Montreal and they have a very different style! They released two albums before, "Corpus" in 2003 and "Chromium" in 2005. I'm afraid I was not very keen on those discs because of this style precisely, I mean fusion. So I was very surprised by this new one. We leave the jazz/fusion beaches for somewhere ('quelque part'), for a more symphonic shore, blown away by a Visible Wind, yes this Canadian prog rock legend. A proud ship conducted by a Crimson King. The result is gorgeous : listen to 'L'Aube' for instance. Brilliant melodic and inventive prog. Inventive but not demonstrative. A short instrumental and ambitious album in a terrific production (forget the booklet). So go and get this CD before it becomes a collector.

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 Quelque Part by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.02 | 34 ratings

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Quelque Part
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This Canadian trio already released two good to very albums prior this one. Both of them were seriously Crimson oriented and were (almost) instrumental pieces.

When I discovered ''Introssimo'', I found it quite symphonic during the first part, while KC got back later on: a darker and heavier feel floating on this music. This is a charming track which marvellously combines eclectic with symphonic. A highlight and one of their best track ever, IMO.

The band is also used to present short tracks, and is again the case here. But none of ''Bosse De Fou'' or ''Ibliss'' could draw my attention.

What's new with this album, is not only that several song titles are in French (this has already been the case: ''L'EmpalÚ'' or ''Le Druide'' from their first album for instance) but that there are somle sung tracks.

''Iseult'' is the first of them, but even if I'm a native French speaker, I can hardly understand what is said here. It is due to the fact that the singer is using a vocalized style which makes it rather difficult to understand. Anyway, I far much prefer the second of those ''sung'' numbers: the title track actually. But, apart from the great opening number, I can't say that this album is on par with their earliest efforts.

It gets much, much better with the beautiful ''L'Aube'' (dawn). This is a remarkable and dramatic track: passion all the way through. Keys to start with and then a truly sublime guitar part. Very symphonic and poignant. As some Nordic bands can be (''─nglagňrd'', ''Anekdoten''). Another highlight. ''Astromuz'' is of the same vein as well (but waaay too short to my taste).

The frenetic ''Od'' is another Crimson little baby: wild rhythm, scary and oppressive atmosphere. This could perfectly fit as a soundtrack for a horror movie. A great track indeed, but very dark.

The symphonic side of the band is back with the closing and longest track from ''Quelque Part'' (somewhere) that is a fine way to end this album. I hesitate between three and four stars. I would have loved to rate it as seven out of ten. So, let's u!pgrade it to four stars.

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 Chromium by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.25 | 37 ratings

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Chromium
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This very good Canadian band offered us again a fine album with the release of "Chromium". Somewhat similar to their debut "Corpus" in a way.

The overall mood is strongly KC oriented: their music is complex but not too technical (although the guitar play is quite frenetic at times). The great opener ''Owhat'' is definitely playing in these territories and it is a real killer. It is of course difficult to confirm after such a flamboyant start.

With such a title, ''Dementia'' is a weird track: it takes off quite gently and then bubbles into a crazy and jazzy explosion. The good feel is prolonged during ''Leviosa''. I bet that if you would submit this song to KC fans, they might well believe that this is an unreleased song from the masters. Same virtuosity, same oppressive and heavy feel. Scary as well.

There are little information related to this band over the net (I got half a page of info on their label's web-site: Unicorn through Google Canada) and I wonder if they tour or not. It would be highly interesting to discover them live, although their sophisticated music probably need a lot of production since they are only three to play. To reproduce these sounds, they couldn't do that on stage with only the three of them.

Anyway, the fine experience lasts for about the whole length of the album. I have never been a KC die-hard fan, but ''Talisma'' is more accessible to my ears, even though their music here is fully instrumental (which was almost the case for their debut as well).

If you like intricate music with some jazzy feel, the title track opens its arms and welcomes you. You are where you need to be. The discreet keys work in the background might well be submerged by the powerful guitar, it still adds a lot of body.

As KC in their early days, there are as well full symphonic moments available (even spacey in this case). The beautiful ''NÚbuleuse'' is even TD oriented! I would have wished it to be a little longer though! Some nice feel as well for the sweet, but technically complex ''Inversion''.

A track as ''Cumulus'' is also welcome to break these heavy lines at times. Again, some Floydean passages for a brief moment. The band investigates some Eastern sounds during the well named ''Hindi''. It is a highly dynamic and inspired piece of music which almost closes this album. This honour belongs to the madrigal ''Double''.

Four stars for this interesting album. This band would deserve more exposure IMHHO.

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 Corpus by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.12 | 33 ratings

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Corpus
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ''Corpus'' is a very well achieved album. When you consider that there are only three musicians playing, the result is quite exceptional. Actually, to reach this, each one is playing more than one instrument.

T6he atmosphere is rather intricate, at times heavy and reminds me of the best from Crimson: no less, no more. This album is sliced into short pieces, but this is not too important: the whole sounds very united and consistent.

The hypnotic riffs are extremely well performed and adds a whole bunch of additional Crimson feel. Almost throughout the whole of this album: heavy, dark, powerful, and even mighty. The first moment of tranquillity is the haunting ''Le Druide'': a scary track full of cold beauty. Alas too short (just over one minute).

This album is almost fully instrumental, if you would excuse some vocalized female parts here & there. But this aspect of their work is fine with me as well. At no moment did I feel annoyed nor bored while listening to this very good album (well maybe ''Freezone'' and ''Interlude'' are not on par). I hope for them that they are doing well in their home country, because I hadn't heard of them until recently (on PA of course).

''Talisma'' fully deserves your attention even if the second part of the album is a little weaker (but more accessible). Still, ''D Double U'' is again a very strong composition that reminds some earlier tracks.

IMO, they are much closer to the eclectic genre than X-over. Seven out of ten; upgraded to four stars.

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 Corpus by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.12 | 33 ratings

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Corpus
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Canadian superb trio,who's history dates back in 1993 when they were found by multi-instrumentalist Donald Fleurent.After a couple of demo tapes TALISMA broke up to be re-formed at the dawn of the millenium.They were signed by Unicorn Records and released their official debut ''Corpus'' in 2003...an art rock album of high-quality heading straight to demanding listeners.Many and varied are the influences of the band.From KING CRIMSON-like complex guitar work and atmosphere to classical keyboard interludes,from the professional ethnic instrumental parts to cosmic soundtrack-like passages (DJAM KARET come to mind),from heavy fusion-esque guitars surrounded by groovy bass lines (reminding of LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT) to ethereal female vocals and jazzy/ethnic orientations.Not a boring minute in here,''Corpus'' is a release for fans of trully sophisticated music with a variety of sounds,styles and instruments.A stunning debut!

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 Quelque Part by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.02 | 34 ratings

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Quelque Part
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Yeah, I liked this one up until the Quelque part.

Just kidding. When you think of three piece progressive bands from Canada of course Rush comes to mind. Sorry Rush fans, these guys blow them out of the water. Granted they aren't really a vocal oriented band though they have had a female guest vocalist on a few tracks on their first Unicorn Records release and this one. Come to think of it Geddy does sing in a high register. Hmm.

These guys are French Canadian so most of the titles here are either in French or a play on French words or something. I don't understand French. I've put what seems to be the English translation for those that appeared to translate online in parenthesis.

Introssimo The opening melody is very similar to Vangelis' Antarctica. But the music is of course much more energetic. One thing about listening to Talisma is you get the sense of being taken on a journey.

Basse de Fou (Low of Insane) Another one of giddy up and go type songs the band does so well. Reminds me of some the things Mr. Bungle used to do. Who say's you can't dance to prog? Of course it would have to be with really insane hectic dance moves.

Ibliss A bit of a dark song with lots of changes and interesting samples worked into the music.

Iseult The first track with vocals, so I'm not entirely sure what guest Florence Belanger is singing, but she has a sweet voice and also contributes piano, though it's not specified on which tracks. A more acoustically oriented track than many here.

Quelque Part (Some Share) Another vocal piece, very haunting opening.

L'Aube (L' Paddle) After the somewhat light break of the last two tracks, things get a little spooky and more intense. Music like a soundtrack not needing a movie to go with it. Ends abruptly then.

Od More heavy and even more intense, frantic, manic, urgent. Music that happens when you take the d off of the end of odd? More likely short for odyssey. Reminds me a lot of the Dixie Dregs song of the same name in many ways. Then there's a weird Eastern European music-sounding ending.

Astromuz Just some intense synthesizing in a compact little track.

Modale (Modal) Why yes, it is and once again a lot of interesting music packed into one little track.

Cassiopeia Interesting relatively peaceful opening and then the song stops. After a moment it kicks into a whole different mood. I hear stuff reminiscent of Gentle Giant! Happy The Man! Another brief break and then final section. Upbeat yet a little wistful.

It's really hard to express in words what there is here to hear in the music. It's one of those albums where a good sit down and listen is richly rewarded. It's the kind of new progressive music that just might make those stuck in the past sit up and take notice.

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 Chromium by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.25 | 37 ratings

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Chromium
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

5 stars For their second album Talisma have definitely managed to kick things up a notch. Another collection of short intense instrumentals is offered up. Just a percussionist as a guest on three songs.

There's a streaming version of the opening track, Qwhat, currently posted on this site, and that's what got me hooked on this band. I just happened to play it one afternoon when the cleaning crew was at my office. (They vacuum and I usually pause what I'm listening to and find something streaming on the internet.) My jaw practically fell to the floor and I knew I had to have it. I ordered both Chromium and Corpus right away. Fortunately and unfortunately, they are a fairly new band and have a short discography. Anyone who thinks prog is dead needs to check these guys out. Chromium really is a masterpiece of progressive music. It incorporates elements of many prog sub-genres. Be prepared to go on one hell of a musical journey.

Qwhat starts off taking you all kinds of places musically, heavy and intense.

Dementia's a nice medieval sounding track, reminds me a little of Akkerman's Tabernakel at the opening, then it gets more electric and the music speeds up. Then things get rather spooky sounding before the song ends as it began.

Leviosa another wonderful track packed with changes. Dark bits, rocking bits, twisted interwoven bits, heavy bits.

Chromium reminds me a bit of Djam Karet, and I must say as a big DK fan, these guys do instrumental prog better. Also sounds a bit like Discipline era King Crimson.

Nebuleuse is a synthesizer solo that sounds like its name.

Nuclide, dark heavy jazzy.

Inversion, another DisciplinCrimsonic composition.

Mobius, think of the strip, think League of Crafty Guitarists with just two guitarists, maybe even early Steve Tibbetts.

Tribajigue, short and sweet jiggy prog.

On Cumulus, they mellow out considerably at the start, but not for long, after about a minute the music gets really intense, ending once again on a mellow note.

Hindi, as you might expect, has an Indo-Prog flavor to it.

Double, which wraps up the album, is actually a cover of a Bach piece. Starts out with solo bass, then after a pause, becomes a bass and synthesizer duet.

What an amazing set of music. It's music that you really want to sit down and listen to with your undivided attention. This is not an exaggeration, if Talisma isn't already, they are well on their way to becoming one of the greatest trios of progressive rock.

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 Corpus by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.12 | 33 ratings

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Corpus
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by Slartibartfast
Prog Reviewer

5 stars How do they fit so much music into such short pieces? It's discoveries like these that keep me coming back to the archives. It doesn't even sound like just a three piece band. On this album they do have guests including a female scat singer for two songs. They don't play major roles, though.

I just picked up their two releases that are available so far. A new one is overdue out for this year, 2007, as I write this. Out of the 72 titles, by other artists, I've added to my collection so far this year they overshadow everything as far as the most impressive music I've heard this year, and I've heard a lot of great stuff, both new and from the past. They've knocked Djam Karet down from the number one spot for my favorite instrumental prog band.

Crisis kicks off the album in high gear. A dark and sort of gallupy piece. A good track for those who like the heavier side of prog. L'Empale, another heavy one, great spooky Mellotron in it. Things mellow out a bit with Corpus, but not too much, acoustic guitar and yet another dense but short composition. Satanusky is this really intense song reminiscent of early '80's King Crimson. Le Druide is just a brief haunting short synth and vocal piece, then it kicks into Samba Tapping, with Nathalie Renault, again, doing some scat vocals, very cool Jazz Rock/Fusion. Gavotte En Rondeau has a nice old classical sound to it. The mood changes entirely again with Step Flange. I think the vocalist is back on this one, but maybe only sampled or no credit given. Not too heavy, but intense. Reminds me of Bruford. With Freezone, we are back to more scat and a really upbeat song. I'm hearing a Flora Purim influence in the vocalist. Interlude, Enoesque and nicely weird. Corpus II, back to another band piece, and another great one at that. I guess the only way to really write about music is to speak in musical notation. Untitiled 5/8, as much as I'd rather not use band comparisons, sounds like Happy the Man: soundtrack to an intense dream. D Double U, another nice Krimsonic piece! Mr. Twitts, high energy track, nice tablas going on. Mandoly wraps it up and is of course named for the mandoly sounding string opening section.

The intensity and complexity of the pieces are what just blow me away. If you love time changes, Talsima doesn't disappoint. The song compositions are well done. You will get into them sooner or later.

Seriously, I think they have a lot to appeal to many here. Roundup time on the rating here.

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 Corpus by TALISMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.12 | 33 ratings

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Corpus
Talisma Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Though I am not a musician, this strikes me as a musician's album, not necessarily because of virtuosity, but because it is very much a heads down exploration of motifs with variations. Now that shouldn't interest me as someone who can barely play a recorder at third grade level, yet I found much to like here.

First there is the cleanliness of the sound, without sounding sterile. I have also not heard an album quite like it, even if the vastly inferior Mind Gallery, from the other side of the country, does pop into my head in the lighter moments, and parts seem like an extension to King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man. All the more remarkable is that it is entirely instrumental, but the pieces like "Satanusky", "Corpus II", and "Step Flange", are concise while still sounding epic, the way a 3 page Edgar Allan Poe story might satisfy your craving for the macabre. The use of female "scat" style vocals on several tracks, like "Samba Tapping" and "Freezone", add a sense of fun in contrast to the more plodding pieces, while not sounding out of place or overly clever. The shorter tracks tunes, like "Le druide", "Gavotte en Rondeau" and "Mandoly", are also far from throwaway, painting an abbreviated portrait of strength and beauty.

This is an album that can appeal to a broad spectrum of prog fans, basically to anyone whose tastes extend beyond the most simplistic. I rounded up because of its freshness , which is a major accomplishment in this genre.

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